[rescue] mt erase

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Wed May 9 15:40:26 CDT 2007

    On Wed, 9 May 2007, Kevin Foote wrote:

> im wondering what the mt erase option actually does? does it write zeros
> till the tape end ??

    I believe the actual erasure mechanism is up to the tape drive
itself, but the operation (aka "DSE" or "Data Security Erase") has
been around for years.  Many "proper" (think nine-track) drives can
do this at high speed, but more modern stuff (think helical scan or
DLT) typically erase at normal write speeds which can take forever --
and the operation is frequently non-interruptable (the "mt" goes
into a wait state for the drive to indicate it's done).

    We had a guy do that once at an ex-POE and it took the drive out
of commission for about five hours.  We were not amused.

| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |

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