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How many times can you write to a 3490e tape cartridge?

What is the life of a 3490e tape cartridge? Specifically, how many times can you write to it?

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The wear characteristics are primarily induced by passes of the tape across the heads. This causes tape stretching and particulate abrasion (rubbing off the material). Tape vendors rate a tape on its durability, which is the number of forward passes across the tape. For a 3490E, Imation rates the long length tape as 2,000 read forward passes and short tape length for 120,000 read forward passes. The actual cartridge shell is rated for 5,000 loads/unloads.

This was first published in October 2005

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