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Reseat Ultrium 3000 Drive Leader?

J Mike Gilbert

Reseat Ultrium 3000 Drive Leader?



My Ultrium 3000 (in an HP 1/8 G2 autoloader) needed cleaning, so I initiated the cleaning cycle.  At the end of the cycle, the drive started failing with "incomp medium".


I removed the cleaning cartridge from its slot in the autoloader (the autoloader had successfully unloaded the cartridge), and noticed tape sticking out.  It turns out the cleaning tape had broken, and the last foot or so was still inside the tape drive.


I removed the tape drive from the rear of the autoloader.  Then I followed the "manual tape eject" procedures as best I could - there was no cartridge to eject but I wanted to be sure not to damage the mechanism or void the warranty.


I was able to grab the broken end of the cleaning tape which was still wrapped around the internal spindle.  It unwound easily as the spindle turned when I pulled it out - I don't think part of the tape is stuck in the spindle or jammed in the mechanism or anything, and I don't think I forced any gears or anything removing the tape.


As I kept pulling, the leader pin of the tape came out, still attached to the leader pin capture mechanism, including a foot or so of clear tape which is apparently permanently attached to the internal spindle.


I was able to easily detach the broken tape end and its leader pin from the leader pin capture mechanism.  Again, I don't think anything in the drive is damaged at this point, and I didn't have to remove any screws or do anything else adventurous.


Now all I need to do is rewind that transparent section of tape, and reseat the capture mechanism so it's ready to grab the leader pin of the next tape cartridge.  How can I do that?  Is there any way to get the drive to do it automatically?


I can't find anything on the web site about how to deal with this issue.  Any advice?  The drive just came out of warranty of course.


What if I manally attach that capture mechanism to the leader pin of another tape cartridge, wind it (plus some of the tape from that cartridge) onto the spindle, and then insert the cartridge into the drive - kind of like a manual removal procedure in reverse.  If I then apply power to the drive and get it to eject, will the drive be left in a good state (assuming of course that the drive itself is not damaged at this point)?


Any suggestions are welcome!


Mike Gilbert