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Firmware
Besides requiring drivers, LTO drives themselves rely on firmware. As a LTO drive is basically a computer, consider the firmware to be its operation system. This firmware is just as much under active development as are the drivers, and should therefore not ignored when troubleshooting. When you run into issue, but all drivers are installed correctly, make sure your firmware is up to date.
Note: firmware is vendor-specific. Most modern LTO drives are made by IBM. For Tandberg, HPE, and older Quantums, please refer to the respective vendor websites instead.

Most modern Quantum drives are actually IBM drives, so you can use the ITDT process described below to update your firmware. Quantum's firmware versions are available for download here:

To update your IBM LTO drive's firmware, first you install ITDT - IBM's LTO utility - and then you update the firmware using ITDT.

2. Open Terminal.app, then enter this single command followed by [Enter]:
~/Downloads/install_itdt_macos
3. An alert will open. Click Cancel.
4. You'll first need to allow the installation. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.
5. Click the Allow Anyway button (no need to click the Lock icon 🔒 first).
6. Go back to Terminal, then enter the same command again followed by [Enter]:
~/Downloads/install_itdt_macos
7. Another alert opens, this time click Open.
8. Go back to Terminal, and input this command followed by [Enter]:
~/ITDT/itdt
9. Type L, hit [Enter], then I, and again [Enter].
ITDT is now set up.

Next, the firmware itself:
1. Download the latest firmware for your unit. Qualstar conveniently maintains a full list of available firmware on their website: https://www.qualstar.com/ibm-lto-firmware-directory/
If your LTO drive is housed inside a Thunderbolt device (i.e. mLogic, MagStor, Symply, OWC) use the SAS versions, not the FC (Fiber Channel) versions.
2. Move the downloaded firmware file into ~/ITDT/input.
  • Not sure how to get to that folder? In Finder, hit Shift-Command-H.
Next, close ALL apps that you use with LTO, and unmount any tapes.
3. Go back to Terminal (ITDT is still open) and enter the following commands to open the connection to your tape device, and upload the firmware:
  • u, then [Enter]
  • 1 (one, not el), then [Enter]
  • If you have just one tape device, tape0 is your device name so just hit [Enter] four times.
If you have multiple LTOs connected, the easiest way to make sure you're updating the correct LTO device is to power off the other units. Alternatively, you can look up your device's SCSI ID in System Information > SAS. In this example screenshot, the device ID is 0:
SCSI Device ID is 0
  • 71, then [Enter].
  • If you properly copied the firmware into the input folder, you'll see a view like this listing your firmware file in slot 0:
Firmware KAJ9 for LTO-6 loaded in ITDT
  • Select the firmware with 0 and an x will appear next to it.
  • Continue with C , then [Enter] and wait until done.
  • A successful upgrade will have a PASSED status:
A successful firmware update.
  • Hit [Enter] to return to the Tape Util menu.
4. When back in the Tape Util menu close the connection to the tape:
  • Type 2, then [Enter] twice.
5. Now you can quit ITDT: q then [Enter]
6. You can safely close Terminal now: Command-Q.
Last modified 14d ago
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Updating Quantum firmware
Updating IBM firmware
ITDT setup
Updating Firmware