Question about Dell PowerVault 100T DAT72 DAT Tape Drive

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Constant Cleaning of new PowerVault 100T DAT72

Dell support is no real help here, and I've been searching the net for about an hour looking for ideas--no dice. Anyway, we have a brand new dell server with a PV 100T Dat72 in it that we got in April '07. For the first couple months everything went fine. Once I started doing larger backups (about 38GB total uncompressed) the drive began asking to be cleaned weekly. The "clean" light would blink slowly, and the tape will have not automatically ejected from the previous night's backup process. Although I thought this to be a little excessive, the guys at Dell assured me that backing up almost 200GB/wk was enough tape activity to require a weekly cleaning. Well, last week, it started asking me to clean the drive daily. At this point, I was sure there was something wrong with the drive. So, I called Dell Support and they sent a tech out to replace the drive with a new one. They did that yesterday, and what did I find when I came in this morning? The &*$^*( "clean" light was blinking again. At this point, it makes me suspect my media. I've been using a on-week tape rotation with the same tapes since we started using the drive. We do an off-site backup monthly with a brand new tape. So, for tonight's backup, I'm going to try a new tape to see if the "clean" light is blinking again. I couldn't find any references on the net as to the accepted "normal" lifespan of a DAT72 tape. Now, here's the twist on the whole thing: I have another server with a DAT72 drive also a PV100T) in it, but I am using DDS4 media in it because the amount of data I'm backing up doesn't require the DAT72 tapes. This drive is backing up about 5GB/night or close to 30/wk. This less-used drive does not complain that it needs to be cleaned. In fact, since April, when we started using it, it asked to be cleaned only once. Ideas? I'm stumped, and I don't want to call Dell back yet because I might have to eat my words about the "defective" drive if it turns out to be a media problem.

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Re: Constant Cleaning of new PowerVault 100T DAT72

Tape drives do need cleaning frequently and the 'auto clean' facility may not be enough. The problem is the continuous shedding of oxide needs cleaning right off and the auto system may not be enough. What you need is a back-up Drive. and the out of service drive needs physically stripping down to clean all off using a soft brush and where appropriate coproponal alcohol

Posted on Jun 14, 2007

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