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LTO tape usage (modern tape drives)

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metebalci:
I also started using LTO(-5) recently at home. I can easily group the required files into different sets (and dont care that used space on media is not optimized) so each of my backups fit to a single media, so I am using the simplest method, tar and write to media. I have Quantum LTO-5 drives both model B and C.

seileren:
Hi! I was handed down an HP (StorageWorks) MSL 4048 (G3 series) library, with an lto-4 fc drive (1840). The library is on fw 6.50 / 2.70e, and seems to work great.
However, I decided to try out LTO-6 and went for an HP LTO-6 HH FC drive (C0H28A, with fw 25GW). In the library interface the drive lists as unsupported..

Does anyone know if I can upgrade the fw of the library to get this to work? Searching for MSL StorageWorks results in some hits for version 6.90 (which I cant find), but for storeever there is a v9.60 (robotics 3.20e). Is this something totally different, or can I use it?

Appreciate any answers :)

----------------------

Can report back that upgrading with the v9.60/3.20e fw was a success, and now the lto-6 drive is functioning as well.

Hogwild:
I remember in some Youtube video hearing that they didn't recommend using cleaning tapes. They said it actually mostly spread the dirt around more than it cleaned, which sometimes made things worse.

I haven't found a detailed HOWTO/walkthrough on how to clean LTO heads yet, but this video tells you to use 99.9% ISO and at least shows you what you're likely to be looking at:



He has a number of very good videos. He's an LTO repair specialist. That's all his company does.

Also, he recommends using the "correct" type of tape for your brand drive. He has said repeatedly in his videos that using the wrong brand tape can cause more oxides to wear off, as well as mechanical issues. This sort of runs contrary to having an LTO standard, but it still may be true.

exuvo:
Sorry notifications broke.
BDT made most of the libraries hobbyists use specifically FLEXSTOR II:
- 24-bay: IBM TS3100, Dell TL2000, HP MSL2024, Qualstar Q24, Overland NEOS T24, Fujitsu Eternus LT40, Siemens FibreCAT TX24 S2, Strongbox V24, Cybernetics CY-TLL-224, actiLib 2U.
- 48-bay: IBM TS3200, Dell TL4000, MSL4048, Qualstar Q48, Overland NEOS T48, Fujitsu Eternus LT60, Siemens FibreCAT TX48 S2, Strongbox V48, Cybernetics CY-TLL-448, actiLib 4U.
Special display: HP MSL2024 and MSL4048.

The firmwares are mostly identical except for a manufacturer string check which you can modify to cross-flash firmwares. Exception is MSL as they have a different display, it still runs but the display becomes non-operational and buttons are remapped. For more details on how to do that https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/167xd5o/howto_crossflashing_firmware_on_2448bay_lto/

With that you should be able to get ex HP drives working in a library that supposedly does not support them. As when i plugged on into the wrong one it could still read serial number of the drive so it seems to only be different firmware.

I have aquired firmwares for most FLEXSTOR II libraries up to LTO8. Send a DM if you want a copy.

-edit-
Regarding using the "correct" tape brand from what i have gathered the manufacturers used slightly different tape tensions so using the wrong one deteriorates the tape faster than usual (which leaves dirt inside the drive).
LTO6 was notably different in that IBM switched to BF (Barium-Ferrite) while HP remained on MP (Metal Particulate) which apparently is even worse to mix.
LTO7 and up are all made by IBM with Fuji tapes so no mixing problems possible there.

exuvo:
Here is the script i use to autolabel (with amanda) new tapes. All my used tapes have labels in the form of A then 5 numbers ex A12345, change the regex to match yours.


--- Code: ---export TAPE=/dev/tape/by-id/scsi-HUE2530E22-nst
TAPEX=/dev/tape/by-id/scsi-DEC8320699
tapes=`mtx -f /$TAPEX status | grep "Storage Element" | grep "Full" | cut -d " " -f 10 | cut -d "=" -f2 | grep -E "^A[0-9]{5}"`
for tape in $tapes; do
  echo -n "Found archive tape $tape"
  new=`grep -c ${tape::-2} /etc/amanda/archive/tapelist`
  if [ "$new" -eq 0 ]; then
    echo -n ". New tape adding.. "
    sudo -u amanda amlabel --barcode "$tape" -f archive "${tape::-2}"
  fi
  echo ""
done
mtx -f $TAPEX unload
--- End code ---

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