DAT drive recommendations?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I have an HP DD3 DAT drive which is failing, and I'm probably going to have
to replace it.

I have owned three HP drives in a row. Up to now I have been very happy with
them, but this experience makes me think that I should at least consider
other brands this time. I'm looking for recommendations -- with a strong
preference for people who own or use what they are recommending.

Since prices have dropped since my last purchase, I'm probably going to
upgrade to DDS4. Reliability is my #1 criterion... price and performance #2
and #3.

The application is backup for a personal workstation with a 120GB hard disk
running Windows XP.
34 answers Last reply
More about drive recommendations
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Windows XP personal workstation with 120GB hard disk?
    Why tape? You did not mention huge data backup requirements or multiple
    offsite storage need.
    I would recommend an external USB 2.0 hard disk as a backup.
    It is reliable, cheaper and better performing than DDS4 tape drive.

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:EMW2d.3735$gG4.334@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > I have an HP DD3 DAT drive which is failing, and I'm probably going to
    have
    > to replace it.
    >
    > I have owned three HP drives in a row. Up to now I have been very happy
    with
    > them, but this experience makes me think that I should at least consider
    > other brands this time. I'm looking for recommendations -- with a strong
    > preference for people who own or use what they are recommending.
    >
    > Since prices have dropped since my last purchase, I'm probably going to
    > upgrade to DDS4. Reliability is my #1 criterion... price and performance
    #2
    > and #3.
    >
    > The application is backup for a personal workstation with a 120GB hard
    disk
    > running Windows XP.
    >
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Peter" <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    news:2r35laF161rjeU1@uni-berlin.de...
    > Windows XP personal workstation with 120GB hard disk?
    > Why tape?

    I have debated tape versus disk (versus CDR versus everything else
    imaginable) on USENET a number of times. I would rather not get into that
    again.

    Let's leave it at this: I have heard all of the arguments in favor of other
    backup media, and they have not persuaded me that that any other solution
    would be better than tape -- for me. I have presented all of the arguments
    in favor of tape, and I do not think I have persuaded anyone else that tape
    is the best solution for them. I am content to let other people do want they
    consider best, and would like to continue doing what I consider best.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:FOZ2d.1101$qA6.954@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > "Peter" <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    > news:2r35laF161rjeU1@uni-berlin.de...
    >> Windows XP personal workstation with 120GB hard disk?
    >> Why tape?
    >
    > I have debated tape versus disk (versus CDR versus everything else
    > imaginable) on USENET a number of times. I would rather not get into that
    > again.
    >
    > Let's leave it at this: I have heard all of the arguments in favor of
    > other
    > backup media, and they have not persuaded me that that any other solution
    > would be better than tape -- for me. I have presented all of the arguments
    > in favor of tape, and I do not think I have persuaded anyone else that
    > tape
    > is the best solution for them. I am content to let other people do want
    > they
    > consider best, and would like to continue doing what I consider best.

    Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way to
    back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you really
    find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen too
    many times were people religiously do their tape backups and are in total
    bliss till they have to do a restore, which fails a good portion of the
    time. Tape is not as reliable as one would want to believe. Plus, for the
    home user using DDS3 or DDS4 will find them numbing slow compared to using
    an external SCSI or USB drive solely for system backups.


    Rita
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com...

    > Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way
    to
    > back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you really
    > find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen too
    > many times...

    I really, really, really don't want to revisit this debate. I want to get on
    with the task of replacing my failing drive with the benefit of as much
    relevant information as others are willing to share.

    To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that is
    failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and performance
    secondary.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:xn%2d.1171$qA6.442@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > news:10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com...
    >
    >> Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way
    > to
    >> back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you really
    >> find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen too
    >> many times...
    >
    > I really, really, really don't want to revisit this debate. I want to get
    > on
    > with the task of replacing my failing drive with the benefit of as much
    > relevant information as others are willing to share.

    I can relate to your sentiments on this.

    > To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    > advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that is
    > failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and performance
    > secondary.

    My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI unit
    that will give you the most reliability for the buck. As a cautionary note
    if you must use tape, backup and compare often. Also, rotate tapes on a
    regular basis and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might be
    able to get a few extra miles from. Good luck.


    Rita
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:xn%2d.1171$qA6.442@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    > advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that is
    > failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and performance
    > secondary.

    Sorry, I forgot to add to my previous post that it would probably be worth
    your while to take the cover off the old HP unit and blow with compressed
    air then swab the head and capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab. The
    head cleaning tapes are mediocre at best. Nothing beats a good manual
    cleaning.


    Rita
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com...

    > My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI
    unit
    > that will give you the most reliability for the buck.

    Thanks for the input. I hope to get a consensus out of many opinions, but a
    sample of one is infinitely better than a sample of zero!

    > As a cautionary note
    > if you must use tape, backup and compare often.

    I do. In fact, constant retries in the verify step are the only evidence I
    have so far that the drive is failing.

    > Also, rotate tapes on a regular basis...

    I do that as well.

