We have a powervault 100T that seems like it is having some issues; the cleaning light comes on after every tape. Ive had some mixed info about the flashing cleaning light (the media manual states that slow flashing light means cleaning required, but Ive also read elsewhere that it means bad media- im not quite sure) but when I do run a cleaning tape through the light stops flashing- then after the next tape and backup is run the flashing starts again..
Has anyone had experience with this?
We did have an incident where our office was hammered by dust (from sheetrock sanding in a neighboring office) and im afraid that this is the culprit.
Here's why the cleaning light comes on. Your tape drive sends an electrical test out to it's read/write heads and sees how much current is returned. If the heads are dirty, not as much current is returned, and it deems that the tape drive needs to be cleaned. There can be a couple underlying causes behind this. First of all, the tapes being used in the tape drive may be too old and dirting the drive. For normal usage and rotation, most businesses should consider replacing their tapes after a year or so of rotation. Also how old is the cleaning tape that's being used? After 20 or so uses, the cleaning tape will not improve the condition of the tape drive being cleaned. The third thing that can cause the tape drive to request cleaning is a false read from that electrical scan. This is the easiest fix to try as firmware updates fix this 9 times out of 10. There's different firmware out there depending on what tape drive you have. (there are quite a few models of PowerVault 110T's). For help finding firmware for your tape drive, go to support.dell.com, drivers and downloads, and select your model there. Hope that helps. -Idaho Joe
Thanks for the insight. Ill look into the firmware update for the drive. The tapes that we have are about 5 mos old and the cleaning tape has about 6 cleanings on it so far, but it sounds like the solution might be a firmware update.