Manually Ejecting Stuck LTO Tape from an HP Drive

Sadly, the stuck tape for me was a symptom of a larger issue with the drive itself. But, we have an HP LTO4 autoloader displaying an odd error on the LCD

incomp. medium

I tried everything via the hardware interface, but we knew a tape was stuck in there. So, I removed the drive unit and saw the tape.

Stuck LTO4 tape

Rather than just cutting into the mechanism, I found this video on youtube to at least try and extract the stuck LTO4 tape through the proper process.

I was able to extract the tape and found the post-it note jammed in the slot, but that wasn’t the ultimate issue that doomed the drive.

post-it note stuck in LTO drive


The drive mechanism that grabs and guides the cartridge broke and was not able to be easily repaired.

Broken LTO4 drive

So, the drive was a loss, but hey, I was able to get the tape out. The video was absolutely key. Good luck to you.


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  • i managed to put back this tape pull part. you are holding on the last picture. for that you have to remove the top board after carefully unlocking then unplugging cables. then you can remove the plastic cover which is on top of the tape path. this way entire path for the tape will be exposed so you can easily put back into the first roll, just next to the tape when inserted.

  • I’m trying to do the nearly the same thing, but using a tape drive removed from a Spectra T50e tape library. The drive comes easily out of the library unit, contained within some sort of tape unit tray. Problem is that I don’t see any of the parts mentioned in the video. Did you have this same problem? From your pictures it looks like you also had some sort of drive tray, too.