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Tape Libraries and Drives
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Cleaning Ultrium.. never done it yet.

Antoon Frehe
Occasional Contributor

Cleaning Ultrium.. never done it yet.

Dear All,

I've had my Ultium drive for more than a year now and i've never had to put in a cleaning tape. I use the drive regularly, that is about 4 tapes a week are written. I've been expecting the cleaning icon to come on for some time.

Should i be worried it will never have to be cleaned?

Regards Antoon

3 REPLIES
Leon Rosier
Respected Contributor

Re: Cleaning Ultrium.. never done it yet.

Don't worry, it only needs a clean when the cleaning light goes on.

Leon
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: Cleaning Ultrium.. never done it yet.

The HP Ultrium drive has a built in "toothbrush" that will automatically clean the head whenever it needs it. In many cases that is the only cleaning that is ever needed. I run quite a few HP Ultrium drives in tape libraries and almost never see a cleaning request. I think I probably have some drives that have been in use for 2 years without ever being cleaned or giving me any read/write problems.

When I do get a cleaning request on an Ultrium drive I always check the tape first since the drive can't tell if it is having trouble reading because the head needs cleaned or the tape is bad. I would guess that more than half of the time replacing the tape was the answer.
Angus Crome
Honored Contributor

Re: Cleaning Ultrium.. never done it yet.

I have to concur with the others here. I have had my IBM 3584 library (six LTO drives) in use for a year. I run an average of 23 tapes a night through those six drives, and I have never had a clean request come up. A very robust system.

I also share the library with my WinTel counterparts. They have six drives of their own. They have had to clean two drives in that same time frame, but we have attributed that to the fact that they can't always stream their data at fast enough rates to keep the tape drives moving forward. This usually causes greater wear and tear on the tapes and drives.
There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't - Author Unknown