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How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

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Clark Powell
Frequent Advisor

How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

We have been using 4 LTO-2 drives for about two years to back up, every night, 8 tapes worth of data. We have rarely used a cleaning tape but we have never had a tape error relating to a problem with media read or write. Can anybody tell me what the recommended cleaning routine might be for LTO-2 tape drives?
Richard W Hunt
Valued Contributor

Re: How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

Our site established a standard that every LTO drive would get cleaned after every 5th full backup (which was weekly for us.)

But the best answer is always this: How often do you get chunks of tape errors? Divide that time in half and that is your best time to clean them.
Sr. Systems Janitor
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

c00065867 - HP StorageWorks Tape Drives - Drive Cleaning Matrix


Recommends to clean LTO tape drives *only* when the "Use Cleaning Cartridge" LED is on.
Richard Bickers
Trusted Contributor

Re: How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

The advice from the link above is what HP recommends - these drives are self cleaning. An extra point to make though is that new media is very slightly abrasive so it's a good idea to introduce new media at regular intervals as part of your process.

Note that you can use L&TT to pull a support ticket every once in a while for a full report on the state of your drive (and media) and that will give any warnings you need to know before you get a failure.


That's another one to make part of your regular process.

These drives are pretty good. If you look after them they should last a very long time.
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong