Need to know DDS drive used to write backup tapes

From: Zane H. Healy <>
Date: Thu Sep 30 15:57:04 2004

> If the cartridges (note correct USian spelling) have a tape length
> printed on them that will tell you whether they're 1GB, 2GB, etc. Most
> DDS drives will read, if not write, older formats. IOW a DDS3 drive
> should rad a DDS1 tape.

Interesting, I'd not considered trying to read them in a newer drive. I do
know that about seven years ago I tried reading some with the DDS1 drives
that we had at the time (they'd have been written on a DDS1 drive). The
research I did at that time indicated that for a DDS1 tape, you *REALLY*
need to know the type drive they were written on in order to read them, as
one manufacturers DDS1 drive was likely to be incompatible with anothers.

> > My recommendation has been to send them to the data recovery service that we
> > use (same with the stash of 8mm's).[A
> I'd be inclined to do some futzing around with them first. A DDS1-3
> drive will just spit the tape if it can't ID the media, and depending on
> the Unix in question, it's an odds-on bet that the archives were made
> with either tar or cpio.

At this point, due to the value of the data on the tapes, I'm not sure I
feel comfortable attempting to retrieve it, as I'm operating under the
assumption that you have one try per tape, and this is with tapes that have
been stored properly. Still the big thing is I simply don't have time to
deal with the amount we have.

> > I'd much rather have to retrieve data from a TK50 than a 4mm or a 8mm!
> True, but the time-frame for these narrows the field considerably.

Based on what I've seen, and what I've read on media longevity, the lifespan
of a TK50 is considerably longer than a 8mm (8mm, has a two year lifespan,
I'm not sure what the lifespan of 4mm tapes are). I've recovered data from
TK50's that were 15+ years old.

Received on Thu Sep 30 2004 - 15:57:04 BST

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