Off-topic Onstream ADR30 tape problem

Paul R. Ganci ganci at
Mon Sep 6 05:16:02 UTC 2004

J. Erik Hemdal wrote:

>Hi Paul:
>>I have a very strange problem which I am hoping maybe someone 
>>else with 
>>an Onstream ADR50 SCSI drive may have run into and can help me. I 
>>purchased 12 ADR30 cartridges off Ebay.
>Were they advertised as new/sealed/certified/etc.?
They were advertised as new, sealed and packaged in the original 
OnStream 3 pack boxes. However, I am not convinced that they weren't 
used and just repackaged in the original cartons.

>Have you had success
>with this vendor in the past?  
Yes and no I suppose. The first 6 of 12 worked just fine.

>>Sep  5 19:56:18 nureyev kernel: st0: Error with sense data: Current 
>>st09:00: sense key Data Protect
>>Sep  5 19:56:18 nureyev kernel: Additional sense indicates 
>>Cannot write 
>>medium - incompatible format
>>Now before you all shout at me ... yes I checked the little 
>>tab ... the 
>>tapes are not physically write-protected! It is as if there was 
>>something recorded on these tapes which have "software 
> <>I've never seen "software write protected" tapes, but I have seen
> soft-formatted ones. If the tapes are not truly factory-fresh and
> formatted, then all bets can be off. If they were "bulk-erased" (where
> someone applies an external magnetic field to thoroughly erase data), 
> if the
> tapes were mishandled en route to you or magnetically damaged, the
> formatting can go awry. Then you simply might not be able to use the tapes
> at all, without re-establishing a clean reformat. That might not be
> possible without equipment from the tape manufacturer's factory. It's not
> what's recorded on the tape that's the problem, but what ISN'T there that
> needs to be.
> If the tapes have been cleaned or "refurbished", the magnetic surface 
> might
> be damaged and no longer readable. Even simply erasing a tape can
> physically remove the magnetic oxide surface and wreck the tape. It might
> damage your drive, as well. It's impossible to know for certain without
> knowing more about the situation.

Not what I wanted to hear but what I was expecting. I contacted the 
vendor and we will see what happens.

Paul (ganci at

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