How do I troubleshoot tape drive errors on my AIX server?

Most tape drive errors are caused by defective media or dirty read/write heads. Here are a few simple steps that IBM provides to rule out these potential problems:

  1. Run a non-expired cleaning cartridge through the cleaning cycle three times
  2. Place a brand new tape in the drive
  3. Run a manual backup or wait for the next automatic backup to occur
  4. If errors persist, contact IBM for service