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What do I do to change my VXA-1 written tapes to take advantage of the higher capacity VXA-2 format?
(KB # 5867F6C5)

The VXA-2 drive is capable of writing in either the VXA-1 format or in the higher capacity VXA-2 format. Which format is used depends on the situation.

Data will be written in VXA-2 format if...

  • Your backup application starts from the beginning of tape to overwrite the old VXA-1 formatted data. By default, the VXA-2 drive will write in VXA-2 format when starting from the beginning of tape.

Data will be written in VXA-1 format if...

  • Your backup application appends new data to the end of a dataset previously written by a VXA-1 drive. Since it is not possible to mix VXA-1 and VXA-2 formats on a single tape, the VXA-2 drive automatically writes in VXA-1 format.
  • Your backup application sends a Mode Select command to choose VXA-1 format. Even when overwriting from the beginning of tape, your backup application may still choose to override the default drive behavior and write in VXA-1 format. Your backup application may or may not provide you with a method of choosing the desired tape format.

If you are using a tape previously written by a VXA-1, and you are not seeing the expected VXA-2 capacities, you can try reformatting the tape in VXA-2 format.

CAUTION! Reformatting will destroy all data on the tape.

VXA-2 Tools available for various operating systems allow you to reformat a tape. The VXA-2 Tools can be found here.

VXA Tool for Windows: Use the Erase button on the Diagnostics Tab.
VXA Tool for Linux : Use the -e (erase) option.
VXA Tool for MacOSX : Use the -e (erase) option.
VXA Tool for Solaris: Use the -e (erase) option.

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