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Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Hi,
I've got a 220-320GB HP SDLTtape which when i try to load in the DLT drive give me an invalid media error. Even on rebooting the terminal, I am not able to load the same.
Is there any way I could perhaps format the tape ?
13 REPLIES
Marino Meloni_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

If the drive report an invalid media, probably there is nothing to do, but if the error is related to unknown or foreign media, you use your Backup application to format/inizialize the cartridge.
For test I suggest you to run L&TT and try some test on the cartridge, there is also a write test, then, if the error is still there please collect a support ticket with still the cartridge inside the drive and attach it here for further analysis

Marino
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Is the SDLT tape you are trying to access a blank/new tape or does it have existing data on it?

Also, I have found that more often than not, DLT tapes will not read in my SDLT drive.
Some will read the label ok then fail to access any further data, some will notify as "bad tape" right from the initial cartridge load/scan and most of the others will actually read some data before failing. Only a very few will successfully read the full session without error.

While there are theoretically backward compatibilities, it is probably best to not mix formats if at all possible, and also to keep all the different format tape drives that you have used in the past to make backups, as there is a distinct possibility that when you need to retrieve some old data the drive that originally wrote that tape is the only one that will read it now.


Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Marino & Cameron, thanks for replying to my query.
Marino, how do i get a support ticket. Basically wat is the process for getting one. I however will run a diagnosis with L&TT and check the output of the same.

Cameron, its not a blank/new media. I have previously been able to backup data onto the media. Only off late has it been giving me this error.
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Oh, also check to make sure your tape cleaning light is not on. If it is you need to run a DLT cleaner tape through it to reset that error and get tape drive functionality back again.
Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Cameron, I don't think it would be a problem with the drive, 'cuase i've got at least 6 other SDLT tapes onto which i backup data on a daily basis. It is only this one tape which gives me an error after I click 'Start backup' using the native Windows NT backup mechanism.
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

I agree. Sounds like a failed tape.
Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Cameron, isn't there anything that can be done ? What if i select 'New media' from label type in the backup utility of Windows. Would windows reinitialise/reformt the tape ?
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

I'm not sure what functionality your version of Windows Backup has but there should be both an 'Erase' and one or more 'Format' functions available.
(I have ARCserve on NetWare to do all those sort of tasks, not Windows)

If you don't need to retrieve data off this tape then there is certainly no harm in trying to erase the label and/or do any level of reformatting of the tape contents (quick or full).

I'm not sure I'd want to trust the integrity of the tape contents hereafter though, even if it does reformat without error.

Have you tried the HP L&TT?
Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Yeah I think u're right about trusting the integrity of the tape contents hereafter even if the same is reformatted. I'm in the process of downloading HP L&TT. Will try and run the same.
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

In some cases a Full Erase will work when a Format will not, so if the function exists, try it first.

I'm not sure why you would want to use SDLT in a DLT drive - here in Oz SDLT's are a lot dearer than DLT's and you don't get the benefit of their greater speed and capacity when hamstrung by the older drive technology.
Ryan_184
Occasional Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Actually its an SDLT drive, a typing mistake i guess in my question.
Cameron Todd
Regular Advisor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Ahhh...

I guess the diagnostic process is still the same, just the chances of success a little higher.
Marino Meloni_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Formatting an HP SDLTtape

Ryan,
here is how to generate the support ticket:
install L&TT
start it and then select the drive in the left windows
on the right side you should then get a picture of your drive
then on the top you will have several button for several function
one is for generate the support ticket, select it with the cartridge loaded in the unit and you will have some info also from the cartridge. reading the error log of the drive, you should see also some info related to the problem you have with the cartridge.
you will have also the opportunity to run some test (selecting the test button) that can be destructive or not on the tape (media validation is not destructive per ex)

marino