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:

Tech Times

Andy Rubin Is Leaving Google To Start A Hardware Incubator
TechCrunch (blog)
Andy Rubin, best known for his work on Android at Google, is leaving the company. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rubin will build an incubator for what it describes as companies working with “technology-hardware” products. Google confirmed the ...
Android founder leaving Google to launch hardware incubatorTech Times
Former head of Android Andy Rubin leaves Google to start tech hardware ...Apple Insider
Android inventor exits GoogleUpstart
Silicon Valley Business Journal -BGR -Android Community
all 254 news articles »

The Morning Download: Andy Rubin's Exit From Google Reflects Hardware's ...
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Andy Rubin, co-founder and former leader of Google Inc.'s Android's mobile business and the current head of its nascent robotics effort, is leaving the company to start an incubator for startups interested in building hardware. A person familiar with ...

and more »

EE Times

A Great Match: SoC Verification & Hardware Emulation
EE Times
(For anyone unfamiliar with ICE, the design-under-test, or DUT, is mapped inside the hardware emulator connected to the target system where the taped-out chip would reside.) There's no need to hand-write hardware validation tests for various platforms.

and more »

Comcast To Allow Returns Of Hardware At UPS Retail Locations
It doesn't make a lot of sense, but Comcast has a new partnership with UPS that will allow customers to return used Comcast gear – like Xfinity cable boxes, modems, phone routers, and other gear – to any UPS retail location. In many cities, like ...

and more »


EMC cloud really isn't all about EMC hardware, says EMC product chief
Skeptics and smart asses (raising hand here) contend that any cloud delivered by a hardware provider is immediately suspect because it's just a way for that vendor to sell more of that aforementioned hardware. There is some validity to that theory but ...

Mining Roundup: BTC Guild For Sale and ZeusMiner's Sudden Hardware Halt
ZeusMiner is offering pre-order customers two options: complete refunds in the currency they made their pre-order in (either bitcoin, litecoin or US dollars) or a pre-order transfer from hardware to software. The company is giving 10% discounts to ...

and more »

Daily Union

Watson Ace Hardware opens in downtown Jefferson development
Daily Union
CHAIN CUT — The new Watson Ace Hardware store held a “chain-cutting ceremony” Thursday as part of a grand opening at its downtown Jefferson location. Pictured above, from left, are: Alderperson William Brandel; Mayor Dale Oppermann; Bob Ingersoll, ...


Robots to assist customers at San Jose Orchard Supply Hardware store
San Jose Mercury News
NEW YORK -- The robots are coming. Lowe's is testing whether new bots on wheels can improve its customer service, like helping a shopper find a match for something as simple as a nail. Four robots will be tested an Orchard Supply Hardware store owned ...
OSHBot robot gears up to offer hardware shopping helpCNET
OSHbot Will Save You From Having to Ask for Help in a Hardware StoreIEEE Spectrum
Orchard Supply Hardware introduces robots associates to help customers at San

all 256 news articles »

Nintendo Is Strongly Considering Region-Unlocking Its Hardware
Nintendo Is Strongly Considering Region-Unlocking Its Hardware. Company CEO Satoru Iwata says region-locking has existed due to certain issues on the sellers' side. by Tony Ponce on 31st Oct, 2014. Follow @gameranx. Nintendo is different from its peers ...

and more »

Breitbart News

Majority of Calif. Health Data Breaches from Stolen Hardware
California Attorney General Kamala Harris released a report showing that the majority of health data breaches were from lost or stolen hardware. Health data breaches in California last year were largely due to stolen or lost hardware or digital media ...
California data breach report underscores need for encryption in healthcareFierceHealthIT

all 42 news articles »
Google News

How to Solve Multiple Paper Loading Problem in HP5L and HP6L Laser Printer

Have you ever encountered before the problem of having multiple... Read More

The Printer Cartridge Review

Years ago computers were huge and their accompanying printers were... Read More

HIPPA Goes Mobile and Wireless for Hospitals and First Responders

It appears we need to further streamline health care and... Read More

The Importance Of Current Sense Resistor In Switch Mode Power Supply

Current sense resistor is usually located in the switch mode... Read More

Which Notebook Computer Has Your Name On It?

Notebook Computers Are Sexy!Granted, the notebook computer may just be... Read More

Hard Drive Selection

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

Sony vs. Olympus: Digital Voice Recorders

Digital voice recorders have become increasingly popular over the last... Read More

Laptop Computers Instigate Classroom Revolution!

Have you noticed that laptop computers are beginning to dictate... Read More

Printer Cartridge Economics -- Four Ways To Make Your Ink Last Longer

Printer cartridge overheads can be a major expense for any... Read More

Routing, Routed, and Non-Routable Protocols

ROUTING PROTOCOLSA generic term that refers to a formula, or... Read More

Do You Have Dead Pixels?

Take a good look at your notebook computer screen. Do... Read More

Preventing Tape Drive Failure

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

How to Save Money With Cheap Computers

We all know that computers change more then any other... Read More

USB Key Drives - Useful Tool

There are many different names for these drives, just so... Read More

Testing a Transformer- How To Accurately Test A Transformer

There is two types of transformers in the market- linear... Read More

Thin Clients Benefits are Excellent Options for Computer Homeschools... Just a Suggestion

Wireless Consulting and Solution Providers have always been important to... Read More

Facing DVD Software Dilemma? Its Brainlessly Simple

1. Pocket DVD Wizard Pocket DVD Wizard allows you... Read More

USB Hubs and Ports Explained

The USB standard has become the universal means of connection... Read More

Small Computers

Today, small form factor computers demolish the myth that bigger... Read More

The Printer Cartridge Game

Think you got a great deal on a printer? Like... Read More

Inkjet Jargon Explained

With all the technical terms out there, it is becoming... Read More

Power Protection in the Home Theater - Use of Surge Suppressors to Guard Expensive Electronic Gear

Surge Suppressors ? A First Line of DefenseAll home theater... Read More

Expansion Cards Part 2: AGP

Expansion Cards Part 2: AGPThe first in this series of... Read More

Video Cards: Is AGP Dead?

If you've been looking to upgrade your computer video card... Read More

Learn to Find Cheap Laptop Computers on the Internet

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