Tape recovery needs old software

Discussion in 'Acclaim Project' started by ASSEMbler_archived, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Kao

    Kao Peppy Member

    Dec 30, 2010
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    I'm trying to recover a game dev's files from some old Travan 8GB tapes and it's not been a great experience so far. Apparently having the exact right old drive and an old PC that the drive will work in isn't enough. It has to be running the version of windows used when the tapes were made, as well.

    I can understand why this project hasn't moved in years, but it's also kind of a shame. I think these tapes were first news when I joined at the end of 2010 and there's still been no movement 7 years on!
  2. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator Staff Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    There's lots that can be done though, it just requires the time to do it. The tapes Ive dealt with are newer, and easy enough to get data off of, but even that required some work. And data is only part of it in my case, as I really want to come up with the best method of archiving the tape image itself, and not just the data from it. With @ASSEMbler looking for Backup Exec 12.5 or older, Im more than capable of that sort of thing, as I spent some time tracking down Backup Exec versions just in case, and have some experience now. His being old doesn't mean it would be a walk in the park hah. Still not happy with the format Im recovering to though.

    The bigger concern is as time goes on, they aren't going to be getting any better, especially since sticky tapes are an issue too. Im holding off on baking or attempting any fix on those those with issues, but Im concerned even with the tapes that I have that are just over 10 years old in some cases.

    I think I know which tapes you're working on too Kao...
  3. retro

    retro Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2004
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    Even that is an over-simplification. And not necessarily.

    The tapes have to be readable - no physical damage. As Borman said, just like with video and audio tapes, there could be sticky shed syndrome, which needs baking and you really need to know what you're doing. There may be other special preservation issues - such as mouldy tape, and you don't want to be releasing spores into the air you breathe. You have to have the right software to read the archive. If they're incremental, you need all the tapes. You need to know any passwords used... and what specific methods were used, too. You have to remember it's going to be a server image rather than a stand-alone machine, in most cases.

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