Preventing Tape Drive Failure

Contrary to popular belief, tape drives are generally robust and reliable. However, there are three common mistakes that people make that dramatically increase the probability of tape drive failure.

Firstly, it is not well known that tape drives is differ considerably in terms of how long they are designed to operate each day. Each tape drive range has a specified duty cycle, which is the maximum percentage of time that the drive should be operational. For example, a drive with a duty cycle of 50% should be operational for no more than 12 hours a day, while a drive with a duty cycle of 100% may run continuously.

Secondly, it is not well known that data must be supplied to tape drives at a sufficient rate in order to keep them streaming, or else the tape suffers from start-stop motion. It's easy to imagine the wear-and-tear this places on the tape, and how the integrity of the data stored on the tape can be severely degraded.

Thirdly, poor handling and storage commonly causes damage to tapes and the drive. It's not a good idea to drop tapes or stack them in a pyramid on the floor; the tapes should be handled and stored carefully. Tape drives should be kept as far away from contaminants as possible; for example, they shouldn't be placed directly on the carpet or kept in dusty environments.

Tapes should always be stored in a different location to the server, in order to prevent a disaster that damages the server from also damaging the backups on tape. At the very least, weekly tapes should be stored offsite. To reduce the chance of fire damage or theft, tapes should be stored in a fireproof safe.

By following these simple tips, your tape backups should run reliably, and you'll avoid the costly exercise of replacing your tape drive.

Linus Chang is a backup expert and the lead developer of BackupAssist -- tape backup software that is simple and affordable, and perfect for small and medium businesses. Protect your Windows servers, including SQL Server and Exchange Server, to tape, REV drive, hard drive, NAS and more, at a fraction of the cost of other backup software.

In The News:

Brownsboro Hardware
WHAS (subscription)
Brownsboro Hardware helps you take things off your honey-do list. Brownsboro Hardware 502-897-1591 4858 BROWNSBORO ROAD BROWNSBOROHARDWARE.COM. 10:43 a.m. EDT May 22, 2015. CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE.

Tech Cocktail

How Secure is Your Hardware, Actually?
Tech Cocktail
Thankfully the entire Tortuga Logic corps of cofounders got their PhDs in hardware security from either UCSD or UCSB where they worked to figure out a solution. For the team the directive is simple: secure the chips that go into this hardware and build ...

Anderson Independent Mail

Old Anderson Hardware Store undergoing renovations, construction for the first ...
Anderson Independent Mail
Old Anderson Hardware Store undergoing renovations, construction for the first time in years. Charmaine Smith-Miles. 5:07 PM, May 22, 2015. 5:34 PM, May 22, 2015. local news | news | aim | your hometown | primary. Photos by Ken Ruinard/Independent ...

Synaptics Upgrade Leads Computer Hardware Stocks
Investor's Business Daily
The computer hardware industry group was among the top-performing industry groups Friday, partly because of the performance of Synaptics (NASDAQ:SYNA). Synaptics was one of several technology stocks on which Mizuho Securities started coverage.

and more »

Orchard Supply Hardware expected to open store in Whittier
The Whittier Daily News
The lots of the former Cadillac and Ford dealerships are vacant on the 15300-block of Whittier Boulevard in Whittier on Thursday. According to city officials, Orchard Supply Hardware is expected to open a new store on the site. Keith Durflinger ...

Nelson Ace Hardware honored
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
BARRE — Ace Hardware Corporation recently designated Nelson Ace Hardware in Barre as a “Platinum Performance Retailing” store for its outstanding performance in 2014. The team Nelson Ace Hardware is one of 723 Ace retailers to achieve this status in ...