    > ...and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might be able to
    get a few extra miles from.

    I would do that if the situation came up, but it never has. In nearly 15
    years of using various types of DAT, I have never had a tape fail or give
    evidence of impending failure. (This is one of my reasons for preferring
    tape. I have had two hard disks failed in that time -- one catastrophically,
    with no warning -- and any number of CDR's that wrote and tested fine but
    later proved to be unreadable.)

    The idea of opening up the drive and physically cleaning the heads is one I
    had not considered. It sounds worth a try, although it's not something I'd
    try while I consider the drive usable at all. The drive itself is a sealed
    unit, and I have no idea how openable it is.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:1I13d.4093$gG4.984@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > news:10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com...
    >
    >> My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI
    > unit
    >> that will give you the most reliability for the buck.
    >
    > Thanks for the input. I hope to get a consensus out of many opinions, but
    > a
    > sample of one is infinitely better than a sample of zero!

    Anytime. In reality you only have Seagate as your only alternative and
    really could not go wrong with either one. That HP unit you have most
    likely
    has a Seagate inside.

    Oh, I made a typo on the model, which should read Sony SDT-D11000

    >> As a cautionary note
    >> if you must use tape, backup and compare often.
    >
    > I do. In fact, constant retries in the verify step are the only evidence I
    > have so far that the drive is failing.

    Or a tape getting a bit finicky? Borrow another drive and try the tape in
    it.


    >> Also, rotate tapes on a regular basis...
    >
    > I do that as well.

    Great.

    >> ...and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might be able to
    > get a few extra miles from.
    >
    > I would do that if the situation came up, but it never has. In nearly 15
    > years of using various types of DAT, I have never had a tape fail or give
    > evidence of impending failure. (This is one of my reasons for preferring
    > tape. I have had two hard disks failed in that time -- one
    > catastrophically,
    > with no warning -- and any number of CDR's that wrote and tested fine but
    > later proved to be unreadable.)

    I don't doubt you in the least, but this is pretty much what I hear when
    someone comes in asking for help or a new tape drive. They don't usually
    get to this point until they do a full blown disaster recovery. If you
    really want to be 110% sure you could do a full disaster recovery by
    temporarily replacing your HD in your computer and give it a whirl. You
    might be amazed of your results

    > The idea of opening up the drive and physically cleaning the heads is one
    > I
    > had not considered. It sounds worth a try, although it's not something I'd
    > try while I consider the drive usable at all. The drive itself is a sealed
    > unit, and I have no idea how openable it is.

    Personally, I would open the unit up and make an attempt to salvage the DDS3
    since your requirements don't require speed. The head on that unit is
    really rugged and I doubt it is worn out even if you got the unit second
    hand. Of course you could have other issues with the drive, but that is the
    easiest and cheapest area to check first.

    As for getting into the unit, you can try a couple of things. I'm assuming
    its an external SCSI case? If this is the case, you will need to slide the
    main frame out from the back of the case. Lightly prying the plastic up in
    the rear and looking for the four plastic catches usually do this. Some
    models may have at least one setscrew under the rubber feet.

    Once this is done you will have the unit exposed and ready to remove the
    whole assembly from the external case frame.

    Next remove the four screws holding the two side rails from the tape unit.
    (This is the point were the tape unit can be installed in a standard 5.25"
    bay) faceplate color optional and easily found online.

    After removing the side rails you will need a small Phillips to remove the
    screws holding the top cover to expose the head and other mechanism.

    Clean and inspect prior to assembling in reverse order. Good luck.


    Rita
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kpga0seehip91@news.supernews.com...

    > Or a tape getting a bit finicky? Borrow another drive and try the tape in
    > it.

    No, not that. I have the same problem with every tape I use -- at least a
    half-dozen in the course of normal operations since this started, plus
    others while trying to diagnose the problem.

    > I don't doubt you in the least, but this is pretty much what I hear when
    > someone comes in asking for help or a new tape drive. They don't usually
    > get to this point until they do a full blown disaster recovery. If you
    > really want to be 110% sure you could do a full disaster recovery by
    > temporarily replacing your HD in your computer and give it a whirl. You
    > might be amazed of your results

    I admit that the prospect of disaster recovery sometimes gives me the
    willies, but in my saner moments I don't think I have serious cause for
    concern. The verification step (when it is working properly) confirms that
    each tape is OK. Add to that the fact that I keep a year of monthly full
    backups (!) plus intermediate differential backups, so if one tape does go
    bad I can drop back a month. And the fact that I run selective restores
    several times a year and have never had one fail. And the fact that I
    actually had to do a full disaster recovery once, and it worked without a
    hitch. And the fact that I use essentially the same process to migrate my
    data each time I change machines (most recently this past June), and that
    also has always worked without a hitch.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:7X33d.4170$gG4.2056@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > No, not that. I have the same problem with every tape I use -- at least a
    > half-dozen in the course of normal operations since this started, plus
    > others while trying to diagnose the problem.

    Yep, I think you narrowed it down.

