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DDS4 Tape Drive Problems

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Eoin Kennedy
Occasional Advisor

DDS4 Tape Drive Problems

Have an old Compaq DDS4 drive, been using it for a few years now with no problems.
Was in the middle of a lenghty backup today, and one of the tapes didn't eject properly from the drive when it was full.
I tried the eject button a few times, but it just wouldn't come out.

I eventually had to open the drive up and found the tape wound around some of the bits inside. I managed to get the damaged tape out, and put a cleaning tape in there to make sure. That went in and popped out as it should, so I stopped the running backup and ran a new one to test all was well.

It didn't work, as the software was seeing the tape drive but couldn't recognise that it had a tape in there, or what the tape was.
A few reboots later and its the same story.
A tape I just put has also been chewed and didn't eject properly, and I can see that the tape isn't being wound in correctly by the drive before it ejects it, causing it to wind around some of the mechanism inside.

My question really is, should I start looking for a new DDS4 drive, or is there anything else I can do myself to fix it?

Its more than likely out of warranty at this stage, so anything that needs to be done will be done by me.

Thanks for any advice anybody has,

Chris Turnbull
Valued Contributor

Re: DDS4 Tape Drive Problems

Just buy a new drive mate. Backups are generally too important to risk on flakey kit, in my experience once you start having problems with a drive it's the beginning of the end.

DDS tape drives are pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things - and if it's out of warranty then a replacement is probably going to be cheaper than an engineer.
Eoin Kennedy
Occasional Advisor

Re: DDS4 Tape Drive Problems

Good advice.
I've been having a look on eBay for a new or used one.