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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 02-02-2006, 06:21 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2005
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Question Detecting that tape cleaning is needed

I'm currently writing a bash script to do my system backup to tape. Before the script ends I'd like to check the drive to see if it needs cleaning. I just can't find a way to check the cleaning status.

I believe that something with the:

mt status

command should do it (or am I assuming too much?), but I'm having real trouble finding a decent list of all the "General Status Bits" this command returns, so I'm not sure what to look for.

It's a DLT7000 drive if that's relevant.

Any ideas anybody?
Old 02-03-2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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Some years ago we would clean a tape drive when a backup produced a lot of errors. Sometimes a tape drive manufacturer will give you a guideline regarding the number of hours of actual use between cleanings. You can probably double or triple the recommended number of hours. Cleaning a tape drive head too frequently can cause problems. If your tape drive is running 10 hours a day then you might want to clean the drive heads once a month. Some expensive backup software will try to determine when a tape drive needs to be cleaned. I'm not sure that any particular method is better than another.


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