    >> I don't doubt you in the least, but this is pretty much what I hear when
    >> someone comes in asking for help or a new tape drive. They don't usually
    >> get to this point until they do a full blown disaster recovery. If you
    >> really want to be 110% sure you could do a full disaster recovery by
    >> temporarily replacing your HD in your computer and give it a whirl. You
    >> might be amazed of your results
    >
    > I admit that the prospect of disaster recovery sometimes gives me the
    > willies, but in my saner moments I don't think I have serious cause for
    > concern. The verification step (when it is working properly) confirms that
    > each tape is OK. Add to that the fact that I keep a year of monthly full
    > backups (!) plus intermediate differential backups, so if one tape does go
    > bad I can drop back a month. And the fact that I run selective restores
    > several times a year and have never had one fail. And the fact that I
    > actually had to do a full disaster recovery once, and it worked without a
    > hitch. And the fact that I use essentially the same process to migrate my
    > data each time I change machines (most recently this past June), and that
    > also has always worked without a hitch.

    I'm glad to see that you have been through it and did a full recovery
    without a hitch. This way you have a good understanding of what to expect.
    At least you are savvy enough to keep a good many copies on hand and have a
    contingency plan. Dropping back a month isn't so bad, but can be a real
    pain in the butt when you consider all your sales information and templates
    you'll have to redo for that month.

    Let me know if you get the DDS3 working properly or just bite the bullet and
    get a new DDS4. Good luck and take care.


    Rita
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:EMW2d.3735$gG4.334@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > I have an HP DD3 DAT drive which is failing, and I'm probably going to
    have
    > to replace it.
    >
    > I have owned three HP drives in a row. Up to now I have been very happy
    with
    > them, but this experience makes me think that I should at least consider
    > other brands this time. I'm looking for recommendations -- with a strong
    > preference for people who own or use what they are recommending.

    I've tried the HP which is awful and the Seagate which is little better.
    Avoid DAT. There is no such thing as a good tape drive unless you want to
    spend more than $1000.

    Use big ATA HDs in removable trays for backup.

    > Since prices have dropped since my last purchase, I'm probably going to
    > upgrade to DDS4. Reliability is my #1 criterion... price and performance
    #2
    > and #3.
    >
    > The application is backup for a personal workstation with a 120GB hard
    disk
    > running Windows XP.

    Use a HD or two in removable trays.
    >
    >
    >
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:xn%2d.1171$qA6.442@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > news:10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com...
    >
    > > Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way
    > to
    > > back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you
    really
    > > find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen
    too
    > > many times...
    >
    > I really, really, really don't want to revisit this debate.

    Well we really, really, really don't want you posting here anything that
    might imply your position on the issue is reasonable.

    > I want to get on
    > with the task of replacing my failing drive with the benefit of as much
    > relevant information as others are willing to share.
    >
    > To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    > advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that is
    > failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and performance
    > secondary.

    You want somebody to say that one is good when there are no good ones.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com...
    > "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    > news:xn%2d.1171$qA6.442@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    >
    > > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > > news:10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com...
    > >
    > >> Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective
    way
    > > to
    > >> back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you
    really
    > >> find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen
    too
    > >> many times...
    > >
    > > I really, really, really don't want to revisit this debate. I want to
    get
    > > on
    > > with the task of replacing my failing drive with the benefit of as much
    > > relevant information as others are willing to share.
    >
    > I can relate to your sentiments on this.
    >
    > > To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    > > advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that
    is
    > > failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and
    performance
    > > secondary.
    >
    > My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000.

    $400 for 20GB native and $10 per tape....nightmare.

    > This is an external SCSI unit
    > that will give you the most reliability for the buck. As a cautionary
    note
    > if you must use tape, backup and compare often. Also, rotate tapes on a
    > regular basis and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might
    be
    > able to get a few extra miles from. Good luck.
    >
    >
    > Rita
    >
    >
    >
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Ron Reaugh" <rondashreaugh@att.net> wrote in message
    news:xv43d.391577$OB3.83642@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...


    >> My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000.
    >
    > $400 for 20GB native and $10 per tape....nightmare.

    Probably so, but he stated that this is what he wanted earlier on in the
    thread. Personally, I don't and won't use tape, even AIT. For me, I find
    that a few good old Seagate 146 GB ST3146807LC U320 drives in the drive
    carriers make for dirt-cheap backup. Speed and reliability is where it's
    at.


    Rita
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kpga0seehip91@news.supernews.com...
    > "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    > news:1I13d.4093$gG4.984@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    >
    > > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > > news:10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com...
    > >
    > >> My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI
    > > unit
    > >> that will give you the most reliability for the buck.
    > >
    > > Thanks for the input. I hope to get a consensus out of many opinions,
    but
    > > a
    > > sample of one is infinitely better than a sample of zero!
    >
    > Anytime. In reality you only have Seagate as your only alternative and
    > really could not go wrong with either one. That HP unit you have most
    > likely
    > has a Seagate inside.
    >
    > Oh, I made a typo on the model, which should read Sony SDT-D11000

    Oh, that's $700....elm street.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Ron Reaugh" <rondashreaugh@att.net> wrote in message
    news:oA43d.391599$OB3.338493@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    >
    > Oh, that's $700....elm street.

