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 Post subject: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 8:36 
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Joined: May 3rd, 2011, 9:52
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Location: France
Hi GURUs...

First, i know it's HDDguru but, even if it's tapes, it's still data recovery.

I sometimes have tapes data recovery. Until now, it's not really an issue. Most of the time, I manage to recover the data.
But actually, my problem is that there is so many cartridges (or cassettes), so many reader and so many software for tapes... So I'm asking if there would be an "universal" solution for tape data recovery.

So my questions are :
Do you guys also have tape to recover ?
I yes, what do you use when you have tapes to recover ? Can you give me some advice on how to handle this in a universal way ?
In advance, thank's.

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 10:08 
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Joined: October 23rd, 2006, 8:56
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best software hands down would be MediaMerge PC, but the cost can be difficult to justify if you don't have a large volume of tapes coming in.


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 10:26 
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Joined: May 3rd, 2011, 9:52
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Location: France
Ok thank's for answering...
When you say that "cost can be difficult to justify", what do you mean ? 1000 $ ? 10000 $ ? more ? I can't find the price on theire website...

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 23:35 
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 17:35
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
Do not think there is a universal way.
As far as I know:
1) you need a tape reader that reads the model tape you have (be aware of compatibility issues)
2) if one used, you need to have the backup software used to make the backups on the tape
3) quite often files need to be converted to PC format so can make sense of th7e data
4) quite often the tapes are not damaged, but people just need data extracted and converted off the tape as they no longer have the reader equipment
5) who can tell you what or what not to charge?!?

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 4:04 
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@labtech : that's how i work... I was looking for something more universal...

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 15th, 2012, 19:47 
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 17:35
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
But after looking into qusimodo's suggestion, that may ease things up quite a bit. Nice share.

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 11:16 
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Joined: July 18th, 2006, 3:05
Posts: 7532
Location: ITALY
I do tape work , including format conversion.

The major problem is the HW needed (Tape readers etc.) , when you have something that handle your media , the rest is secondary.
Unfortunately there's no universal solution, especially at HW.

Oh, and people still ask for recovering / reading old media like DC6150, DC2120, DC2000, old DAT, 8mm and even older, only the open reel seems almost disappeared (crossing fingers...).

I second Quasimodo about MediaMerge, alternative solution is to get brand-dependent SW for the readers you use , especially the old floppy interface connected tape drives...

aaaahhh..... nostalgia mood :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 12:08 
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Joined: June 9th, 2008, 12:06
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I'll add that it's useful to preserve images of tape under Linux using dd until EOT (not EOF) is reached....

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 16:42 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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Location: Australia
I still have some 100ips / 75ips open reel tape drives in my garage ...

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 18:47 
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Joined: March 13th, 2005, 12:33
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Location: Dublin
You will find that MediaMerge is priced out of the reach of most people unless you are processing hundreds of tapes per year.

Their sales strategy sucks ass. If it was reasonably priced, i.e. somewhere around the £5000 mark, they would sell a lot more to the DR community.

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 18th, 2012, 6:38 
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Joined: February 13th, 2012, 5:29
Posts: 50
Location: United States
Yeah, but if this thing supports more than 1-2 of the recent standards... That's actually kind of cheap! Even cheap LTO-5 drives are about US$2K. :roll:

Personally, I'd just have a drawer full of old drives in almost-new condition inside dust jackets... And a couple of systems (1 with ISA/PCI/FDD, another with PCI-E/SATA/SAS) to use them with. I used to do this in the 1990's with floppy discs/MFM hard drives/etc. but only needed one system that accepted the old ISA cards for converting MFM/RLL/ST drives over to IDE. Whoever tells you that one 1.2MB and one 1.44MB drive can read all disk formats is full of it, BTW.

Is there any specific reason that you can't do this and then transfer to hard drives to write with the newer tape drive? Too many tapes to be reasonable/efficient? Need automation? Not wanting to open a computer museum? (partially j/k on last one)


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 18th, 2012, 7:16 
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Joined: August 15th, 2006, 3:01
Posts: 3000
Location: CDRLabs @ Chandigarh [ India ]
Well ,
Nice useful post .I am also going to setup one pc for all of this

1 : Floppy discs 1.44 and 1.2
2 : Tapes "Can you People Direct Us To Some Hardware We Could Buy "
3 : SCSI And SAS

Thats All for Now

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 19th, 2012, 16:12 
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Joined: July 18th, 2006, 3:05
Posts: 7532
Location: ITALY
CK wrote:
You will find that MediaMerge is priced out of the reach of most people unless you are processing hundreds of tapes per year.

Their sales strategy sucks ass. If it was reasonably priced, i.e. somewhere around the £5000 mark, they would sell a lot more to the DR community.

Disagree...


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 1:32 
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Joined: December 12th, 2010, 9:50
Posts: 121
eamag (developer of mediamerge pc) does not seems to be interested in business. I requesed quote 2-3 times , but no reply.
Is there any tape recovery /format conversion commercial software other than mediamerge?


