LTO Type M cartridge (M8)
Media Formatting Service

Gentronics now offers LTO M8 media formatting services.
Contact us with any M8 media formatting requests, or call: +44(0)1380 819 663.

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Background to LTO M Cartridge and M8 Media

The LTO Consortium, made up originally of ‘The Big Three’: HP, Quantum (Seagate/Certance), and IBM, added a new capability to the LTO8 tape drive; the ability to write 9TB native on a new and unused LTO Ultrium 7 tape cartridge.
A standard L7 formatted LTO tape can be 6TB capacity native; the M8 formatted cassette provides a 50% increase in native storage capacity on the less expensive LTO7 tape media to 9TB.

The newly formatted (labelled) cartridge is called ‘an LTO Ultrium 7 cartridge initialised as Type M media M8’. These cartridges are identifiable by using an automation barcode label ending with the characters M8, as per the example below.

LTO M8 Media Formatting Service

LTO M8 cartridge details

Initialised M8 cartridges can only be written and read in an LTO 8 tape drive; LTO 7 tape drives can NOT read initialised M8 cartridges. An LTO 9 generation tape drive can NOT read or write to an M8 formatted tape.

IBM is now the only manufacturer of LTO tape drives. Quantum and HP no longer manufacture LTO drives; all other companies are OEM branding the IBM LTO drive.

There is a minimum firmware requirement on the LTO8 tape drive of HB82 to support the M8 format.


Your M8 media is at risk of being downgraded and reformatted to L7 (6TB native) if inserted in an LTO7 tape drive or in an LTO8 tape drive with an older firmware revision than HB82. If you use the type M media in automation, you must check that your library supports M8.

Gentronics also offers media barcode printing and labelling services. Get in touch with Gentronics to discuss your LTO M8 Media Formatting requirements.

Call us on: +44(0)1380 819 663.

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