Tape Cartridge Data Recovery: 4 Factors to Consider

engineer removing a tape drive from a server rackFor professional data recovery technicians, tape cartridges present a unique set of challenges. While magnetic data tape formats share basic characteristics, each is fundamentally different — and to offer tape cartridge data recovery, a provider must also maintain an extensive archive of backup software.

Whether your data tapes have lost data due to oxidation, stiction, failed mechanisms, or for any other reason, you need a provider that can address the underlying issues without putting your media at risk. 

Total Data Migration offers comprehensive tape cartridge repair and data recovery services, along with solutions for at-scale migration and sanitization projects. 

Call us at 800-460-7599 or send us a message for a quote. Or, if you’re still researching your options, read on for key factors to keep in mind when searching for a data recovery provider. 

1. Professional tape cartridge recovery must be performed in a secure environment.

All data should be treated securely, but tape cartridges deserve special consideration. In the vast majority of cases, tape cartridges contain personally identifiable information (PII) and confidential company data — and even on archived data sets, compliance is a serious concern.

Total Data Migration can maintain chain of custody (COC) reports for aiding in compliance. We perform data recovery processes with closed (off-network) systems, and each technician follows strict protocols to keep data confidential at all times. 

Most importantly, we can provide detailed documentation about our data recovery workflow, along with media testing analyses and other crucial information. Data recovery should be documented thoroughly, and our process ensures complete transparency.

2. In many cases, the recovered data will need to be converted to a readable format.

Unless the damaged tape is part of a current data set, there’s a good chance that data will need to be converted to be usable. An experienced data recovery provider can return the data in a format that is compatible with your current backup application (or return the data in a directly usable native format, depending on your operation’s goals). 

Often, data recovery is carried out as part of a larger data migration or conversion project. Pairing recovery with at-scale conversion can reduce overall costs and help your organization build a more robust storage strategy. Learn more about our tape migration services work.

3. Data recovery providers must have adequate hardware and software to complete the recovery efficiently.

While it’s possible to source hardware for legacy tape media, this isn’t ideal — particularly when data needs to be recovered quickly. 

Total Data Migration supports over 3,500 combinations of backup tape media, formats, and environments. Our capabilities include (but are not limited to): 

  • All Linear Tape-Open (LTO) formats, including LTO-9.
  • All Digital Linear Tape (DLT) formats.
  • All Advanced Intelligent Tape / Super Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT/SAIT) formats.
  • TS1160 and other IBM formats.
  • Reel-to-Reel, Mammoth, Travan, VXA, and more.

Additionally, we perform physical data recovery procedures in controlled environments. Cleanroom technology protects magnetic media from contaminants, while proprietary recovery tools ensure the integrity of the media throughout the repair process.

4. For the best results, look for a provider that specializes in tape-based media.

All data recovery services are highly specialized. However, tape cartridges require a specialized skill set and years of experience with various tape formats and backup solutions. 

We strongly recommend working with a data recovery provider that specializes in tape. Whether you’re restoring data from a single cartridge, a single data set, or an entire archive, Total Data Migration provides complete peace of mind as your case progresses. 

We regularly work with law firms, healthcare providers, and other clients that require strict security considerations, and all of our services feature our satisfaction guarantee. As a world leader in data services, we’re prepared to handle your next recovery project — and restore your files efficiently, affordably, and securely. 

Contact us at (800) 460-7599 to schedule a free consultation or click here for email contact info.