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 4:27 
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Joined: February 13th, 2012, 5:29
Posts: 50
Location: United States
Amarbir wrote:
Well ,
Nice useful post .I am also going to setup one pc for all of this

1 : Floppy discs 1.44 and 1.2
2 : Tapes "Can you People Direct Us To Some Hardware We Could Buy "
3 : SCSI And SAS

Thats All for Now


Tips:
1) There are USB floppy drives for you laptop owners. If you don't need 5.25" (1.2MB/360KB) or obscure formats from the 1980's, then a single 3.5" (1.44MB/800KB)will do fine. DO NOT write to a 360K disk with a 1.2MB drive if you EVER want to read the data back on any 360KB drives. The higher-density drives only write to half the track width=muffled on reading with 360KB drive's heads. Macs and PCs use a compatible low-level format so you can read Mac disks from the 1980's on a PC, assuming that they can in fact be read. Some drives will have trouble with some disks that are just plain out of alignment. You should have a normal drive for disks written by drives that haven't fallen off a truck, and another that easily lets you adjust calibration to 'unfall' the alignment. Oh, and keep the drive clean! ;)
2) Ugh, you should have been already collecting years ago (sadly) but start with the obvious stuff like Travan or ZIP (100/250/750, beware click-of-death revisions) or LTO (latest drives support LTO-5). Basically, if you don't want to go down that road of buying every storage format mentioned on Wikipedia and the money involved (gonna need several drives of each format for some of the less reliable), go with what you've seen used by your target audience. Learning to fix obsolete drives is... ugh, a masochist dream - better get paid well to convert their old records!
3a) SCSI is a bad name. There are many, many different connectors (25/50/68/80, centronics/pin arrays/...), electrical specifications (LVD/HVD/..., different terminators needed), protocol variations that some drives shouldn't be on the same cable, overpriced all of the above, and oh, did I mention more revisionism than a DC Comics book? But if you have some specific questions, I can help you find your way.
3b) Think of this as SCSI without all the annoyances caused by having all those physical and electrical variations. One specification to rule them all. It's the total mirror of SCSI! Only one big gotcha I've seen a lot of is stuff like servers/arrays locking you into vendor-approved firmwares+drives, but that's only on the RAID's which you probably shouldn't mess with in the first place. If someone is needing to image individual drives from an array of supposedly-redundant disks, then something is seriously wrong and their data is probably seriously gone! (LOL) Has anyone had problems with drives not reading outside their proprietary arrays? As in not even reading on a non-RAID setup? I won't even get into tools for rebuilding arrays outside the original hardware. That's not normally considered worth knowing. Any sane person would have told you to keep offsite backups... If you're putting that much money into RAID hardware, it makes no sense not to go the last mile. Imagine spending $1m on a house and then skipping the smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Ouch...

http://www.emaglink.com/MMPC.htm
Oh wow, that's just the software. Still probably worth it if you're needing something organized to do thousands of tapes at-a-time, and want to be able to use most stuff without all kinds of software/driver crow-barring. Still too much if you don't, though! What kind of price is it? Anyone get a quote?


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 15:53 
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Joined: March 13th, 2005, 12:33
Posts: 872
Location: Dublin
Quote:
Disagree...


Care to elaborate?

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 16:01 
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Joined: August 12th, 2008, 13:11
Posts: 3241
Location: USA
JWCC wrote:
Macs and PCs use a compatible low-level format so you can read Mac disks from the 1980's on a PC, assuming that they can in fact be read.

This is not accurate, doubly so for older 400k/800k Mac floppies.

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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 16:08 
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Joined: October 23rd, 2006, 8:56
Posts: 1342
labtech wrote:
But after looking into qusimodo's suggestion, that may ease things up quite a bit. Nice share.

Thanks


Glad to help :D


labtech wrote:
Do not think there is a universal way.
As far as I know:
1) you need a tape reader that reads the model tape you have (be aware of compatibility issues)
2) if one used, you need to have the backup software used to make the backups on the tape
3) quite often files need to be converted to PC format so can make sense of th7e data
4) quite often the tapes are not damaged, but people just need data extracted and converted off the tape as they no longer have the reader equipment
5) who can tell you what or what not to charge?!?


That's correct, however when dealing with bad tapes, the vendors software is often limited at best.


ici_lemmy wrote:
@labtech : that's how i work... I was looking for something more universal...

There is no universal way, If things would be too easy, everyone would do it :D


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2012, 21:27 
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Joined: February 13th, 2012, 5:29
Posts: 50
Location: United States
drc wrote:
JWCC wrote:
Macs and PCs use a compatible low-level format so you can read Mac disks from the 1980's on a PC, assuming that they can in fact be read.

This is not accurate, doubly so for older 400k/800k Mac floppies.

Eww... Just... Eww. I hated those back in the day. GCR and CRV and bunch of other ugly terms come to mind. If you're unlucky enough to need to copy those, you're hopefully lucky enough to get a real Mac or Apple II (GS preferibly) with a working, cleaned, restored/recalibrated drive. At least the software for the original systems isn't too hard.

The Mac and Apple II systems never used 1.2M as far as I remember. 1.44M discs read the same on both, though. They just use a different filesystem. It depends on what you mean by 'low-level'.


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 Post subject: Re: Tape issue
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 6:22 
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Joined: December 12th, 2010, 9:50
Posts: 121
What is price for mediamerge pc ? Is there anyone lucky to get reply from them. I could not find any other tape recovery software.
any suggestions?


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