StoreEver Tape Storage
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Cleaning tape questions on an HP SurestoreTape Library

Vuaroqueaux Aurélie
Occasional Contributor

Cleaning tape questions on an HP SurestoreTape Library


I have several questions about cleaning tape usage on an HP Surestore Tape Library (like the 2/40) :

1 - How often do you recommend the use of a cleaning tape?

2 - Is there a possibility that using a cleaning tape could damage a drive?

3 - Is it the drive or the tape library that detects the need of using a cleaning tape?

4 - Who sends the information to the software that a cleaning tape is needed, the tape library or the drive?

5 - How can we know if the cleaning tape needs to be replaced (if it is has been used too many times)? Can the tape library or the drive detect that?

Thanks a lot for your answers.


Nicolas RABINE - Administrateur Services Transversaux
LINKBYNET - Your e-Business Online
39, bd Anatole France - 93200 Saint-Denis - France
Tel : +33 1 48 13 32 75 - Fax : +33 1 48 13 18 19
E-mail :
Web :
Trusted Contributor

Re: Cleaning tape questions on an HP SurestoreTape Library


1) The best way to use a cleaning tape, is only when requested, either by the "clean me" light on a drive, or automatically in a library.

2) There is always a "possibility" that any tape you put into a drive may in fact damage it, but I would very much doubt that a cleaning tape would.

3) The drive will initially detect that it will need cleaning.

4) Depending on what kind of library/software you use, it will be a combination of the two. The software will need to be aware of the position of the cleaning tape in the library to clean it automatically.

5) If a cleaning tape has been used too many times, it will be rejected and will fail. You will be notified of any failures. This again depends upon which software/drives/type of cleaning tape.

Hope this helps.

Sincères amitiés
If I can, I will!
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: Cleaning tape questions on an HP SurestoreTape Library

I just hit a little more detail on a couple of these points.

2) DLT cleaning tapes do wear the head much more than standard data tapes so follow the recommendation above for question 1-clean only when required. The LTO cleaning tapes aren't as abrasive but no sense using them up when it isn't necessary.

3) Yep the drive detects cleaning needed and the library just refects what the drive is saying.

4) Only the drive sends information to the host software for cleaning needed. Usually it is done using "TapeAlert" logs which are read at unload. The library just reports where the cleaning tape is.

5) expired cleaning tape notification isn't as good as it should be. The drive and library will both know when the tape expires but applications don't alwasy pick up on the notification and may not tell you until you try to use a tape that was already expired and the cleaning operation fails. It is tracked though and you'll know when it fails.