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Need to transfer data from 3M DC2000 Mini Tapes.

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April 4, 2014 8:15:25 AM

I have a number of 3M DC2000 Mini tapes. They are 40MB in capacity and have a tape length of 62.5 m or 205ft. The dimensions are 8cm x 7cm x 1.4 cm. Can anyone give me a place to start looking for the hardware used to transfer the data and what software I would need to acquire. The budget I have is 1000-2000 USD. Thank you very much
a b G Storage
April 4, 2014 8:24:44 AM

You either need to find a tape reader or use a company like http://www.securedatarecovery.com/services/tape-data-re... I bet EBay has tape readers still, then you need to find software to run on a compatible OS that the tapes were backed up in, usually it was Colorado Backup.
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April 4, 2014 8:45:22 AM

getochkn said:
You either need to find a tape reader or use a company like http://www.securedatarecovery.com/services/tape-data-re... I bet EBay has tape readers still, then you need to find software to run on a compatible OS that the tapes were backed up in, usually it was Colorado Backup.


Do you have any clue what the specific tape reader would be?
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a b G Storage
April 4, 2014 10:27:01 AM

You need 1/4" QIC drive - they were in the heyday 10-1t years ago before being eaten by DATs and other tape formats. Most of these are SCSI drives, so you will probably need appropriate controller as well. See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-inch_cartridge for trivia.

But - the most important thing is to know what software was used to write the data. Windows NT' Backup program used to support tapes, there (used to be) a lot of backup programs supporting tapes, Unix/Linux support tapes, and every program used it's own way to encode / compress the data.

If I was you, I would start with that - what program wrote these, and then move forward. Build a PC with a drive, controller, and load some Windows NT or Linux on it.
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April 4, 2014 10:40:04 AM

Alabalcho said:
You need 1/4" QIC drive - they were in the heyday 10-1t years ago before being eaten by DATs and other tape formats. Most of these are SCSI drives, so you will probably need appropriate controller as well. See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-inch_cartridge for trivia.

But - the most important thing is to know what software was used to write the data. Windows NT' Backup program used to support tapes, there (used to be) a lot of backup programs supporting tapes, Unix/Linux support tapes, and every program used it's own way to encode / compress the data.

If I was you, I would start with that - what program wrote these, and then move forward. Build a PC with a drive, controller, and load some Windows NT or Linux on it.


What would be the best way of going about finding out the software? This is for an academic institution dealing with historical data.

will any 1/4 inch QIC drive work?
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a b G Storage
April 7, 2014 11:25:35 AM

Start out by finding someone who actually did use them, he/she will probably remember something. Try to find out what computer they were created on - Windows, Netware, Unix. Think for that tape as a raw disk, without filesystem, without directory.

QIC technology evolved during the year, and this DC2000 fails somewhere in the middle of the cycle, so you have to make sure the drive you're byung supports this format.

As I said - make a Linux machine with a drive, find an empty cartridge to practice on, and start analyzing the data. But "social engineering" is your friend.
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