Testing Lab

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Five Phase Certification Compliance Program

Tri-Magnetics engineers continue to evaluate and improve their data tape certification process in order to ensure the quality of the product based on performance and functionality.

Thru their continuous improvement and zero defect methodologies, TRi has maintained their reputation for providing a low cost, high quality certified data tape.

  • Phase I Sourcing Evaluation Process
  • Phase II. Physical Inspection
  • Phase III. Data Tape Degaussing and Sanitation
  • Phase IV. Data Tape Eradication for Servo track Preservation
  • Phase V. Data Tape Certification

The Five Phase Certification process was developed to ensure an error-free performance and longer life-span. Products are individually tested in TRI’s high tech testing lab to improve data recording integrity, tape life, and to eliminate debris that often causes data checks and head wear. This process is compliant with industry mandates on data traceability, and data sanitation for reclamation against replacement tape or disposal.

Five Phase Certification Compliance Program

Phase I Sourcing Evaluation Process

Initially, tape cartridges are sourced from large data centers to ensure the quality of the used product that is received in our facility for the re-certification process.

This is important for two main reasons:

  1. These sourcing targets must abide by their strict storage policies, which ensure the tapes proper storage conditions.
  2. Since sourcing targets track the date the tape was purchased as well as the usage of each tape, this information allows us to determine the expected life of the tape.

Tape cartridges sourced from smaller computer centers are evaluated and sorted according to age, usage and condition to ensure the reliability of the used tape to be certified.

Phase II. Physical Inspection

Once the tape has undergone our sourcing evaluation process and is received at our facility, it is stored according to manufacturers recommended storage conditions (15 ± 3° C (59 ± 5° F) and 20-40% maximum relative humidity (RH). Each tape cartridge then goes through a physical inspection to ensure that there is no damage to the tape casing, the leader block, spring loading hub, and the write protect selector.

Each tape that passes the physical inspection is submitted to our data degaussing/eradication process to completely remove all previous data and data remanence. A tape that is deemed unusable due to physical/mechanical defects is completely degaussed, mechanically chopped/crushed and properly destroyed according to environmental requirements.(add environmental link)

Phase III. Data Tape Degaussing and Sanitation

For non-servo track tapes, each tape is degaussed with Garner’s 4000 oersted CDS-4000FS Eliminator degausser. This industry recommended degaussing equipment complies with the following mandates and security guidelines for data tape sanition:

Garner’s CDS-4000FS degausser brochure and specification link.

Phase IV. Data Tape Eradication for Servo track Preservation

For servo track tapes, each tape undergoes an eradication process to sanitize the previous data and preserve the servo track. TRi’s eradication procedure overwrites all addressable locations with a test pattern of characters and verifies the pattern of characters; all locations with binary zeros. These procedures comply with the United States Department of Defense (DoD) 5220.22-M National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM).

The process of eradication consists of overwriting usable data with a pattern of non- usable data, binary zeros in every bit position, every track, and the full length of every cartridge if necessary. In result, the previous data is overwritten thereby providing total eradication of all previous recorded information. Eradicating the data preserves the prerecorded ‘servo track’ on each tape, which deems necessary for tape reclamation against replacement tape.

Through this process, our customers remain confident that their data will never be compromised. Once the tapes received have undergone our data eradication process, a certificate of data eradication is issued to the customer to provide documentation for verification of compliance to regulatory mandates.
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) 5220.22-M National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). The Clearing and Sanitization Matrix can be obtained from on page 57-58 of the NISPOM manual. This matrix identifies sanitation processes that are compliant. http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/500/d522022m.pdf

Phase V. Data Tape Certification

Once the data tape has been sanitized, each tape is individually tested in a tape testing lab utilizing original manufacturer’s tape drives and proprietary certification software. This certification process ensures the data recording integrity of the tape by performing a stringent write/read/verification test.

First, a complete test pattern is written on the specified length of the tape and verified to ensure that each data byte can be written on the tape. For example, recertifying a 3480 data cartridge consist of writing test data throughout the full length of the tape 10000 bytes by 21000 blocks, which represents its native capacity of 210mb.

Once the test pattern is written and verified, our certification software ensures that the pattern can be read back without one data mismatch.

This write/read/verification test uncovers real errors and test for dropouts that cannot be recovered. The testing specification is set to abort the test if the tape exceeds one data mismatch to ensure an error free performance on each tape.

Tapes which pass Tri-Magnetics certification process are submitted back into the data degaussing/eradication processes for its final sanitation prior to resubmission into the market.

Only when the 5 Phases have been completed is each tape guaranteed to be fully certified according to industry standards and in compliance with regulatory mandates. Regardless of the brand name of the data tape, this certification process creates a tape that is compatible in all drives.