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StoreEver Tape Storage
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MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning

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Nick Voyiatzis
Occasional Contributor

MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning

Hello everybody.

I am facing a problem regarding the MSL 5000 Tape Drive. I get the following error message once or twice a week :

Critical - The tape drive needs cleaning:
1. If the operation has stopped, eject the tape and clean the drive.
2. If the operation has not stopped, wait for it to finish and then clean the drive.
Check the tape drive users manual for device specific cleaning instructions.
Robotic Library: COMPAQ 1
Drive: COMPAQ 6
Slot: 21

The slot number is different every time. I have used new cleaning tape but the problem persists. I have no other related problem in the backup procedure.

I wonder what may be the reason for this message to appear. I am using Veritas Backup Exec 9.0 for Windows Servers utility under Windows 2003 Server operating system.

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
Leif Halvarsson_2
Honored Contributor

Re: MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning


What kind of tape drives is in the library ? LTO or SDLT drives has normally very long cleaning intervals, with cleaning requests every week I would suspect a hardware (drive) problem.
Nick Voyiatzis
Occasional Contributor

Re: MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning

Thank you for your kind interest and sorry about the delay.
I am using SDLT tape drives. I changed the cleaning tape once again and I am optimistic that this problem does not happen again.
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning

Rather than the tape drive being at fault, is it possible there is a faulty tape cartridge in your library that is gumming up your drive every time it gets loaded?
Stuart Whitby
Trusted Contributor

Re: MSL 5000 Message : The tape needs cleaning

...or batch of tapes. I've seen the same kind of thing with a batch of tapes from one manufacturer in a drive which had exclusively used another previously.

You say you're replacing the cleaning tape - you know those are only meant for 20 uses, right?
A sysadmin should never cross his fingers in the hope commands will work. Makes for a lot of mistakes while typing.