How do I detect a damaged LTO data cartridge, and what symptoms would I see?

Version 1

    Solution: The following is an excerpt from:

    Solution: It is important that you look after your HP media and adhere to the recommended guidelines. Should you encounter issues using your HP media, check for the areas outlined in the detail section below to determine if it is a result of physical damage.

    Label placement:
    The following image shows where labels should be placed on the Ultrium media product.
    NOTE: This image shows an Ultrium Generation 1 cartridge. The Ultrium Generation 2 cartridge is similar but is red in color.
    Figure 1: Label placement [not shown]
    If the designated areas are not used, this could result in the media getting stuck in the drive or stuck within the internals of the library. If labels are placed on top of each other, the same symptoms could be seen. The dedicated area is along the spine of the media to the left of the write protect switch.

    Leader pin: The image below shows the location of the leader pin.
    Figure 2: Leader pin [not shown]
    The tape or media should be attached to the leader pin itself and should be located in the recesses at the top and bottom on the inside of the door.

    Cartridge seam: Another area to check is the seams of the cartridge where the top and the bottom have been press-welded together. The image below shows the seam area of the cartridge and this should be viewed as an equal gap, a fraction of a millimeter all the way around the cartridge.
    Figure 3: Cartridge seam [not shown]
    If this gap is irregular or has changed, then it is possible that the screws that secure the top of the cartridge to the bottom of the cartridge have become loose or the media has become damaged from being dropped. First, ensure that the screws are secure (see Figure 4 for the location of these screws).
    Figure 4: Location of screws [not shown]
    If the screws are secure, then the issue was probably caused from the cartridge being dropped. The recommendation is to use a new cartridge, as this will cause loading issues.


    If you are having issues backing up your data or restoring your data, check that the environment the media is operated and stored in conforms to the guidelines shown below.
    -- Operating Environment: HP Ultrium Media should be used in the temperatures within the specified operating range of 10 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit to 113 degrees Fahrenheit) and at 20% to 80% relative humidity (non-condensing).
    -- Storage Environment: HP Ultrium cartridges should be stored at temperatures between 16 degrees Celsius and 32 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit) with a relative humidity of between 10% and 80%.
    If cartridges are stored or transported outside of the above levels, make sure the tapes acclimatize for 24 hours to the recommended levels before use.