    $250 - $350 on the used market including cable.

    Rita
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:7X33d.4170$gG4.2056@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > news:10kpga0seehip91@news.supernews.com...
    >
    > > Or a tape getting a bit finicky? Borrow another drive and try the tape
    in
    > > it.
    >
    > No, not that. I have the same problem with every tape I use -- at least a
    > half-dozen in the course of normal operations since this started, plus
    > others while trying to diagnose the problem.

    Is a synonym for tape drive "diagnose the problem"?
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    news:10kpm49bvonclc8@news.supernews.com...
    > "Ron Reaugh" <rondashreaugh@att.net> wrote in message
    > news:oA43d.391599$OB3.338493@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > >
    > > Oh, that's $700....elm street.
    >
    > $250 - $350 on the used market including cable.

    Used tape drive...Jason is here.
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Fine. You want to use DDS4 tape (20GB native capacity) to back up your 120GB
    hard drive. That, in general, means attended backup. Considering speed of
    DDS4 tape drive (with verification), you are a patient man.
    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:FOZ2d.1101$qA6.954@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Peter" <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    > news:2r35laF161rjeU1@uni-berlin.de...
    > > Windows XP personal workstation with 120GB hard disk?
    > > Why tape?
    >
    > I have debated tape versus disk (versus CDR versus everything else
    > imaginable) on USENET a number of times. I would rather not get into that
    > again.
    >
    > Let's leave it at this: I have heard all of the arguments in favor of
    other
    > backup media, and they have not persuaded me that that any other solution
    > would be better than tape -- for me. I have presented all of the arguments
    > in favor of tape, and I do not think I have persuaded anyone else that
    tape
    > is the best solution for them. I am content to let other people do want
    they
    > consider best, and would like to continue doing what I consider best.
    >
    >
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Jonathan Sachs wrote:

    > "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    > news:10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com...
    >
    >> My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI
    > unit
    >> that will give you the most reliability for the buck.
    >
    > Thanks for the input. I hope to get a consensus out of many opinions, but
    > a sample of one is infinitely better than a sample of zero!
    >
    >> As a cautionary note
    >> if you must use tape, backup and compare often.
    >
    > I do. In fact, constant retries in the verify step are the only evidence I
    > have so far that the drive is failing.
    >
    >> Also, rotate tapes on a regular basis...
    >
    > I do that as well.
    >
    >> ...and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might be able to
    > get a few extra miles from.
    >
    > I would do that if the situation came up, but it never has. In nearly 15
    > years of using various types of DAT, I have never had a tape fail or give
    > evidence of impending failure. (This is one of my reasons for preferring
    > tape. I have had two hard disks failed in that time -- one
    > catastrophically, with no warning -- and any number of CDR's that wrote
    > and tested fine but later proved to be unreadable.)

    Just remember that DDS tapes are rated for a relatively low number of
    passes--5000 for DDS4, compared to a million for DLT. Every time the tape
    has to back up and restart that counts as a pass, so if it's not streaming
    you're chewing up tape at a horrendous rate.

    Further, I once had a DDS drive get a chip of something or other caught in
    one of the heads and it trashed (nonrecoverable physical damage to the
    tape) a number of tapes before I figured out that the problem was the
    drive.

    Using disk for backup, you have a number of disks just as you have a number
    of tapes, and you rotate them just as you do tapes. So even if one of your
    backups fails at the same time as the disk it's backing up you won't lose
    more than two days. If losing two days is catastrophic for you then you
    should be running mirrored servers each with a redundant array anyway.

    I used to believe in tape for backup, but to tell the truth in small
    installations it's not very attractive anymore.

    > The idea of opening up the drive and physically cleaning the heads is one
    > I had not considered. It sounds worth a try, although it's not something
    > I'd try while I consider the drive usable at all. The drive itself is a
    > sealed unit, and I have no idea how openable it is.

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com>,
    Rita Ä Berkowitz <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote:
    >"Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    >news:FOZ2d.1101$qA6.954@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    >
    >> "Peter" <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    >> news:2r35laF161rjeU1@uni-berlin.de...
    >>> Windows XP personal workstation with 120GB hard disk?
    >>> Why tape?
    >>
    >> I have debated tape versus disk (versus CDR versus everything else
    >> imaginable) on USENET a number of times. I would rather not get into that
    >> again.
    >>
    >> Let's leave it at this: I have heard all of the arguments in favor of
    >> other
    >> backup media, and they have not persuaded me that that any other solution
    >> would be better than tape -- for me. I have presented all of the arguments
    >> in favor of tape, and I do not think I have persuaded anyone else that
    >> tape
    >> is the best solution for them. I am content to let other people do want
    >> they
    >> consider best, and would like to continue doing what I consider best.
    >
    >Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way to
    >back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you really
    >find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen too
    >many times were people religiously do their tape backups and are in total
    >bliss till they have to do a restore, which fails a good portion of the
    >time. Tape is not as reliable as one would want to believe. Plus, for the
    >home user using DDS3 or DDS4 will find them numbing slow compared to using
    >an external SCSI or USB drive solely for system backups.
    >
    >
    >
    >Rita
    >
    >


    Having managed lots of small stand-alone risc servers over the years,
    DDS tape drives have eaten more tapes than all others combined; (QIC,
    9TK, DLT.) DLT has never eaten a tape, or failed a verify readback,
    for me. I really disklke DDS.

