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This course covers the operational procedures for handling and maintaining tape volumes on an IBM i system.

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 discusses the proper handling of tape volumes and how you should respond to common tape messages.

Next, the course covers the IBM i commands and displays used to work with tape volumes and devices. You will see how to create a backup of an IBM i library, display and change the status of a tape device, initialize tapes, copy tapes, and perform other tape-related tasks.

Finally, the course covers how to display or print tape information, including the contents of tape labels and the data recorded on a tape.

Approximate Study Time: 90 minutes


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
  • Identify the proper procedures for handling tape reels and cartridges
  • Identify the IBM i command to perform a given tape
  • Identify the purpose of the write-protect tab on tape cartridges and the write-enable ring on tape reels, and determine whether a given reel or cartridge can be used for output
  • Create a backup of an IBM i library
  • Properly respond to tape-related messages
  • Verify that a tape device operates properly
  • Display the status of a tape device
  • Vary a tape device online or offline
  • Initialize one tape or a series of tapes
  • Display tape labels
  • Print the contents of a tape
  • Make a copy of a tape

Topic Outline

Tape Concepts

Tape Handling

Controlling the Status of Tape Devices

Initializing Tapes

Displaying Tape Information


This course should be taken by the person responsible for the physical operation of the computer system. This person may be a dedicated operator or a designated user.


This course assumes that you can perform basic IBM i operations. You can satisfy this prerequisite by successfully completing the courses from following series: