Subject: Re: How many backups per DAT?
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Wolfgang Rupprecht <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/14/1997 09:27:34 (Michael L. VanLoon -- writes:
> I purchased a DAT drive a couple months ago, and am getting to the
> fourth or firth backup on some of my tapes.  There is a light on the
> drive that comes on when it thinks the tapes are marginal, or the
> drive needs to be cleaned.

Who's drive?  I have a Archive python (2 gig) and an HP C1533A (4
gig).  The python was so dirty that I though it was broken, and I
bought the HP as a replacement.  After a wet cleaning it worked just

Both of them will usually take a bit more abuse than only 4 tapes
before they need cleaning.  It sounds like the cleaning tape is only
getting 4 tapes worth of crud off of it.

The cleaning cassettes are mostly junk.  While they do help in a
pinch, they leave 95% of the trash still sitting on the record head.

If you have the HP, pop off the top cover and clean the head, capstan
and pinch roller with a damp q-tip dipped in isopropyl or ethenol.
(If you have the Python you'll have to reach in from the front.  Its
not fun.)  Observe how much trash just came off.  Repeat until clean.
Dry.  Do not put a tape in until everything is really dry!!!!  You
will just disolve the magnetic slurry off of the mylar tape and make
everything much dirtier than before the "cleaning".

I've also heard of folks now making "wet cleaning kits" with some
strip of cloth in a tape case.  You wet the cloth and and the normal
transport does the scrubbing for you.

Wolfgang Rupprecht    <>