Shift from Magnetic Tape Drive to harddisk?

The lab in which I work have all storage still done directly into a magnetic tape drive. This by itself arises a lot of risk and because of that we wanted to shift the system so that all data is stored directly into a hard disk. How can we do that? Can I get some hardware that does that? or do I need to tweAK THE software? Please do help. Give me your emial id if you have done this before.

3 Answers

  • rowlfe
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I do not understand your situation. By using the words "directly into a magnetic tape drive"... Are you telling me that the lab uses a tape drive as if it were a disk drive? i.e., writing data directly to the tape in some manner? There IS software that DOES this. I have a package called TAPEDISK which comes from Seagate which allows you to treat the tape drive as if it was. a huge (but VERY SLOW) floppy disk, up to about 90% of the capacity of the tape. The other 10% is the space used for the "disk" directory and overhead. One drawback, the tapes made are ONLY readable by the program, and NOT by other software that uses a tape drive as a disk. The software CAN use many models of tape drive, so the tape can be read by installing the software somewhere else even if it has a different model tape drive, which makes the tapes portable, just like a floppy. However, I suspect you are actually using a BACKUP utility program which is using the tape drive as the place to store backup data. If you are running a server, it is likely installed on the server as service that runs all the time and as long as you change tapes every day, is automatic in making backups of the server. Backup software can be installed on the server OR on a local workstation. You realize, that tape backup units are MORE reliable than a hard disk, right? Tapes rarely if EVER fail in ANY manner. Every backup software I have used has also had an option to backup to a disk drive as the target as well as the tape drive. If you are using windoze, run MSBACKUP (which SHOULD be installed) and see for yourself what targets you can select. If that is the case with you, that you are actually running a backup utility, then simply change the destination for the backup. If it is using the tape drive as if it was a disk drive (in the manner of TAPEDISK that I use), then again, all you need do is change the target drive letter and subdirectory to use a local hard disk instead of the tape. As for risk, you are wrong. I have been using a 4MM Sony tape drive with my TAPEDISK software for over 10 years, without a single failure. The same technology used in a video tape recorder is also used in a tape drive, just on a smaller scale and they store bits instead of analog video and audio, which is WHY they are So reliable. Tapes never forget and can be read in MANY models of tape drive using a variety of software packages, but when a hard disk fails, it ALL is gone unless you pay a bunch to recover the data. A hard disk can die from a simple brownout or powerline glitch if you are not using surge protector. All is not lost if the hard disk fails one day. It could be a simple thing to fix by running SCANDISK or CHKDSK to repair the file and directory system, but if it is an electrical failure, you are in for a lot of cash to recover the data. If you need backup software, try visiting or and doing a search using keywords in the search box such as "hard disk backup" and see what pops up. Both sites have a wealth of free and shareware programs available. The price is right, FREE, or at least a "TRY before you buy" in the case of shareware.

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    • kafu4 years agoReport

      Thank you very much for this detailed answer :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Well I haven't done this before, and even in that case I won't give you my email LOL.

    You'll need a magnetic tape reader. A bit hard to found these days but if you search properly in advanced computer stores you may find one or two. The data will be read into your computer, then you will be able to copy it into your hard disk.

    Just be wary, I've been told that copying from a magnetic tape drive into a hard disk takes a long time.

  • Karen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    why? storage is incredibly cheap these days and i doubt its compatible

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