Tape data recovery is the successful retrieval and copying of data from tape cartridges that have been damaged due to any of the following:
• Heat and Smoke Damage
• Water Damage
• Damage Resulting from Dropping the Cartridge
• Data Residing after an EOF Mark (Overwritten)
• Damage Resulting from the Tape Drive
• Damage as a Result of Aging (Past Warranty)
• Damage Resulting from Exposure to Extreme Temperatures or Humidity
• Internal Cartridge Mechanism Failing
As in all data recovery operations, recovering data from tapes is very specialized. There are primarily two recovery types – Physical and Logical.
Physical Data Recovery is necessary when there is a physical problem with the media or plastics which prevents the data from being read normally. This type of recovery may include dealing with issues such as deteriorating magnetic coatings, cracked or broken reels/cartridge shells, creased tape edges, twisted or folded tape, stretched or broken tape, etc. This recovery type also includes capturing the data from media that has been mistakenly subjected to adverse conditions such as water, mud, or other debris. While these physical issues are often difficult to handle, recovery of these types can usually be achieved in the high 98+% range.
Logical Data Recovery is typically the most difficult, and consequently, the most expensive. Recovering files logically includes recovering the data portion of a tape that was successfully recorded, but for some unknown reason cannot be read. The recovery of files from this type of problem often requires multiple passes using proprietary software that restores the file to the Hard Disk Drive. If hard errors occur, “dummy blocks” are written in their place, the file fragments are pieced back together and the logically re-created file is written to the appropriate output tape.