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:


IoT: Forget hardware, think product and service possibilities
From a hardware perspective, it's mostly about cost, standardization, and connectivity. IoT sensors have reached commodity pricing, and near-ubiquitous cellular connectivity have made it possible to procure IoT "sensors on a chip" en masse, rather than ...

and more »

Digital Trends

MSI shows off new workstations with Skylake and Nvidia hardware
Digital Trends
As much as gaming laptops might be the coolest looking packages — with often the worst battery life — they aren't the real workhorse stations. Think of them as the street-racers of the laptop scene. For the refined, powerful, but comfortable and ...
MSI Announces Pair Of Workstation Laptops With Intel Skylake Processors ...Tom's Hardware

all 6 news articles »


iPhone 6S teardown reveals upgrades galore, similar hardware layout
iPhone 6S teardown reveals upgrades galore, similar hardware layout. Bill Detwiler cracks open the iPhone 6S and discovers plenty of hardware upgrades, but no major changes to the internal layout. By Bill Detwiler | October 9, 2015, 8:25 AM PST. RSS.

New York Times

The Hardware Side of Microsoft Unveils a Pile of New Devices
New York Times
Of the new devices announced Tuesday, the Surface Book garnered the most attention because it plunges Microsoft deeper into making PC hardware. The company positioned the device, which starts at $1,499, as a more powerful competitor to Apple's ...
Microsoft has warmed my cold cynical heart with hot new hardwareThe Verge
How Microsoft's Hardware Strategy Combines The Best of Apple and GoogleMotley Fool
Microsoft Pushes Deeper Into HardwareWall Street Journal
GeekWire -TechCrunch -Forbes
all 4,003 news articles »

SuperSite for Windows

Microsoft becomes a premium hardware company
SuperSite for Windows
Just like many of you, I was closely watching the announcements coming from Microsoft during their big #Windows10Devices briefing earlier this week in New York City. The Microsoft that stood on that Manhattan stage Tuesday morning is very different to ...
From partner relations to antitrust, Microsoft's new hardware push has serious ...Network World
Microsoft's epic hardware event in quotesThe Verge
Designing Surface Pro 4: a chat with a Microsoft hardware leadEngadget
WinBeta -Business Insider Australia
all 117 news articles »

CDC Collaborates With Edico Genome to Evaluate Dragen Hardware for Microbial ...
Under the terms of the agreement, the CDC's Office of Advanced Molecular Detection (OAMD) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases will evaluate the utility of Edico's Dragen bioinformatics hardware platform for use in ...
CDC Enters into Research Collaboration with Edico Genome to Evaluate ...PR Newswire (press release)

all 2 news articles »

Automotive News

Older VW diesels will need software and hardware fixes, Horn tells lawmakers
Automotive News
Horn told lawmakers on a U.S. House oversight subcommittee that hardware changes and software changes will be needed for the cars equipped with the first generation of VW's EA189 2.0-liter turbodiesel, starting with the 2009 VW Jetta TDI. “We know we ...
Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: 3.6M Cars In Europe Require Hardware Changes ...International Business Times
VW emissions scandal: hardware fix needed on 3.6m vehiclesAutocar
Germany says 3.6 mln VW cars will require hardware changes | ReutersFirstpost
E&T magazine
all 5,381 news articles »


Jawbone CEO: We don't think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore
The Verge
Jawbone is best known as a maker of Bluetooth headsets, speakers and Up activity-trackers. But don't call it a hardware company. That's according to Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman, who was interviewed by Recode's Kara Swisher earlier today at the Code ...
Jawbone Isn't a Hardware Company Anymore, Says CEO Hosain Rahman (Video)Re/code
Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman hints at company moving away from hardwareVentureBeat

all 29 news articles »


BlackBerry could quit hardware as early as next year
At a panel interview at Code/Mobile, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said that the company might quit the hardware business if it isn't profitable by next year. He said that he "never says never" to shutting down its device business and could perhaps ...
BlackBerry Priv's success could determine the fate of company's hardware
BlackBerry Considers Hardware DepartureCCM
BlackBerry CEO Says Company Might Leave the Hardware BusinessComplex
Alphr -Computing
all 215 news articles »

Utility Dive

Hardware shortages may slow solar growth in 2016
Utility Dive
The rush to install solar before the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) reverts to its pre-2006 10% levels at the end of 2016 has sparked a backlog of orders for modules and inverters that could slow solar growth, ECT reports. The shortage is ...

Google News

Laptop Security -Where?d My Laptop Go?

Laptops are lovely. They are convenient, mobile, powerful and prestigious.... Read More

Inexpensive Radius Server Gives Wireless Networks The Security They Need

Many small businesses have considered connecting computers and other devices... Read More

Cisco CCNA Certification: An Illustrated Guide To Ethernet CSMA/CD

When you're studying for your CCNA exams, you're going to... Read More

Drop On Demand Printers

Most HP and Epson printers are drop on demand printers.... Read More

The Hard Disk

From throwing our unnecessary files, to defragmenting, from partitions to... Read More

Computer Hardware Preventive Maintenance Software

Computers often break down at the worst of all times.... 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

Buying / Selecting Computer Components

This is the step takes the most time and consideration.... Read More

Heliodisplay --Computer Video With No Screen

Science-Fiction meets reality with this new video display technology.The Heliodisplay... Read More

Printer Cartridges - Step Back in History

You are working and trying to print out important documents... Read More

Ergonomic Products 101

Human beings are scaling new heights day by day. Markets... Read More

Inkjet Jargon Explained

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

Introduction to Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is a single computer on a web-hosting... Read More

Your Printer Is Out Of Ink -- Now What?

We've all been there. You're in the middle of printing... Read More

JunxionBox -- WiFi Access Everywhere

Now you can more easily access the Internet wherever mobile... Read More

Digital Cameras, Media, and Card Readers

With the dropping prices on digital cameras and digital media... Read More

Where Can I Find The Best Case Mods Online and Save Money?

Are you captivated by the stunning Case Mods you've seen... Read More

Testing Capacitor-How To Test A Capacitor When Breakdown Under Load

Have you ever come across power problem where once you... Read More

You Can Prevent Computer Slowdowns & Issues

Most people understand preventive maintenance like changing the oil in... Read More

Dusting Your Computer - Keeping it Cool

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

A Review of Brother Laser Toners

Brother is right up there with HP and Samsung as... Read More

Rear Projection TV Facts - Understanding the Pros & Cons of Rear Projection in the Home Theater

Rear Projection Television - An Affordable OptionA great deal of... Read More

Video Encryption

What is Video Encryption?Video Encryption is an extremely useful method... Read More

ABCs Of DVD Drive Abbreviations

The number of different formats available in DVD drives can... Read More


When buying a new computer, or upgrading your monitor, you... Read More