The Story of Tape Data Recovery


For those curious about tape data recovery and what it entails and involves: read on! Tape data recovery the recovery of any data that has been lost on a tape, obviously, but what it involves is quite interesting. A tape cartridge can be damaged by any number of things from smoke to water to dropping the cartridge. Tapes can also be damaged by exposure to extreme temperatures, internal mechanism failure, and errors that are located in the middle of the tape’s file among other things.

Tape data has been recovered from tapes with water damage, missing oxide, folds in the tape material, sliced edges, blade damage, no oxide, bad oxide, and friction damage. There are generally two types of tape data recovery. These are known as physical recovery and logical recovery.

Physical Recovery

Physical tape data recovery is needed when there is actual physical damage to the tape itself. Something is physically wrong with the plastics or the cartridge itself and this prevents the data on the tape from being read properly. This type of recovery could be needed because of the deterioration of magnetic coatings on the actual tape surface, broken or cracked wheels or cartridge housings, twisted or folded tape, creased tape edges, broken tape, stretched tape, or any other reasons associated with the actual tape of the machinery.

Most places that deal in tap recovery promise a high recovery rate from the physical factors, usually over 98 percent which means that the trained professionals are very good at what they do. So if you have dropped your tape in the mud, water, or had it fall into any other materials and feel that it may be too damaged it is good to remember the high success rate of most tape recovery offices and get your equipment to them as soon as possible.

Logical Recovery

On the other hand, logical tape data recovery is somewhat more complicated. It is, because of the obvious complications, also significantly more expensive in most cases. Logical recovery is needed when data that was successfully recorded on the tape cannot be read for some unknown reason or set of circumstances that do not involve an actually visible form of damage to the tape and the tape body.

The recovery of files in logical recovery requires the technician to use multiple versions of tape recovery software and take many “passes” at the tape using it. Normally, the file can magically be pieced back together but the success rate of logical data recovery in the world of tapes is lower than it is when involving physical recovery.


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