    I'm a fan of DLT. I've bought a few hundred DLT tapes in the name of
    my company, on ebay. Several of the brands have lifetime no-fault
    exchange warranties so how could I go wrong ?

    DLTIV drives are down to as low as $700 (DEC-branded, new, with
    warranty) on pricewatch.com

    These days, at home, I'm doing image backups of a laptop and a couple
    desktops to a big SATA disk in one machine (a couple generations of
    images for each machine). I sync the "My Documents" folder tree
    between a laptop and a desktop every time I dock or undock, and I burn
    work product into many generations of CDR disks.

    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <10kp1986hi8rt42@news.supernews.com>,
    Rita Ä Berkowitz <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote:
    >"Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    >news:xn%2d.1171$qA6.442@newsread3.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    >
    >> "Rita Ä Berkowitz" <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> wrote in message
    >> news:10kor8sho4un9a6@news.supernews.com...
    >>
    >>> Backing up to tape is definitely the easiest and most cost effective way
    >> to
    >>> back up your data. It's when you have to do a restore is when you really
    >>> find out how reliable your tape backup really is or not. I have seen too
    >>> many times...
    >>
    >> I really, really, really don't want to revisit this debate. I want to get
    >> on
    >> with the task of replacing my failing drive with the benefit of as much
    >> relevant information as others are willing to share.
    >
    >I can relate to your sentiments on this.
    >
    >> To repeat the original inquiry, in case it has gotten lost: I am seeking
    >> advice on which DDS4 DAT drive to buy to replace an HP DDS3 drive that is
    >> failing, with reliability the primary consideration, cost and performance
    >> secondary.
    >
    >My recommendations would be a Sony SDT-11000. This is an external SCSI unit
    >that will give you the most reliability for the buck. As a cautionary note
    >if you must use tape, backup and compare often. Also, rotate tapes on a
    >regular basis and don't be afraid to trash tapes that you feel you might be
    >able to get a few extra miles from. Good luck.
    >
    >
    >Rita
    >
    >
    >


    You have to use the cleaning cartridge on an appropriate schedule; not
    too often, or too little.

    Do DDS drives report drive and cartridge error statistics these days ?
    Veritas does this for me with DLT drives and I would never recommend a
    tape backup solution that didn't have this feature.

    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <10kp23qep6qs6c1@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes

    >Sorry, I forgot to add to my previous post that it would probably be worth
    >your while to take the cover off the old HP unit and blow with compressed
    >air then swab the head and capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab.

    *Very* bad advice, guaranteed to wreck the heads.

    --
    ..sigmonster on vacation
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Mike Tomlinson" <mike@NOSPAM.jasper.org.uk> wrote in message
    news:3Ex+FzEiwjTBFwRc@jasper.org.uk...
    > In article <10kp23qep6qs6c1@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    > <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes
    >
    > >Sorry, I forgot to add to my previous post that it would probably be
    worth
    > >your while to take the cover off the old HP unit and blow with compressed
    > >air then swab the head and capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab.
    >
    > *Very* bad advice, guaranteed to wreck the heads.

    Yep, the gisin newbie wipes with 1N HCL.
  25. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Mike Tomlinson" <mike@NOSPAM.jasper.org.uk> wrote in message
    news:3Ex+FzEiwjTBFwRc@jasper.org.uk...
    > In article <10kp23qep6qs6c1@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    > <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes
    >
    > >Sorry, I forgot to add to my previous post that it would probably be
    worth
    > >your while to take the cover off the old HP unit and blow with compressed
    > >air then swab the head and capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab.
    >
    > *Very* bad advice, guaranteed to wreck the heads.

    It's not that I don't believe you, but what you are saying goes against all
    maintenance and repair procedures used by authorized Sony and Seagate repair
    facilities.

    Please supply a link to support your claim? Thank you.

    Rita
  26. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rita Ä Berkowitz" wrote:
    >
    > "Mike Tomlinson" <mike@NOSPAM.jasper.org.uk> wrote in message
    > news:3Ex+FzEiwjTBFwRc@jasper.org.uk...
    > > In article <10kp23qep6qs6c1@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    > > <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes
    > >
    > > >Sorry, I forgot to add to my previous post that it would probably be
    > worth
    > > >your while to take the cover off the old HP unit and blow with compressed
    > > >air then swab the head and capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab.
    > >
    > > *Very* bad advice, guaranteed to wreck the heads.
    >
    > It's not that I don't believe you, but what you are saying goes against all
    > maintenance and repair procedures used by authorized Sony and Seagate repair
    > facilities.
    >
    > Please supply a link to support your claim? Thank you.
    >
    > Rita


    Hello, Rita:

    I do my own VCR routine-maintenance, and from what I've read, cotton
    swabs are >never< recommended for video-head cleaning. They're likely to
    get caught on the heads, and possibly break them off the drum.

