A image of a computer hard drive.
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Tape Recovery

In 1928 Fritz Pfleumer was granted a patent in Germany for the application of magnetic powders to a strip of paper or film; 'tape-recording' was born. Prior to this steel wire was used which was wound around a spool in a manner similar to how tapes work today; tape has been used as a medium for the storage of data since the 1930’s.


Tapes are available in a variety of formats including:


  • 8 Track Tape
  • 1/2” Open Reel
  • Linear Tape Open Ultrium (LTO)
  • Digital Data Storage (DDS)
  • Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
  • Travan
  • Quarter Inch Cartridge (QIC)
  • Digital Linear Tape (DLT)
  • Super Advanced Intelligent Tape (SAIT)
  • Commodore Datasette


Data can be recorded to tape in three main ways:


  • Helical- so called because the shape is one half of one coil of a helix (similar to the method used by a VHS video recorder)
  • Linear – straight lines of data recorded down the tape; and
  • Serpentine - Straight lines of data down and back up the tape.


The data capacities for tapes range from about 1 MB to 5 TB and tape is still a popular format for the storage of data, particularly backups or archives, due to its comparatively low cost, encryption support and robustness.  Tape backup formats include: TAR; cpio; MTF; Arcserve; NetBackUp; NetVault; DantzRetrospect; Dump & Restore; QIC; Onstream and Time Machine.


The most common types of tape failure are input / output errors and mechanical failure.  We can successfully recover data from failed or failing tapes.