How Data Recovery From LTO Tape is Possible

An LTO drive is perhaps one of the most used antique like methods of storing data. Given the modern day safety and security issues, an LTO Ultrium media provides one of the safest off the grid way of storing data.


What to Know

The advantage with the LTO is that during its manufacture, the media is pre-recorded data management information such as servo prior to it being split up then loaded into a tape. Information that is related to the set data is written on its memory chip which is why recovery is possible.

Now that we have this knowledge lets proceed and see how data recovery from LTO tape is possible by cross relating it with scenarios that may prompt you to seek this solution


Scenario 1: When The Restore Process Fails After You Start LTO Ultrium Drive ‘Shoe-Shining’


This means that the drive has failed in reading data from a specific area of the tape. The obvious solution here might be cleaning and re-trying this operation, however you need to have confidence of there being no form of physical damage. A sign of damage would be when you hear any unusual sounds such as ‘flapping’ or ‘crinkling’ and you might not want to prompt a re-reading as it will worsen the problem.

If you not hear such noises then you are safe as there is no damage which means it will be worth to attempt selective restoration. However due to the nature of LTO Ultrium drive recording format being serpentine it means that the drive will conduct several re-visits of every position that’s along the tape during the restoration process. If the problem features in several tracks (more than one) then you will be faced with more restore failures which will mean that your only option will be data recovery software solution.


Scenario 2: When You Hear Tearing or Flapping Sounds Which Stops The Drive And Error Lights is Illuminated

In this case it is certain that the tape has either snapped or run of the reel. Don’t try forcing the tape from the drive or risk destroying it. This might mean that the tape has run off end reel and in this case seek the services of tape recovery engineers who are experienced.


Scenario 3: When The Restoration Process Hangs

In this case considering that you cannot cancel the restoration, know that the LTO tape has been locked in the drive. This is usually caused by some out of the norm circumstance that eventually causes the crashing of the drive firmware. The most likely cause would be a severe problem in the recording therefore power off your LTO drive then switch it on again to eject the tape then reboot the Ultrium drive system and insert the tape again.


Scenario 4: Still no Data

If you fall in any of those scenarios and you still find that your LTO tape is not containing the expected or reports being blank then it probably means that has been a backup data rewriting over your data. In this case any over-recorded data has gone forever.

I hope this information will be helpful but whichever your case in the above scenarios don’t be discouraged, with LTO Tape all is ultimately well.