SUMMARY: exabyte drive spits out tape

From: Todd Pfaff (todd@flex.Eng.McMaster.CA)
Date: Tue Feb 04 1992 - 20:14:58 CST

Sorry for the delay with this reply.

I posted the following a while ago:

] Our Exabyte 8200 drive on a Sun 4/370 has recently become quite disagreeable.
] When I try to load a tape, the drive spins and whirs for a few seconds as if
] it's trying to mount the tape, and then it spits the tape back out at me.
] This happens with every tape I've tried. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
] I've tried power cycling the drive without success. We've had the drive for
] over two years, but it was sent back within the last year for refurbishing
] and the PROMs were brought up to date at that time. Would this type of
] behaviour happen if the drive thought it needed cleaning?
] Any ideas?

to which I received many replies which all indicated at least one of the following:

1) The drive may need cleaning.

        I tried this. The first time the cleaning cycle seemed to go as expected
        and the tape was ejected. A data tape was still not accepted so I tried
        cleaning again, and this time the cleaning tape was rejected immediately.
        This is the same thing that happens with data tapes after resetting the

        Someone suggested taking the drive apart and cleaning it manually. I haven't
        tried this yet, but since nothing else seems to work and I don't have any
        warranty on the drive anymore I may as well. Anybody out there who has done
        this and knows how to go about it (what should I use for cleaning and what
        exactly do I clean)?

2) The drive needs repairing/upgrading.

        As I stated in my original posting, the drive was refurbished about a year
        ago. At this time the PROMs were upgraded and the drive was cleaned/adjusted.
        I'm not very diligent about cleaning the drive regularly so I can believe it
        may need a major cleaning, but I don't think it needs any upgrading.

3) New Sony tapes have a longer leader which fools the drive into believing it's a
   cleaning tape. When it's finished the cleaning cycle it spits out the tape
   without rewinding. The tape will work if reinserted.

        This doesn't apply to us because the tapes I'm using weren't purchased
        recently. Besides, the same tapes were working fine before this problem
        suddenly started happening.

4) Try power cycling the drive.

        I did. No luck.

5) Try rebooting the host.

        Ditto. I also tried the drive on various hosts (SPARCstation 2, 4/370)
        without positive results.

Any further ideas/comments are welcome. Thanks to all who replied:

Ron Wessels <>
"Ric Anderson" <>
hammond@solarz.Colorado.EDU (Anne Hammond) (James Cameron)
"Hilarie Orman" <> (Hiro) (J. Matt Landrum) (Robert Kuhn)
Jason "dedos" Austin <> (Beverly Reimer) (Paul B. Henninger)
johnb@edge (John Benjamins)
jsin@JANET.UCLA.EDU (John Sin)
Gregory Higgins <> (Ian MacPhedran)
analogy!markh@uunet.UU.NET (Mark Holm) (Scott Hazen Mueller) (Andy Feldt)
Chip Christian <>
antoine@roentgen.RadOnc.Duke.EDU (Russ Poffenberger) (Jeff Aldrich)
"Granville Boman Goza, IV" <gbg@SEI.CMU.EDU> (Bob Haxo) (Ole Holm Nielsen) (Carlo L. Tiana) (John Jorgensen)
kla!brandari%sunra@Sun.COM (Paul Brandariz x6546) (William Unruh [Unruh]) (Robert D Webber) (Michael Baumann)
Debbie McGlade <> (S M Margle)
Gilbert E. Detillieux <gedetil@silver.cs.UManitoba.CA> (Walter F. Hartheimer) (Bill Heiser) (Bill Evans)
Mario Nigrovic <>

Todd Pfaff                      \ Internet:
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering  \   Voice: (416) 525-9140 x2902
McMaster University               \    FAX: (416) 572-7944
Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA  L8S 4L7 \

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:06:35 CDT