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Data Recovery From Re-initialised Tapes

The sequential manner in which data is written to computer backup tapes means that if a small amount of data is written at the start of the tape, either by writing a small backup set or by the actions of some backup software, re-labelling or reinitialising an expired tape, will prevent access to any data previously recorded on the tape.

The only way to recover data in this situation is use data recovery techniques or modified tape drive hardware to circumvent the normal operations of the drive. Altirium's tape recovery engineers have many years of experience in this field and can recover data from all types of overwritten backup tapes.

Even after previously recorded data has recovered from a re-initialised or relabelled tape, data recovery software is required to process and separate user data from the backup meta data. Altirium develop their own recovery tools to deal with any backup data they encounter.

NOTE: If your backup software is unable to identify the tape you wish to restore from and asks you if you want to re-label it, STOP. It is more likely that the backup on the tape is not compatible with your software. Re-initialising or re-labelling the tape will allow you to use the tape but you will not allow you to retrieve the data currently on it.

If you have a tape that is reported as unrecognised or invalid, and you require the data, send it to Altirium, we would much rather help you with a data conversion than have you re-initialise your tape and then require a tape data recovery service.

Data Recovery following a Tape Re-initialisation

Whilst data that has been physically overwritten cannot be recovered. It is still possible to recover beyond newly recorded data, such as a smaller backup set or tape re-initialisation.


Above: Recoverable data from overwritten helical scan recording.


Above: Recoverable data from overwritten serpentine recording.

Unlike video tapes, that play from start to end of tape regardless of any new or old recording, most data storage tape technologies prevent access to previously recorded data beyond the new recording. We are able to circumvent these restrictions and recover previously recorded data. Such as a small backup or tape re-initialisation

Last Updated (Friday, 05 June 2009 08:33)

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