Staff Open Hardware Day at
To celebrate the greatness that is open hardware, our team gathered once again, as we did last year, for a Staff Open Hardware Day at Red Hat Tower. Over burritos and queso, we hatched our plan. First, we cracked open our package of components from ...

and more »


PS4 Tops Hardware Sales Chart in Japan, Outsells New 3DS XL
According to Japanese sales monitor Media Create, the PlayStation 4 moved 11,489 units, narrowly beating out the New 3DS XL, which sold 11,340. The PlayStation Vita, meanwhile, reached 10,685, while the New 3DS managed 3,483 sales. Final Fantasy X ...
PlayStation 4 Leads Hardware in Japan, Beats New 3DS XLGame Rant
PS4 review - Is Sony winning the console war?Expert Reviews

all 58 news articles »


Formation 8 raising dedicated hardware VC fund
Silicon Valley venture capital firm Formation 8 has quietly held a first close on a new fund that will invest exclusively in early-stage hardware companies, Fortune has learned. The plan is to raise upwards of $100 million, and early investors include ...

and more »

Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Hardware store offers roses for veterans' grave
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Nyberg's Ace will give out 1,000 roses to its customers among its four Sioux Falls locations on Saturday and Sunday, encouraging people to honor fallen heroes locally by laying the flower on the headstone of a veteran's grave on Memorial Day. Nyberg's ...

and more »
Google News

Preventing Tape Drive Failure

Contrary to popular belief, tape drives are generally robust and... Read More

Bluetooth Basics - Bluetooth Technology Tutorial

Bluetooth BasicsBluetooth technology is nothing new, but in many respects... Read More


DVD CD ROMs have become predominantly the most used CD... Read More

Review: Implementing the Google Search Appliance in an Intranet environment

Our corporate intranet is a non-framed environment with both Lotus... Read More

How to Choose a New Hard Drive for Your Computer

If you are running out of space on your computer... Read More

Buying a New Computer

Someone recently asked me "I teach senior citizens in a... Read More

10 Solid Reasons To Make Your Next PC A Notebook

Notebook computers are becoming very popular. They seem to be... Read More

Ceramic Disc Capacitor-How to Accurately Test It

The last article I mentioned about electrolytic capacitor breakdown when... Read More

Flash Memory Part 2: MMC and SD

MMC and SDFlash memory is available in so many formats... Read More

The Printer Cartridge Wars: Generic or Remanufactured Cartridges Right for You?

OverviewAs "generic", "remanufactured", and "new compatible" inkjet printer cartridges and... Read More

Rackmount Computer Keyboards

The other piece of vital equipment to accompany the rack... Read More

Hard Drive Selection

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when building their computer(s)... Read More

RAM - What is It & Why You Need Plenty

This is the first article in the Understanding Your Computer... Read More

7 Steps to Cleaning the Laser Toner From Your Laser Printer

Cleaning a laser printer, fax, or copier of laser toner... Read More

How to Change, Upgade or Remove an IDE Hard Drive

Hard drives - Hard drives are a little more complicated.... Read More

Dell Inspiron 600m Notebook Computer

After twelve years of owning desktop computers, I finally opted... Read More

Thumb Drives - Great New Technology!

The ability to easily move data from PC to PC... Read More

War of the Disks: A Close-in Analysis of the Hard Disk Drive vs. the Solid State Disk

Much has been written about solid state disks (SSDs) becoming... Read More

Digital Camera Prints - Getting the Most for Your Money

Digital cameras have really taken off in popularity in recent... Read More

Dusting Your Computer - Keeping it Cool

My mother always told me to dust, but I never... Read More

Upgrading, Adding or Removing a Video Card, Sound Card, or Other AGP/PCI Card

For Video cards - Most PC video cards these days... Read More

Laptop Computers and the PVP Effect!

Roll over lumbering desktop computers, the limber laptop is here,... Read More

Review of Logitech Computer Speakers

When it comes to computer speaker systems, you have a... Read More

Learn to Find Cheap Laptop Computers on the Internet

Cheap laptop computers are coming to a store near you.... Read More

How To Format A Hard Drive

Here's how to format a hard drive (Legal Stuff: We... Read More