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Automatic cleaning MSL 6030 + Veritas

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Frequent Advisor

Automatic cleaning MSL 6030 + Veritas


I'm using a MSL 6030 2 drives LTO-2 in a SAN configuration, Veritas Backup Exec 9.0, Windows 2000 Server / Adv. Server.

I've configured the cleaning slot in Veritas, but I don't know how to configure a cleaning job. If I create a cleaning job, it's necessary schedule the running time...when ? (when the library need cleaning...)

The system is working fine (only same problems in veritas and advanced openfile), but in 10 month I never executed a clean and the library never requested it on the front panel (as stated in the guide). The library works 5-6 hours every working day (both drives).

It's normal this "cleaning delay" for a LTO-2 drive ?
If no, how must I configure the cleaning job for Veritas ?

Thanks a lot in advance !

Armando Stroppari
Kurt Beyers.
Honored Contributor

Re: Automatic cleaning MSL 6030 + Veritas


If the autoclean is enabled in Veritas, it will load the cleaning tape whenever an LTO drive is dirty.

You do not need to schedule a preventive cleaning of the drive, it will only wear the heads out.

The cleaning tape itself has a cartridge memory where it will keep track of the usage of the cleaning tape (up to 20 times). So you cannot use it too much.

It is hard to tell how often a cleaning occurs, but as an order of magnitude it is about once each year. So there is nothing wrong with your setup.

best regards,

Frequent Advisor

Re: Automatic cleaning MSL 6030 + Veritas

Hi Kurt
Many thanks!

Ralf Loehmann_2
Valued Contributor

Re: Automatic cleaning MSL 6030 + Veritas

Hello Armando,

I want to add something to Kurt answer. I aggree with Kurt's answer, but HP firmware has a different behavior or better a protection against "Overcleaning".

Preventing Excessive Cleaning Operation

The firmware performs a check to prevent excessive cleaning being forced upon the drive. Unnecessary cleaning shortens the useful life of a cleaning cartridge as well as risks degrading drive performance. The excessive cleaning criteria is met if the following is TRUE:
â ¢ Cleaning LED is not turned on.
â ¢ Tape Alert flag 20 is not set.
â ¢ Cleaning operation has been performed in the last 336 hours (2 weeks) since the drive was powered on.
If the firmware detects the above condition is true after a cleaning cartridge has been inserted, then

a) The internal head cleaner is activated to brush the heads.
b) Estimated Cleaning Usage in the cartridge memory remains the same. I.e. not decremented.
c) Cleaning tape is not threaded.
d) Cartridge is unloaded (if applicable)* after internal head cleaning has completed its operation.

* Certain automation/library usage environment requires the drive not to unload the cartridge unless it specifically requested by the host.

This might also answer upcoming other questions, why a cleaning tape is still good even it was inserted more than 20 times.

Maybe for further interest I also add something about the internal headcleaner.
New Internal Head Cleaner
Preventative Cleaning Using the Internal Head Cleaner
The internal head cleaner is a brush that can be drawn over the heads to 'scrub' away loose debris. It is designed to operate in conjunction with the head contour for trapping and removing media debris. It is non-abrasive to the head and thus can safely be used as frequently as required.
Using fibers that are electrostatically dissipative and also have a conductive coating provides ESD protection. In addition the brush assembly sits inside a conductive plastic channel to assist bleeding any conductive charge off the head.
The internal head cleaner is used:
1. Immediately after using a cleaning cartridge.
2. When a cleaning cartridge is being used too frequently. The drive performs an internal head clean instead of a clean using the loaded cleaning cartridge.
3. As part of error recovery algorithm. For example, if multiple read retries have failed, the tape is unthreaded, the internal head cleaner is operated to remove loose debris, then the tape is re-threaded, and retries begin again.
4. After an unthread, if more than 150 thousand meters of tape have been pulled since the last use of the head cleaner.
5. When the drive detects more than 10% error rate variation between the channels.

Hope that explains some behavior, even in a library you might not see that much