I haven't had this problem. I set up a scratch pool of tapes and any tape that is available for use will be written on. This is described in the following excerpt taken from the BRMS Redbook:
* Scratch pool:
With a scratch pool, tapes are not allocated to specific sets. When a tape is required for output, any available scratch tape can be used. This requires that you keep an inventory of all tapes so that available tapes can be identified. The advantage is that tapes do not need to be allocated in advance. If the inventory is well managed, tape usage can be balanced rather than some tapes being used more than others. You can control the retention periods down to the file level on the tape. A scratch pool is easily managed by BRMS/400, which is the preferred option.
Do you have a scratch pool defined in BRMS or are you using tape sets? If you do have a scratch pool defined and you continue to have this problem, I would recommend that you contact IBM Support Line and report this as a bug.
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This was first published in October 2002