    As for the pince roller, some substances (e.g., CRC "QD Electronic
    Cleaner") will, ultimately, destroy the rubber. Alcohol is the best bet
    there, indeed.

    (Not sure whether these things apply to computer tape drives, but, I
    assume they do.)


    Cordially,
    John Turco <jtur@concentric.net>
  27. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <10ktkdqej054t58@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes

    >It's not that I don't believe you, but what you are saying goes against all
    >maintenance and repair procedures used by authorized Sony and Seagate repair
    >facilities.

    Well, I don't disbelieve _you_ Rita, but since you made the original
    claim, if you can cite an authoritative reference from Seagate or Sony
    that says it's okay to clean DAT drive heads with alcohol and a cotton
    swab, I shall be very surprised.

    In addition, to quote from your original post, "swab the head and
    capstan with an alcohol dipped cotton swab. The head cleaning tapes are
    mediocre at best. Nothing beats a good manual cleaning." - this may be
    interpreted by some people to mean "give the head a good scrub", which
    is the worst possible thing to do, since "swab" implies using a circular
    or figure-of-8 motion with the cleaning implement. Read on for why:

    >Please supply a link to support your claim? Thank you.

    The heads in DAT drives are of a type known as helical scan and are a
    miniaturised version of the type found in video recorders. Thus the
    same advice regarding cleaning video heads should be applied to DAT
    drives. Quoting from the most excellent sci.electronics.repair FAQ at
    <http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/vcrfaq.htm#vcrhntcyvh>

    "Video head cleaning technique
    CAUTION: Read the following in its entirely to avoid an expensive
    lesson.
    As noted, improper cleaning can destroy your video heads. The head chips
    are very fragile and just rubbing them in the wrong direction (NEVER use
    an up-and-down motion) can break the chips off requiring replacement of
    the entire upper cylinder assembly - one of the most expensive parts in
    your VCR!

    Manual cleaning using the proper head cleaning sticks is best but
    requires that you gain access to the interior of your VCR - i.e., take
    off the cover.

    If you do not want to do this, you can try a commercial wet cleaning
    tape. These is some slight risk, however. The material used in some of
    these may have an excessively coarse fiber structure which can catch a
    video head and break it off. I have not seen this happen nor could I
    recommend a specific brand as there is no way of knowing what their
    current product uses. I do not recommend the dry type at all as these
    are almost always much more abrasive and may cause premature wear of
    your video heads especially if used regularly. When using the wet type
    cleaning tapes, follow the directions and - very important - wait
    sufficient time for everything to dry out or else you will have a
    tangled mess inside your VCR.

    Regular video head cleaning should not be needed! Therefore, the regular
    use of a cleaning tape is not recommended. As noted, some cleaning tapes
    will cause excessive wear to the video heads and no cleaning type can
    adequately deal with other parts of the tape path anyhow. If you find
    yourself needing to clean your video heads frequently, the video heads
    may be worn, the backtension may be set too high, or you may be playing
    old or dirty (literally) rental tapes.

    To clean by hand, you will need what are called 'head cleaning sticks'.
    These are covered by chamois and are safest. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS (COTTON
    SWABS). These can catch on the ferrite cores and damage them or leave
    fibers stuck in the heads. Q-tips can be used for cleaning the other
    parts like the rollers and audio/control head as described above but not
    video heads." [UNQUOTE]

    From the DAT Heads FAQ at <http://www.minidisc.org/dat-heads-faq.html>

    "Manual cleaning without a tape requires opening up the deck.
    This is
    best left to a qualified technician. dat-heads and the authors of this
    document cannot take responsibility for any damage you cause to your
    equipment.

    If you use foam swabs or plastic handled swabs to clean your deck, be
    sure that the solvent you use will not dissolve the foam or the stick.
    Use a solvent that is not harmful to the rubber and plastic parts.
    Make sure you use a solvent that does not dry out rubber parts. The
    most popular solvents are ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, freon-based
    chemicals, and halogenated hydrocarbon-based chemicals such as
    Intraclean S711. Alcohol is said to dry out the rubber parts. On the
    other hand, rubber parts such as the pinch roller should probably be
    replaced periodically anyway. Beyond that, I'm not sure what the
    differences between the solvents are but I would love to find out.

    To perform manual cleaning, swab all of the parts that the tape makes
    contact with with a solvent. This includes stationary guides, rollers,
    capstan, pinch roller, drum, and heads. Use foam tipped swabs, chamois
    tipped swabs, or a chamois cloth. Do not use cotton swabs.

