Format LTFS tapes

LTFS uses LTO-8, LTO-7, LTO-6 or LTO-5 tapes, which must be formatted before they can be used.

Insert a tape

Blank tapes will be automatically detected and a format panel will appear.

LTFS tapes must be formatted with a unique 6 character code. The code can use the letters A-Z and numbers 0-9, for example 123456, ABCDEF, YO1234, 17376A matching the barcode label.
The tape barcode label is 8 characters, which is the user selectable 6 characters with either L5, L6, L7, M8 or L8 on the end for LTO-5, LTO-6, LTO-7 or LTO-8 tapes. So 123456L5, ABCDEFL6, YO1234L6, 17376AL7.
Do not use the same code for multiple tapes, always use different codes even if making copies.
Use barcode labels for all tapes, this means that they can be used with YoYotta Automation and an LTO library. Also they are an easy way to identify tapes.

Format the tape

Using compression is recommended, the LTO drive will compress in hardware, for uncompressed files the transfer speed will be faster and more files can be stored on the tape.
The compression is lossless and varies from 1:1 to 2.5:1. With uncompressed files like DPX and ARRIRAW you will see a small space saving, maybe 1.1:1.
With all other video files that are already compressed like ProRes or H.264 there won't be any reduction in size, but it's no slower so we suggest leaving it enabled all the time.
The ratio 2.5:1 allows the LTO vendors to quote a crazy compressed figure of 15TB on LTO-7 and 6TB on LTO-6. This would only be achieved with text or other files that compress easily. We haven't found anyone with that amount of text files !!
Click the format button to start.

Formatting complete

YoYotta will automatically mount the tape. This will take several minutes.

Tape formatted

The tape is now mounted and ready to add as a destination. After use eject the tape.
Then to read the tape insert it into the drive and mount it.

YoYotta reserves a minimum of 100GB on each tape, this avoids any problems with tape capacity if files need to be re transferred. If needed this space can be increased to 300GB or 500GB. The reason for increasing this would be to allow small amounts of related files to be added to the tape in the future. Also some studios require a larger space to be left on tapes when delivering camera footage.

Reformatting tapes

Click the Format button in the LTFS panel to reformat a tape. Deleting folders from the tape does not recover space. To remove all data and reuse the tape then you must reformat.
YoYotta LTFS detects that the tape is already formatted and warns before allowing reformatting.

Occasionally you may want to unformat a tape. Press both the control and option/alt keys and click the Format button. This removes the LTFS header so the tape will appear as a new blank tape.

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