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We have investigated the wear and recession of the shielded spin-valve head in a helical-scan tape system. We report the wear caused by rubbing by metal evaporated tape optimized for the giant magnetoresistive (GMR) head. We have also studied the recession of the GMR head in an accelerated dust environment, taking into consideration the actual operating conditions. The results confirm the feasibility of the practical use of shielded spin-valve GMR heads in helical-scan tape systems at a high recording density.