P5 & LTO-7 or 'LTO-7 Type M' (M8) media
Posted by Andre Kuehnemund on 10 May 2019 19:09
Due to the limited availability of LTO-8 media, we have been getting a lot of inquiries about using LTO-7 tapes with LTO-8 tape drives. As most of you probably know by now, LTO-8 drives can format LTO-7 tapes as either 'LTO-7' or 'LTO-7 Type M' media. 
A LTO-7 media has a native capacity of 6TB, whereas a 'LTO-7 Type M (M8)' tape has a native capacity of 9TB.

Sounds great, right? 50 percent more capacity for the same price. Are there any drawbacks? Does P5 support this new format?

As far as P5 and LTO-7 Type M media goes, here's the deal...

- P5 itself cannot label an LTO-7 tape as Type M by itself. However...
- P5 will work with Type M media and use their full 9TB capacity IF they were purchased pre-labeled as 'Type M' or were labeled as 'Type M' media outside of P5.
- P5 can only label LTO-7 tapes as LTO-7 media.
- A blank LTO-7 tape will be formatted as Type M media IF it is blank (i.e. has never been used) AND a "M8" barcode label has been affixed to the tape prior to labeling it.
- A tape that had been labeled as LTO-7 media previously cannot be relabeled as 'Type M' media. It will forever be a LTO-7 media.
- Likewise, any tape that has been labeled as 'Type M' media cannot be relabeled as LTO-7 media.

Finally, please keep in mind that when LTO-9 comes out, LTO-7 'Type M' media will no longer be supported. Only LTO-8 drives will be able to read (and write) 'Type M' media. LTO-9 tape drives, however, will be able to read regular LTO-7 media.  

For more information on the Type M format, please see here:

keywords: lto7 lto8 lto-7 lto-8 type-m typem (m8)
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Comments (2)
Mike Duncan
04 June 2019 23:00
This post ends with "LTO-9 tape drives, however, will be able to read regular LTO-7 media." Does the Read back two versions and Write only one version back rule still apply after the LTO-8 debacle?

Need to confirm that LTO-7 will be Readable in LTO-9 Drive down the road.


Andre Kuehnemund
06 August 2019 20:35
There's not much information available on the LTO consortium's website with regard to LTO-9.
According to the website, LTO-9 tape drives will be able to read standard LTO-7 media. A LTO-8 drive will be required to read LTO-7M formatted media. LTO-9 drives will not be able to read LTO-7M formatted media.
Please see here:

However, as you may be aware, LTO-8 drives apparently can't read LTO-6 formatted media, so that 'read two versions back ' guarantee does not seem to be set in stone... Please see here:

or here: (see under 'Compatibility').

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