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When is a tape a new tape?
How does a tape drive know whether a tape is new?
When a virgin tape is loaded onto a tape drive, the drive extracts information encoded in the servo bands on the tape and writes this information into the CM (more about the CM). See also: Wikipedia paragraph 4.2 for an excellent entry about the LTO CM. The just written CM locations are then write-protected and no further writing to these locations is possible. Other CM locations are continually updated such as error statistics, number of mounts, bytes written/read, and similar.
The write protection of this part of the CM is a sure sign that the tape has been previously used.
When a used tape is "new"
Most manufacturers test at least some of their tapes before shipping. The tests write a few records on the tape and then read the data back. During these tests, the drive write-protects a part of the CM as described above.
These tested tapes have been used, but it is still reasonable to call them "new". This is similar to buying a new car. A few miles on the odometer (maybe up to 100) is OK, but a car with a few thousand miles is not a new car.
How can you know?
VeriTape® will tell you. A tape that either has never been loaded into a tape drive, or a tape with only a few test records is displayed as "new". In the latter case VeriTape® shows that some data has been written to this "new" tape.
Erased tapes are used tapes
Erased tapes are used tapes, not new tapes. Our equipment erases all previous recording remants from repeatedly recorded tapes, even those from the very first recording. In addition, it cleans debris off the tape surface. This technology is used by a world class library company to clean all tapes, even new tapes.
Because of this unique technology tapes that are erased by our equipment can be superior to new tapes. But they are still used tapes. Mislabeling erased tapes as "new" is in our opinion the moral equivalent of resetting the odometer of a used car.
VeriTape® identifies erased tapes
VeriTape® tells you if a tape has been erased. See Identification of refurbished tapes for more information.