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How often to clean LTO-2 tape drives?

 
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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?
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Valued Contributor
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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.
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Honored Contributor

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

c00065867 - HP StorageWorks Tape Drives - Drive Cleaning Matrix

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c00065867

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

http://www.hp.com/support/tapetools

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