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***smeg!***

Damnit. Stupid computer.

So, I've just been performing surgery on a DEC DLT drive... stupid thing kept giving me lots of dumbassed warning lights... and the only help Quantum (who took over that aspect of DEC) give is their oh-so-wonderful user manual... that says "If all the lights are flashing, press unload. This should clear the error. If this fails, power cycle the drive. This will fix the error."

Guess what guys, it didn't!

Try find *any* useful support docs on Quantums site... Nothing!

So Quantum want me to contact their engineers...

Yeah, right! I'm going to call a premium rate number to talk to someone who'll ask me to do everything I've already done, tell me the drive needs repairing at great expense and.... fat chance!

So, after lots of crawling around unplugging awkward-to-reach connections, its screwdrivers at the ready, set, dis-a-ssem-ble!!!

Drive in various bits, nothing obviously wrong... so its Google time...

Now you'd hope there'd be a service/field/technical manual for a DLT2000XT now, wouldn't you... or atleast a basic DLT2000... well, Google-be-damned if I could find one!

So now it's down to feeding choice tit-bits into Google to see what bites I get....

Having found that the leader bit of the take-up spool is all wrapped around the spool itself, I'm now trying to figure out where its supposed to go... so, Googling "DLT path through drive" gives me a path diagram... seems that DLT's have something they call a "swallow my leader" problem... sounds like what my drive is suffering from...

Now we're getting somewhere!

So, instructions on re-threading the leader are found and followed, drive is reassembled enough to work, all hooked up with power, etc, turn it on and so-far-so-good. Put a tape in and....

-lights flashing everywhere!- -tape won't eject (again)- -AAaarrg!-

*SMEG!*

So... I'm back to square one... its failing to load a tape...

So I take a close look at the leader... seems to be a little bit of damage and/or wear-and-tear at the tip... but obviously I haven't a clue what it looks like when its 'good'... could just be a little bit mangled, or it could be beyond hope....

More Googling... "DLT leader" and I have lots of instructions for attaching a new leader... with no pictures... and a phrase.... "mushroom tip"... now my leader certainly doesn't have anything that sounds like it would be described as that... but this is computing... things aren't always that sensible... could be that the first generation used something that was mushroom shaped and later ones just kept the name cos it had stuck.... best be sure... so it's more Googling still to come up with a reasonable diagram of a leader mushroom tip... yep, its mushroom shaped.. well, if you use a bit of imagination atleast.... and yep, mines screwed....

eBay to the rescue atleast... $20 from someone in the States... not sure about the shipping, hopefully not too much... it hardly weighs anything...

Its taken me 5 hours to sort this out to thispoint... I still have to wait for the new leader and fit it...

All because Quantum don't do decent documentation on their website...

Smegheads!