    To clean the heads and drum, you may need to partially disassemble
    and/or remove the tape loading mechanism. Hold a swab or a chamois
    cloth wrapped around your finger lightly against the side of the drum
    and simultaneously turn the drum. This will clean the drum and it will
    also clean each head as it passes the swab or chamois. Important: Do
    not apply any up/down pressure to the head or it will break off. Be
    very gentle." [UNQUOTE]


    Note in particular the advice in both excerpts above not to use q-tips
    or cotton swabs, and to avoid an up-and-down motion.

    Only the proper head cleaning cartridges should be used in DAT drives,
    as per the advice from Seagate:
    <http://www.seagate.com/support/tape/iguides/dds/datguide.pdf>
    page 27, "Head Cleaning".

    Other resources found by a google for "manual DAT head cleaning":

    <http://www.tape.com/techinfo/maintain.html>
    <http://www.tangible-technology.com/helical/swabbing.html>
    <http://www.discmakers.com/music/pse/datmain.asp>

    --
    ..sigmonster on vacation
  28. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Mike Tomlinson" <mike@NOSPAM.jasper.org.uk> wrote in message
    news:b6wVa7F7ONUBFwPb@jasper.org.uk...

    > In article <10ktkdqej054t58@news.supernews.com>, Rita Ä Berkowitz
    > <ritaberk2O04@aol.com> writes
    >
    > >It's not that I don't believe you, but what you are saying goes against
    all
    > >maintenance and repair procedures used by authorized Sony and Seagate
    repair
    > >facilities.
    >
    > Well, I don't disbelieve _you_ Rita, but since you made the original
    > claim, if you can cite an authoritative reference from Seagate or Sony
    > that says it's okay to clean DAT drive heads with alcohol and a cotton
    > swab, I shall be very surprised.

    Thank you for providing the links. I stand corrected on the cotton swabs
    and alcohol. My main point was that a manual cleaning is most
    likely in order, which Seagate and Sony recommend provided you use the
    proper supplies and techniques. Fortunately, there is always someone on
    Usenet to give the correct answer or correct someone that gave the incorrect
    answer.


    Rita
  29. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I'm writing to follow up on my inquiry, about a month ago, about what to buy
    to replace a Hewlett-Packard DDS3 DAT drive that was failing. I'm not sure
    the story is over, but it has definitely taken a new turn.

    For those who did not see the original messages, I was trying to use the
    drive with an Adaptec 2910 to back up a Windows XP machine. The write step
    appeared to ran normally, but the verify step ran about five times slower. I
    applied some diagnostic programs which told me that the verify step was
    running slow because it was getting massive read errors.

    I had a long dialogue with an expert in one of HP's user forums about the
    problem. With his assistance, I was able to run a very cranky "don't try
    this at home" calibration utility which, he assured me, would adjust the
    heads of the drive if they had gotten out of alignment. Unfortunately, it
    reported that the heads were calibrated correctly, and it had no effect on
    the drive's performance.

    At this point a new person popped into the thread and told me that my
    problem probably was not the drive at all, but the SCSI adapter. He told me,
    in essence, that the 2910 was a piece of junk which had actually been
    designed for Apple computers, not Wintel, and it worked well enough with
    older versions of Windows but Windows XP did not support it, as I would
    already know if I had bothered to check Microsoft's hardware compatibility
    list. He assured me that if I bought a real SCSI controller, such as a 2930,
    my problems would disappear.

    I saw numerous inaccuracies in his claims, and concluded that he was either
    a troll or one of those idiots who believe that their ego qualifies them to
    give advice on any topic. Nevertheless, I wrote a polite reply on the order
    of, "I am not aware of a problem with the 2910, and I searched for more
    detailed information on the Web but did not find any..." He wrote a rather
    snippy reply that said, in essence, "Well, you're aware of it now; the only
    question left is, are you going to do anything about it?"

    One thing gave his claims some credibility for me. I remembered that my
    problems began about the time I migrated to my current Windows XP machine
    from an older computer that ran Windows 2000 and drove the tape drive of the
    external connector all of an Adaptec 29160N. I thought that the coincidence
    in time was only approximate, and so had to be just a coincidence, but I saw
    some possibility that it was causal, and the apparent troll was actually on
    to something.

    Soon after that I was able to pick up a 2940AU cheaply. I tried it, and
    found that... absolutely nothing changed.

    Then -- don't ask me why -- I tried running the drive off of an Adaptec
    USB2Xchange, a gadget which runs a SCSI chain off a USB2 port. The darned
    thing not only worked perfectly, but also had about twice the throughput
    that it had when I was using it with Windows 2000.

    So now my drive is running flawlessly, and twice as fast as before, but I am
    baffled twice. First, why is Windows XP having "issues" with the 2940, which
    is warranted compatible with it, as well as the 2910, which is not? Second,
    why is the drive running twice as fast with the Adaptec converter, which is
    basically a kludge that adds a second layer of hardware and a second layer
    of drivers to the port, as it did with an adapter that was designed to
    operate it?
  30. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:eZk9d.5650$UP1.3975@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > Soon after that I was able to pick up a 2940AU cheaply. I tried it, and
    > found that... absolutely nothing changed.
    >
    Same chip design as 2910.

