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BackupExec - Cleaning - Maximum Number Of Cleanings

Created: 16 Jul 2013 | 14 comments

Hi all,

Just a generic question. When cleaning media, the administrator designates a cleaning slot, in which the cleaning media goes.

When you right click > properties that slot, you have 2 fields:

1. Number of cleanings (mine is currently showing a value of 38)

2. Maximum Number of Cleanings (mine is currently showing a value of 50)

The first value is static therefore I presume it means that the cleaning tape that was last inserted into this cleaning slot had performed 38 cleans???? Or does it mean the slot had been used to perform 38 cleaning operations???

Unlike the first, the second value can be changed. Who determines this value and what does it refer to? Does it mean that the cleaning slot can be used to perform 50 cleaning operations or does it mean the cleaning tape can be used to perform a maximum of 50 operations? What is best practice for setting this value?

Thank you for your time and help

Operating Systems:

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Jaydeep S's picture

"The first value" is a the number of times the slot was accessed (Cleaning and Inventory would both increment this value).

"The second value" there is no best practise as such for this refer to the cleaning media itself

Colin Weaver's picture

The number of cleans represents how many times a cleaning job has used that cleaning tape (I believe even cleaning tapes have  serial number so we can record the difference between tapes)

The maximum number is adjustable and you should refer both the cleaning tape manufacturer and perhaps your tape drive/hardware vendors recommendations for what to set this to.

CraigV's picture

I personally never bothered with these stats...they're a bit meaningless. Go according to the vendor on the number of cleans that a particular tape will allow and throw it away once you have crossed off the total blocks available. They're easily replaceable.


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systematic92's picture

So if I placed a brand new cleaning media in the same slot, you are saying the first value will say 0 instead of 38 since its a brand new tape?

Colin Weaver's picture

Only after you scan or inventory the slot (after the change of content)

EDIT: As an aside the screenshots in

Do show the media label as a unique identifier so I still believe that we keep the statistic against the cleaning tape and not the slot.

systematic92's picture

Craig, how do you keep track of how many cleans it has performed? Does backupexec automatically recognise the media and keep this stat intact?


CraigV's picture tapes come with a barcode which you'd put on the edge. The flat surface could take another label with blocks that could be ticked off.

I never loaded a cleaning tape into an autoloader unless it was required. I seem to remember reading something that when a cleaning tape is loaded during an Inventory job for instance, that it would clean the drive and use up 1 of its "lives".

There is the option to export a cleaning tape if you have used it x-amount of times in a library. If you have a cleaning tape in an autoloader, maybe create a stand-alone partition containing just the tape, and have an export job that kicks in once this tape is used up, as per the vendor's recommendations.


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systematic92's picture

Interesting and weird results.

So my cleaning slot that I have designated is SLOT 9 and I have 3 tapes with bar codes on them.

The first tape I inserted (when creating this thread) marked two values - 38 and 50

So I inserted a different tape (different barcode) into the slot and I get the values of 0 and 20

I insert a third tape into the slot with a different bar code and same again 0 and 20

I then place the original tape (one that was reporting 38 and 50) back into the same slot, scanned the slot and its now reporting 0 and 20 aswell?? WTF???

It seems like BEXEC doesnt have a way of remembering what tape has been used and how many times. 

Where am I going wrong gents?

CraigV's picture those stats really matter to how you use the tapes though?

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systematic92's picture

The other strange part is that when I right click the slot and uncheck the option that says 'Cleaning Slot' the clean job runs fine.....I thought you had to statically assign this but obviously not. I presume device auto-detects the cleaning media via the barcode.....

The stats arent really too important but its just a way of us keeping on top of how many times a tape has been used. At the moment I have 3 tapes that are either brand new or been used over 100 times. Itd be nice to have some sort of record so that we know of when to dispose of a tape when it reaches the recommended manufacturers threshold

CraigV's picture

...check your tape vendor's recommendations. If you're over that, then the tape is just running in the drive and quite possibly doing nothing. In other words, if it isn't cleaning the drive, it's doing more harm than good by not doing its job.


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am09's picture

I'm having same question as systematic92...

Here is not giving satisfactionary answer..

CraigV's picture

...I believe that the answer/s given above are sufficient as was the answer in your query too. It depends on the vendor's recommendations, so you need to verify with their best practice. Simple as that...


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