Sunstar Company, Inc.

800.663.5523

Sunstar Company, Inc. repairs tape drives and tape libraries.

Our clients often assume that a drive is defective, sometimes this is not the case.

Prior to shipping the “defective” drive to our repair center consider that there could be an issue with the media or perhaps the tape heads need to be cleaned.

  • Tapes: Tape drive manufacturers specify which brands and lengths are compatible with their data storage equipment. You should always check your tape drive’s documentation for full compatibility, since unapproved tape brand or type can consistently fail. It is also important to only use tapes of the proper length since some tape drives can use various lengths but others can’t. Tapes can vary in thickness, tension, and particle density and tape drives are designed to properly handle those differences without causing damage to themselves or the tapes.

Cleaning cartridges: You should regularly clean your tape drives by using cleaning cartridges, which not only clean the tape drive head, but also the full tape path. Cleaning will prevent both read/write and tape positioning problems. Use only the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning tapes and follow the instructions. Some cleaning cartridges are only good for a certain number of uses. If used more than specified, they will reach their end and not perform any cleaning. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the tape drives every 25 to 30 hours of use, as well as after using a new tape for the first time.

Tape drives: Just because a tape drive is new does not mean its heads are clean, so while head cleaning on a new drive is not necessary, it also can’t hurt. If a tape drive was not cleaned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, there could be build-up on the heads and a cleaning tape won’t be able to remove it. Such build-up, or a drive hardware failure, can cause media errors. If the same errors occur after trying new tapes and cleaning the drive, it needs servicing. You could also try performing the same backup using a different software program

Please call us at (800) 663-5523 or  contact us online for a quote and RMA No.