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Long erase of VXA 33 GB tape taking 19+ hours; let it go? how long?

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I decided to try a long erase of a VXA 33 GB tape (external narrow SCSI drive on single-800 Power Mac running 10.2.8). It's been going on for 19+ hours. How long should I let it go before I finally give up and force quit or restart?


P.S. Now I notice that the tape drive is idle, and may have been idle since yesterday evening (I do seem to remember hearing it rewinding). So Retrospect is simply hung. Is this a bug? Can I feel safe in force quitting? How can I avoid this? Just by avoiding "long erase"?


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