SUMMARY: reformating a tape cartridge.

From: Jacques Rall (
Date: Thu Jan 30 1997 - 05:31:01 CST

Original question:

Dear SMs,

Is it possible to reformat a tape cartridge, thus clearing any
EOF,EOT,etc markers?



* Get a bulk eraser (sometimes called a degausser). It is a device
with either an electro-magnet or fixed permanent magnets that you pass
over the tape for a certain amount of time and that randomizes the
particles on the tape.
* 'mt -f <device> erase'. The main disadvantage of using mt erase is
that the entire tape gets erased - a time consuming process. In
general, only the beginning of the tape is needed to be erased to not
be hindered by any markers farther down the tape.
* dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/rmt/your-tape-device. If you need to
overwrite the whole tape, just write a shell script that loops
forever, with some kind of output on each loop (\n) and write that to
the tape until it's full.

Thanks to *

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