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cleaning tape expiration date

George Jimenez
Occasional Advisor

cleaning tape expiration date

What does HP mean when it says not to use a an expired cleaning tape ?


Do the C7978A, HP Ultrium universal cleaning tape, have an expiration date ?


Or is it just the cleaning cycle count  limit ?


What if I have a brand new cleaning tape stored for over a year and a half. Would it still be good to use now?


P.S. This thread has been moved from  Tape Backup (Small and Medium Business) to Tape Libraries and Drives. -HP Forum Moderator

Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: cleaning tape expiration date

Each cleaning tape is good for a specific number of cleans, usually 50.  When you have used it that many times then the tape is considered "expired".  The expiration is based on use not date.

George Jimenez
Occasional Advisor

Re: cleaning tape expiration date

Thank you Curtis.

New Member

Re: cleaning tape expiration date

I don't think this is correct statement.

I have a log of all cleaning cycles and my tape was expired after 4 times...

1st was Feb 2012

2nd was May 2013

3rd was Sept 2013

4rd was Oct 2013

And now it is ejected as expaered.... What is wrong?

Thank you.


Re: cleaning tape expiration date

Cleaning tapes shouldn't expire because of date.  The expiration is based on using up the cleaning media in the cartridge and is usually about 50 cleans.  I checked back with the firmware team.  We didn't review the code to see if there is some corner case we've forgotten about that would expire a tape but nobody is aware of one.


There is one issue that can look similar to an expired cleaning tape that might be causing the problem.  Quite a few years ago the cleaning tape design was changed.  For a few drive generations after that we supported both the new cleaning tape design (we call it 'universal') and the original 'legacy' cleaning tape design.  With LTO-6 support for the legacy cleaning tape was discontinued so a legacy cleaning tape can still be used in older drives but will be rejected similarly to how an expired tape is ejected if used in an LTO-6 drive.


If you have the model numbers of the cleaning tapes I can determine whether it is legacy or the newer 'universal' cleaning tape.

I work for HPE

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Re: cleaning tape expiration date

Well, there must be some expiration based on date because this just happened to me:

HP Storageworks DAT 40 USB

Cleaning Tape C5709A

i had two of these cleaning tapes which i seldom used, i put them into the device and they were both expelled within few seconds, no cleaning process performed (the "clean" led did not turn on).

So i tried a NEW cleaning tape, still packaged, wrapped in his plastic.

So i open it, put it in the DAT device and same story, it gets expelled after few seconds and no cleaning process performed.

So what do i do? This is old stuff and i am sure that even buying new cleaning tapes i end up with "expired" by date ones, and no expiration date is printed on the tape either.

Is there any other reason why the device would not perform the cleaning process, beside the expiration reason?