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This course covers the operational procedures for handling and maintaining tape volumes and devices on an IBM i system. This discussion includes both physical tape volumes and virtual tape volumes, which are stored as tape image files on disk.

The course begins by describing the terms and concepts associated with magnetic tape volumes and devices. You will see how data is recorded on a tape and the purpose of tape labels. The course then introduces virtual tape volumes, image catalogs, and virtual devices.

Next, the course covers the IBM Navigator for i tasks used to work with physical and virtual tape volumes and devices. You will see how to display and change the status of a tape device and initialize a tape volume. Next, the course covers how to display or print tape information, including the contents of tape labels and the data recorded on a tape. You will also see how to duplicate a tape volume.

The course then shows you how to manage tape libraries and tape image catalogs. Finally, you will see how to respond to common tape-related messages.

Approximate Study Time: 3-4 hours


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define tape-related terms, including block, inter-block gap, read/write head, label, and tape mark
  • Describe the format of a standard-labeled tape
  • Identify the contents of volume and file labels
  • Describe the purpose of the write-protect tab or knob on a tape cartridge
  • Identify the proper procedures for handling tape cartridges
  • Define terms relating to virtual media, including virtual volume, image catalog, and virtual device
  • Describe the procedures for creating and using virtual tapes
  • Identify applications for virtual tapes
  • Display the status of a tape device
  • Vary a tape device online or offline
  • Reset a tape device
  • Format a tape volume
  • Display the properties of a tape device
  • Display tape labels
  • Print the contents of a tape
  • Make a copy of a tape
  • Display the status of a tape library and its tape devices and cartridges
  • Assign a tape cartridge to a library category
  • Format a tape cartridge within a library
  • Eject a cartridge from a tape library
  • Add a virtual tape volume to an image catalog
  • List all tape image catalogs and the volumes in a particular catalog
  • Mount, load, or unload a specified virtual volume
  • Change the attributes of a virtual tape volume
  • Respond properly to tape volume- and tape device-related messages

Topic Outline

Tape Concepts

Virtual Tapes

Working with Tape Devices

Responding to Tape Messages

Managing Tape Libraries

Managing Virtual Tape Volumes and Image Catalogs

Responding to Tape Messages

Displaying Tape Information


This course should be taken by the person responsible for the operation of an IBM i system. This person may be a dedicated operator, a system administrator, or a designated user.


This course assumes that you understand IBM i concepts and can perform basic operational tasks using IBM Navigator for i. You can satisfy these prerequisites by successfully completing the Introduction to the IBM i Environment series (including Using Navigator for i), the Work Management Concepts course, and Basic Operations Using Navigator for i.