Magnetic Tape Data Recovery

Your backup is stored on Magnetic Tapes and you can’t restore it? PhD Recovery can help you.

More than 200 Recovered Magnetic Tapes

With over 13 years of experience in data recovery, we specialize in recovering Tape of any model and year

We use the data confidentiality agreement (NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement) as the most professional way to guarantee description, seriousness and loyalty

Recover Data on Magnetic Tapes

Recuperação de Dados em Fitas
Recover Magnetic Tapes

Our service is dedicated to those who need to recover data on Magnetic tapes and, for some reason, are unable to perform the procedures shared by the manufacturer of the backup software or even by the manufacturer of the backup tapes.

The headache and disappointment of receiving the news of the loss of a backup allocated in an offline media (Magnetic Tapes), generates great frustration for all managers, and especially for the IT team responsible for the custody of the company’s data, since this method of data storage cannot fail, as it usually ends up being the last option for the information to be restored by the internal IT team.

Sometimes, human error, failures during the reading of the tapes, accidents or natural disasters, updates to operating systems, and applications such as databases and e-mail servers, are already possible causes for the process of restoring data stored on Magnetic Tapes not to go as planned.

When an occasional problem arises with the Tapes, it is recommended to contact a professional dedicated to this type of situation as soon as possible, so that in a fast and safe way, data recovery can be done properly.

Consider recovering the data with who works for you to save time, money, and don’t suffer more unnecessary headaches.

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Magnetic Tapes Recovered

Specialists in Magnetic Tape Data Recovery - PhD Recovery

PhD Recovery’s advanced diagnostics are performed by professionals who specialize in data recovery from tapes and are ready to develop a customized solution for each project that requires some sort of differentiation.

Count on this team of experts to successfully recover your data and supply your company’s necessary demands.

Allow PhD Recovery to demonstrate that it is possible.

Through a customized NDA for your project, PhD Recovery guarantees total confidentiality during the entire data recovery process, or if you are more comfortable, we can use an NDA that your company has developed internally for this purpose.

We have a large and solid physical structure, a team of highly qualified specialists with access to the best and most up-to-date technology, because our laboratory is fully equipped to serve your company in the best possible way.

We are available to work on your project 24/7/365, because we know the importance of the data available to an organization.

Recuperação de Tape
Tape Recovery

WorkFlow Tape Recovery

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1st Phase
Media Sent ou Upload files

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2nd Phase
Diagnosis Advanced
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3rd Phase
Data Reconstruction and Recovery
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4th Phase
Remote Approval and Data Rollback

Common Problems with Magnetic Tapes

Service Life

The natural wear and tear of the components and of the magnetism of the tape, can have a negative impact during a restoration attempt.

Bad Actors

Bad Actors with access to the backup environment, who are often unmotivated employees and hurt by the company

Power Outage

In some cases it causes data corruption, and can even result in physical damage to the tape reading hardware.

Overwritten Data

The backup that needs to be restored has been overwritten by another backup that was written on the same tape.

Data Portability

Sometimes it is necessary to convert the backup to a different device or even to a tape containing more current technology so that it is easier for the IT staff to access it.

Corrupted Data

It is a recurring problem in older Magnetic Tapes, usually due to a failure in their internal structure, resulting from physical problems, stimulated by environmental factors.

Incompatible Drive

Several projects are tied to the need to recover data that is on a tape that the customer no longer has the drive to read properly. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Incomplete Backup Set

There are scenarios where a full backup needs two or more tapes to be stored properly. It happens that in many cases, one of the tapes has a problem that prevents access to other tapes, because there is a certain interdependence between them, thus preventing the restoration of the data as a whole.

Backup Software

On several occasions the customer needs to recover data from a tape which they no longer remember the name of the backup software that originally recorded the data.

6 Golden Tips for Magnetic Tape Users

1.

Try to keep the backup tapes at a temperature between 16°C and 32°C;

2.

Whenever possible, store backup tapes in an environment where the relative humidity is between 20% and 80%;

3.

