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DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

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DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

I have a DLT 4/48 Library. The DLT cleaning tape is a mystery to me. The documentation says that the cleaning system takes care of itself, but I want to have some confirmation. How can I be sure that the drives are being cleaned? How will I know if the cleaning tape needs to be changed?
Listen to their words, but watch their feet.
Michael Francisco
Trusted Contributor

Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

The DLT drive will let you know when you should clean it - the cleaning cartridge is abrasive and excessive cleaning will do more harm than good (This is the exact opposite from DDS drives where you should clean them often). If you are running Omniback, you can dedicated one slot in your library to the cleaning cartridge and Omniback will automatically clean the drive when necessary.

Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

DLT units are 'smart'. Yes they will automatically do a cleaning and even log the acitivity of this in a log file (/var/opt/omni/log/cleaning.log....if your using OmniBack).
If your using OmniBack you can set this automation up by enabling the option on all devices. You could then configure one slot for a cleaning tape to remain inside the library.

If, however, your using some other backup software you would need to read over that info to check on how to enable this.
And if your not using anything other than just fbackup or tarring out to tape. Then you would need to do the cleaning when the DLT library notifies you that it's dirty. And only then....I fully agree, this is not a DDS drive, you don't want to run a cleaning unless it's really called for.


Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

I have been using this drive for about three years (with omniback), and there is no cleaning.log file. Nor has there ever been one (at least as far as the omni database goes).
Listen to their words, but watch their feet.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

As stated by the others, don't periodically clean a DLT drive like you do a DDS drive - clean it ONLY when it tells you to. The drives are designed to be self-cleaning in 'normal' use. Over-use of cleaning tapes can reduce the drive head life.

The xx28/xx48 libraries have an 'extra' slot (on top of the storage slots) which can hold a cleaning tape. This slot cannot be seen by the host (ISV) software. Note: the DLT cleaning tapes are an off-white color (hard to miss).

The library will NOT clean the drives on their own - you need to select 'CLEAN DRIVE #' or 'CLEAN DRIVE ALL' from the front panel to initiate cleaning. You should only clean the drives when 'C' appears as drive status in the front panel.

The drives will also indicate cleaning conditions to the host (ISV) software, and that software can usually be configured to respond to drive cleaning requests. Typically you reserve one of your data tape slots for a cleaning cartridge, and the ISV software will then manage it.

Note: some ISV applications allow you to configure 'frequency based' cleaning, based on a number of tape load hours. This is NOT recommended for DLT drives.

Lastly, DLT cleaning tapes are only good for 20 uses.
The journey IS the reward.
Gerrit Winckelmann
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

hello there, i got a problem...
i want to make a script that tells me whenever my cleaning tape has been used for twenty times so that i can exchange it before it is used too many times...
i want to use the cleaning.log to do so, but i just dont exactly know how yet... i tried around a little but i just couldnt figure anything out....
does anybody have an idea?
Go Against The Flow
Jeffrey Willemsen
Frequent Advisor

Re: DLT Tape Library Cleaning Tape

The use of a cleaning cartridge is almost never needed in DLT operation. If the drive comes with "use cleaning tape" messages try different tapes. If it continues to give "cleaning" messages the DLT itself it the cause and one cleaning cycle is sufficient. If the message does not go away then replace drive.

In contrast to what others have said the cleaning cartridge of DDS drives (DAT) is ALSO abrasive and excessive cleaning will wear down the head. DDS3 units more sensitive to it than others.

Don't change a working configuration