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So when a tape gets physically stuck (LTO-3), does anyone have any recommendations for getting it out if you can get to it from the bay?

Right now, I have been using a screw driver and sticking it into the little area that is for write protection:

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This probably means I need to replace the drive, but ignoring that, is there a better tool or method? Am I insane to do this without unplugging the machine (it doesn't look like there is anything exposed that would have current)...?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Sorry, but when we had a similar incident we had to actually open the juke feeder for the tape drive with a screwdriver..removing screws...and remove the cartridge.

Otherwise the method you're using now should work, but you will most likely have to look for a replacement as soon as you can.

Is this happening with all tapes or just a particular one? Can you see what's causing the "stick" (misalignment, motor problem, cartridge issue)?

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This has been my only successful method with stuck lto tape in IBM drive. Side note: we switch over to fuji tapes from verbatim and we've had far less failures and stuck tapes. Not sure why. – egorgry Aug 3 '09 at 13:53
Trying many tapes now to see oh frequency, particular m tapes etc. But, how might I know if its a misalignment or motor problem? That is beyond my current experience / knowledge. – Kyle Brandt Aug 3 '09 at 13:53
Sometimes it's something obvious like grinding or you can tell if the tape is physically moving a little then "hitting" something, or if an edge is getting caught at one end...just not "sitting" right. Just some sort of audio or physical clue to zero in on where the issue is. – Bart Silverstrim Aug 3 '09 at 14:11
Think it is the certain tape, so going to leave that one aside and see if any others cause problems, the last few haven't. – Kyle Brandt Aug 3 '09 at 17:02

If the tape is not ejecting all the way then you need to replace the drive and the "stick a screwdriver in the R/W tab and pray" method will work until then. Another method I've used is grabbing the tape with a pair of pliers

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