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tape stuck in Ultrium-1 drive

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Stewart Farquhar
Occasional Advisor

tape stuck in Ultrium-1 drive

The tape broke whilst rewinding the tape and I have to do a manual eject. There was approx 10m of tape that I slowly pulled out together with the pin that was at the end of the tape.

Now I cannot load a new cassette as it immediately ejects it. The HP site says:

With no power in the drive, there is nothing to stop the cartridge being ejected before the tape is fully rewound, however this may damage the tape and will make the drive unusable. The drive requires a successful rewind operation to reset it for subsequent loads.

How I I reset the drive to that the successful rewind operation has been reset, so I can try to get the drive working again? Can I re-apply the latest firmware to do this? What are my options?

I have included the L&TT support ticket for the logs.

Thanks thanks.
Richard Bickers
Trusted Contributor

Re: tape stuck in Ultrium-1 drive

It's unusual that the tape snaps on rewind so that's a concern already... however, it looks like you've got the tape out but most likely the 'leader' (which is within the drive and used to attach and pull the pin and tape onto the rear spool when loading) has come adrift. You won't be able to load any more tapes in that condition.

We do have a manual tape eject procedure but once the leader is out of place there's not a whole lot you can do. Here's the link for reference:

We're interested to follow up in cases like this and may be able to help 1:1 if you can send your contact details to I'll let the guy know who monitors this address.

Thanks for attaching the support ticket. It's odd that it doesn't show load/unload issues in the drive health section so we'll take a look at the more detailed logs next week. We might be able to learn from this ourselves (so appreciate the ticket) but that won't get your drive going again so please let us contact you via

To answer your question, it's always a good idea to have the latest firmware so the drive has the most up-to-date functionality but I'm afraid firmware alone will not re-align your leader.

Please note that we almost never have tapes/drives do this in the lab despite continous testing. What we've found is that it's usually tape handling issues that cause this sort of thing. If you ever drop a cartridge then that can misalign important components and lead to tapes snapping or getting stuck. Please be careful with your tapes.
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong
Stewart Farquhar
Occasional Advisor

Re: tape stuck in Ultrium-1 drive

thanks for the quick and detailed reply. i have sent me email address to the hp addresses above.
Arend Lensen
Trusted Contributor