    > Then -- don't ask me why -- I tried running the drive off of an Adaptec
    > USB2Xchange, a gadget which runs a SCSI chain off a USB2 port. The darned
    > thing not only worked perfectly, but also had about twice the throughput
    > that it had when I was using it with Windows 2000.
    >
    The 2910 was negotiating 10MB/s, the USB thingy was 5MB/s or less. You
    probably don't have active termination or a flakey cable at higher clocks.

    > So now my drive is running flawlessly, and twice as fast as before, but I am
    > baffled twice. First, why is Windows XP having "issues" with the 2940, which
    > is warranted compatible with it, as well as the 2910, which is not? Second,
    > why is the drive running twice as fast with the Adaptec converter, which is
    > basically a kludge that adds a second layer of hardware and a second layer
    > of drivers to the port, as it did with an adapter that was designed to
    > operate it?
    >
    Both Win 2K/XP support the 2910, and likely have the same driver.
  31. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Eric Gisin" <ericgisin@graffiti.net> wrote in message
    news:ck4s5701hqv@enews1.newsguy.com...

    > The 2910 was negotiating 10MB/s, the USB thingy was 5MB/s or less.

    I don't think you are thinking clearly about this. You have offered a reason
    why transfer through the USB adapter might be slower than through the SCSI
    card, which is the opposite of what happened.

    Some specifics might make this easier to consider.

    1. Windows 2000 with interface through Adaptec 29160N. Write 50 MB/min,
    verify 50 MB/min.
    2. Windows XP with interface through Adaptec 2910 or 2940AU. Write 50
    MB/min, verify 10 MB/min.
    3. Windows XT with interface through Adaptec USB2Xchang. Write 100 MB/min,
    verify 100 MB/min.

    All of the SCSI adapters are rated at 10 MB/sec for their external
    connectors. The USB2Xchang is rated at USB2 speed (480 Mb/sec), but probably
    really runs at 10MB/sec.

    >You probably don't have active termination or a flakey cable at higher
    >clocks.

    I assume you mean on the device end, since the adapters are
    self-terminating. I did not say so, but it would be logical to assume (and
    is true) that the cable and terminator were the same in every case. I can't
    make any categorical statements about the quality of the cable, but I used
    it for years without problems before the move to Windows XP. The terminator
    is from Granite Digital, and so is not suspect.
  32. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:eZk9d.5650$UP1.3975@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

    > So now my drive is running flawlessly, and twice as fast as before, but I
    > am
    > baffled twice. First, why is Windows XP having "issues" with the 2940,
    > which
    > is warranted compatible with it, as well as the 2910, which is not?
    > Second,
    > why is the drive running twice as fast with the Adaptec converter, which
    > is
    > basically a kludge that adds a second layer of hardware and a second layer
    > of drivers to the port, as it did with an adapter that was designed to
    > operate it?

    I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm running a 2930B and a
    2940AU on two different computers using XP Pro with no issues.
  33. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Jonathan Sachs" <llm040903@earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:2iw9d.6705$UP1.5324@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Eric Gisin" <ericgisin@graffiti.net> wrote in message
    > news:ck4s5701hqv@enews1.newsguy.com...
    >
    > > The 2910 was negotiating 10MB/s, the USB thingy was 5MB/s or less.
    >
    > I don't think you are thinking clearly about this. You have offered a
    reason
    > why transfer through the USB adapter might be slower than through the SCSI
    > card, which is the opposite of what happened.

    NO, a reliable 5MB/sec. will run the tape drive at full speed. A
    unreliable and improperly terminated 10MB/sec. could easily be vastly
    slower!

    > >You probably don't have active termination or a flakey cable at higher
    > >clocks.
    >
    > I assume you mean on the device end, since the adapters are
    > self-terminating.

    Not necessarily. You may need to set something.

    "You probably don't have active termination or a flakey cable"


    > I did not say so, but it would be logical to assume (and
    > is true) that the cable and terminator were the same in every case. I
    can't
    > make any categorical statements about the quality of the cable, but I used
    > it for years without problems before the move to Windows XP. The
    terminator
    > is from Granite Digital, and so is not suspect.

    HUH!

    You've been given all the information necessary to fix your problem. Now
    quit gibbering and go fix the cabling and/or termination.
  34. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rod Reaugh" <rondashreaugh@att.net> wrote:

    >> I did not say so, but it would be logical to assume (and
    >> is true) that the cable and terminator were the same in every case. I
    >can't
    >> make any categorical statements about the quality of the cable, but I used
    >> it for years without problems before the move to Windows XP. The
    >terminator
    >> is from Granite Digital, and so is not suspect.
    >
    >HUH!
    >
    >You've been given all the information necessary to fix your problem. Now
    >quit gibbering and go fix the cabling and/or termination.

    Quit gibbering and fix your quote-mangling newsreader, you idiot.
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