TZ8x DLT III cartridge - torn leader

Antonio Carlini a.carlini at
Mon Sep 7 11:50:02 CDT 2020

On 02/09/2020 11:11, Antonio Carlini wrote:
> So I'm rather confused about what's happened. More importantly, I 
> don't know how to fix the drives I do have.

I thought I should follow up with further information, so as not to 
pollute the archives with mis-information.

The one tape unit that I've never used does indeed have a missing leader.

As for the others, they had all snapped the tape (from the cartridge) 
quite some way into the tape. So the leader was attached to the tape, 
which then surrounded it on the rear spool. I missed that because I 
didn't know what I was looking for. Once I realised what had happened I 
gently started to unwind the rear spool enough that I could grab the 
tape and then I basically pulled it all through (many metres of it) 
until I reached the tape leader. The tape was discarded and the leader 
reattached to the hook. That itself proved to be a bit fiddly the first 
time I did it. I found that to get the drive to POST properly I had to 
manually rotate the rear spool just enough to have the tape leader pull 
back gently on the hook.

I also had a stuck tape. That required me to use the screw underneath 
the centre of the inserted cartridge to rewind the tape back into the 
cartridge. Once I'd rewound all of it the tape leader came into view. It 
then detached from the tape. I don't remember if I had to do that 
manually or not. Similarly I may have reattached it to the hook 
manually. There's a lever to the side of the cartridge that you gently 
move to allow the tape to be released by lifting the normal handle.


Antonio Carlini
antonio at

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