It is very important to have strict control over the protection of the tapes against any kind of pollution, whether it is caused by dust, corrosive gases, or smoke;

4.

If your device has gotten wet, in an accident or even during a disaster, look for a specialist as soon as possible, so that you can receive vital guidance for this type of event;

5.

Under no circumstances try to open the tape with the intention of cleaning or diagnosing it without having the specific technical skill for the occasion;

6.

In case of a restoration need, always activate the physical security lock present on all tapes against future recordings first.

Our Magnetic Tape Recovery Services

Logic Problems

Restore Failure, Incomplete Backup set and Ransomware Attack

Physical Problems

Physical problems on the backup drives, Tape chunk rupture, Broken enclosure, Compromised internal tape mechanism, Service life near the end, Degraded media, and Read errors.

Data Portability

When the backup needs to be transferred to another, more modern media.

Forensic Expertise

Restore the data that was stored, in full and structured form for judicial use only.

Have You Ever Received a Negative Diagnosis?

PhD Recovery is known as the ultimate solution in highly complex cases.

Main Magnetic Tape Models

Tapes LTO

Tapes DAT

Tapes DDS

Tapes DLT

Tapes SDLT

Tapes SLR

Tapes AT

Tapes TR

Tapes QIC

FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Questions

In the vast majority of scenarios, data is written to magnetic tapes using backup software. Assuming that the tapes are in perfect condition and the original environment has been preserved, the backup software used to initially record the data can read a specific database to support the catalog process, and thus retrieve the data contained on the tape.

In scenarios where the tapes are unstable or the original environment has not been preserved, the restoration will possibly suffer some kind of negative impact during the recovery attempt process.

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  • Small accidents that cause undesirable and inappropriate physical impacts to the tapes;
  • Inadequate storage, causing problems in its functioning mechanism;
  • Tapes with damaged sectors (Bad Blocks);
  • Incomplete backup set.

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PhD Recovery specializes in Magnetic Tape data recovery and restoration, and these are the most common models and types of tapes that PhD Recovery receives for recovery:

LTO 1 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 1 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release year: 2000
  • Native data capacity: 100 GB
  • Compressed data capacity: 200 GB
  • Native transfer rate: 20 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 40 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: No
  • Encrypt function: No
  • Partitioning function: No
  • Tape thickness: 8.9 µm
  • Tape length: 609 m
  • Number of tracks: 384
  • Cartridge memory: 4,096 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 2 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 2 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release year: 2003
  • Native data capacity: 200 GB
  • Compressed data capacity: 400 GB
  • Native transfer rate: 40 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 80 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: No
  • Encrypt function: No
  • Partitioning function: No
  • Tape thickness: 8.9 µm
  • Tape length: 609 m
  • Number of tracks: 512
  • Cartridge memory: 4,096 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 3 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 3 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release year: 2005
  • Native data capacity: 400 GB
  • Compressed data capacity: 800 GB
  • Native transfer rate: 80 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 160 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: No
  • Partitioning function: No
  • Tape thickness: 8.0 µm
  • Tape length: 680 m
  • Number of tracks: 704
  • Cartridge memory: 4,096 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 4 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 4 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Native data capacity: 800 GB
  • Compressed data capacity: 1.6 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 120 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 240 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 6.6 µm
  • Tape length: 820 m
  • Number of tracks: 896
  • Cartridge memory: 8,160 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 5 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 5 Magnetic Tape for Data Backup and Storage
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Native data capacity: 1.5 TB
  • Compressed data capacity: 3.0 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 140 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 280 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 6.4 µm
  • Tape length: 846 m
  • Number of tracks: 1280
  • Cartridge memory: 8,160 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 6 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 6 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release year: 2012
  • Native data capacity: 2.5 TB
  • Compressed data capacity: 6.25 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 160 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 400 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 6.1 µm
  • Tape length: 846 m
  • Number of tracks: 2716
  • Cartridge memory: 16,352 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 7 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape 7
  • Release year: 2015
  • Native data capacity: 6.0 TB
  • Compressed data capacity: 15.0 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 300 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 750 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 5.6 µm
  • Tape length: 960 m
  • Number of tracks: 3584
  • Cartridge memory: 16,352 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 8 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 8 Data Backup and Storage Magnetic Tape
  • Release year: 2017
  • Native data capacity: 12.0 TB
  • Compressed data capacity: 30.0 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 300 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 750 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 5.6 µm
  • Tape length: 960 m
  • Number of tracks: 6656
  • Cartridge memory: 16,352 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

