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Extending drive life - How often do you clean?

 
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Occasional Contributor

Extending drive life - How often do you clean?

I've had an HP MSL4048 with QTY 4 SCSI attached LTO2 drives for a number of years now.  Each drive has its own SCSI port and there are two host controllers.  Two drives per host controller, and each host controller is on a separate bus. Works OK....except over its lifetime (4 yrs) I have installed about 7 replacement drives.  HP even insisted on replacing the entire chassis once, which was a waste of time :)  Generally I get about 1500 hours out of a drive, which seems really low!  I often use new tapes (business requirements), and primarily do D2D2T backups so shoe shining generally isn't an issue.  I understand environmental issues can cause this, but temps have always been within range and there's minimal dust.

 

I've heard mixed comments regarding the cleaning of the drives.  Including, don't clean your drive unless requested, or clean it after X number of hours.

 

What do you do?  I'm getting realy sick of formatting and re-duping jobs to tape as it's a time consuming job.

2 REPLIES 2
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Honored Contributor

Re: Extending drive life - How often do you clean?

Yes 1500 hours is really low.  You should be seeing more like 60,000 hours.

 

Using new tapes is worst case but still you should see way more life than 1,500 hours.  Cleaning periodically isn't really a problem with LTO drives.  The cleaning tape isn't overly agressive.  I wouldn't clean every week but cleaning at any sign of a problem would be fine.

 

Are you using HP media?  The only thing I can think of is if there is something either in the media or the environment that is causing faster than normal head wear.  Assuming that is that head wear is why the drives were replaced.

 

Are you sure that the drives that were replaced were faulty?

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Extending drive life - How often do you clean?

Funny thing is I never have problems until my tapes start having End Or Marker errors from a specific drive, or the drive becomes noticeably slow.  One ever requested a cleaning over and over and over.  Cleaning them when they get to this point doesn't help at all.  I guess I shall start a monthly routine of cleaning even if the drive doesn't request it?  This is mostly what I'm curious about....

 

Always use HP media, and I'm not sure what in the environment would cause irregular head wear

 

As far as I'm concerned, the drives were faulty.  Moving them to different slots in the library, using a different SCSI cable and SCSi card never made a difference.  For all but one drive (the one that constantly requested cleaning), L&TT reported errors with the heads and suggested to replace the drives.  Many many tests were done.