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DLT 40 Tapes

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Occasional Visitor

DLT 40 Tapes

Can someone tell me what the average lifetime of a DLT 40 tape is?

Alexander M. Ermes
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT 40 Tapes

Hi there.
What do you exactly mean by this question ?
How long data remain on the tape if once written ? At least 10 years.
How many times you can overwrite it ?
200 to 300 times, but after that the tapes will definetely wear out.
As far as i know OmniBack sets a usage of 200 times before alarm ' tape bad ' goes red.
Alexander M. Ermes
.. and all these memories are going to vanish like tears in the rain! final words from Rutger Hauer in "Blade Runner"
William W. Torrey
Occasional Visitor

Re: DLT 40 Tapes

I have attached document from Quantum...

If you look at this document you will notice that there is a tape rating in number of head passes. Beware that this is not the same as number of loads. The format on the tape wraps back and forth in a serpentine layout, so if you wrote the entire tape the media would have passed over the head many times. Plus, calibration runs the tape over the head several times on each load.

Tape life has a lot to do with the conditions that the tape is subjected to. If you perform several small backups the tape and drive tend to get dirty faster. If the drive is "scrubbing" due to slow host performance or read / write problems the tape life will also be shortened. Humidity and temperature also effect tape life and performance.
Bruno Cunha
Frequent Advisor

Re: DLT 40 Tapes

10 years ???
Had you try it ?
I garanty to you after 10 years of a DLT stored you can't restore the data from it. You must read the tape several times in the 10 years period.
Do it today, don't leave for tomorrow
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT 40 Tapes


First of all, a DLT40 drive supports 3 types of tape cartidges:

DLTtapeIII, DLTtapeIIIxt, DLTtape IV.

The III is Gray, the IIIxt is white and the IV is black (the modern one).

All of these tape cartidges can handle up to 500,000 media passes, which is a cycle from beginning to the end of the tape.

Media shelf life is 20 years for the IV and 30 years for the other two cartidges.

Cleaning tape (Off white in colour) handles 20 media passes and has a 30 year shelf life.

Tape Drives RULE!!!