LTO 9 Tape Specifications

  • Type: LTO 9 Magnetic Tape for Data Backup and Storage
  • Release Year: 2020
  • Native data capacity: 18.0 TB
  • Compressed data capacity: 45.0 TB
  • Native transfer rate: 400 (MB/s)
  • Compressed transfer rate: 1000 (MB/s)
  • WORM Function: Optional
  • Encrypt function: Yes
  • Partitioning function: Yes
  • Tape thickness: 5.6 µm
  • Tape length: 960 m
  • Number of tracks: 6656
  • Cartridge memory: 16,352 bytes
  • Durability: 30 years

PhD Recovery specializes in data recovery from Magnetic Tapes from all manufacturers and models available on the market. If the model you are using is not in the list above, don’t worry, PhD Recovery’s team of experts are able to recover all models ever released.

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Yes, without a doubt tape backup is still worth it, because it is a very safe method to effectively guarantee data recovery if necessary, especially against ransomware attacks, because the fact that the tape backup is offline prevents the data stored on the magnetic tape from being encrypted, thus being a safe source for restoration.

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Usually yes, because we use techniques that can overcome some limitations imposed by the backup software when it comes to handling files that for some reason are not intact.

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There are several advantages of keeping your data backed up on magnetic tapes, the main ones are as follows:

  • Greater flexibility in keeping a copy of the backup offsite;
  • Energy cost reduction, because the stored tapes do not consume energy;
  • Reduced storage costs for backup, because tapes store data in compressed form;
  • Longer service time compared to data stored on hard disks;
  • Increased protection against Ransomware attacks, because the offline tape backup prevents the data stored on the magnetic tape from being encrypted, making it a secure source for restoration.

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The service life of a magnetic tape is very much related to how it is stored in its storage location, i.e. if it is stored in a safe and proper place under climate controlled conditions, it can have a life span of more than 40 years.

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Even though tape is a very strong and solid form of storage, there are cases where there is a rupture in the magnetic tape. This failure is very much related to the quality of the drive in which the tape is inserted. In a scenario like this, it is important to perform advanced diagnostics to assess the feasibility of recovering the data stored on the magnetic tape containing the breach in question.

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Unlike all other physical forms of data storage, Tapes are many times more resistant, this means that Magnetic Tapes are less likely to have problems after an unwanted impact. This is totally different from a hard disk, which a slight drop or impact is capable of damaging and consequently compromising the data.

For any problems with Tape, whether from a fall or a strong impact, please contact us, so we can share some vital and providential information for this type of situation.

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Here are the main situations where a restore is only possible in a lab that specializes in tape data recovery:

  • The tape case or one of its mechanisms is broken or disassembled, not allowing loading into the tape drive.
  • With LTO tapes, the metal lead at the end of the tape may come loose inside the enclosure or even break off. There are cases where the tape gets stuck in the drive, so it is important to have it handled by a qualified professional or send the drive with the tape inside to us.
  • The tape cannot be cataloged by the backup software for viewing and choosing the files to restore. This happens a lot with older tapes.
  • Backup software in the current version became incompatible to read tapes recorded by previous versions. Incredibly, this happens with tapes that have been stored for a long time, and some files need to be restored. Problems like these are also very noticeable in database backups performed by the backup software agents on the database server.
  • Read errors due to Bad Blocks found on the tape.

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  • Bad Block is a deficiency of the magnetic signal from a recording block on the tape. It can be caused by an overused or worn tape, or by a piece of tape that has been bent or crumpled by the backup drive.

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