Emergency Tape Recovery Services

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LTO-3 Load Pin Failure

”After our office was broken into and some computers stolen, we needed to restore some data from our backup. One of the tapes when put into the drive made an odd noise and refused to load. An engineer tested that the drive is still working. When he checked the tape, he told us something was missing and we should send it for data recovery.”

Kerry Thorne, London

An LTO-3 tape data cartridge arrived from London at our offices in the Oxford Science Park. Our tape data recovery specialists inspected the data cartridge and found the metal loading pin used by the drive mechanism to pull the tape media out of the cartridge was missing. The remaing media was still wound into the spool contained inside the cartridge. The loading pin is required in order for the tape media to be pulled into the drive mechanism and engaged into the tape spool inside the drive.

An inspection of the media by our tape recovery engineers revealed that the tape had snapped close to where the metal loading pin should be attached. When a new loading pin was attached to the media, it was then possible for them to access the data. Following any failure of a tape data cartridge, that media should never be used again, except to perform tape data recovery. The tape drive should also be inspected by an engineer to ensure that it is working correctly and not the cause of the failure.

Using our in-house developed software our tape data recovery specialists were able to recover 300GB of raw data from the LTO-3 data cartridge. The recovered data was inspected revealing the backup to have been recorded using Backup Exec, which uses the Microsoft Tape Format. The majority of the files recovered consisted of office documents, presentations files, photos and mailbox archives. The data was extracted and returned to the customer on a new LTO-3 data cartridge using Backup Exec.

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