Okay, here's what's going on here. I'm sure you're wondering "DDS-2? Is this question from 1996?", but yeah, I'm talking about DDS-2 here. The drive was free, the tapes were $2.50 each, how could I go wrong?
Unless, of course, I trust ancient technology with somewhat-important data. Which I did.
The drive was ejecting the tape, and the tape snapped completely randomly. I suppose it got stuck on one of the loading mechanisms by not being wound tight enough. The edges of the tape where it goes into the cartridge was wrinkled by the closing door. I spliced the tape on only one side using clear tape without removing any wrinkled tape, leaving a very clean splice, but the tape drive still refuses to read ANY part of the tape. It's recognized as media, but is called "uninitialized" media.
The backup software used was MS's backup program under Windows Server 2003 Web edition. There are three backup sets on this tape (filling almost the entire tape) - containing absolutely valueless data, but was supposed to be kept in an archive forever. That's the LAST time I EVER trust a tape for data backup!
I have very, very little money to spend and I was looking for some software that could coax my drive into spitting out the data. It used hardware compression, so software should be able to pull out the uncompressed data without using decompression schemes (which may be error prone). Since the data on this tape is one of those "It doesn't make me any money, but I would really want it back!" things, I'm looking for some cheap way to get my drive to quit being so retarded and give me access to the rest of the tape...
After ejecting the tape and reinserting it a few times, it completely stopped rechecking that spliced area. Now it just reads a little, then stops with the "Tape" light on (ready). But any time I try to access the tape from any program, it throws out all commands except "eject tape".
The drive itself is an HP SureStore (HA!!!) Tape 6000. The tape is an HP DDS-2 cartridge, rated for 8gb compressed, 4gb uncompressed (I generally get 2-3GB capacity out of it).
Any tips, or should I just call the data on that tape completely and worthlessly lost? It's hard to believe the data can be lost, though - the tape before and after the splice is just fine! I can't believe such a small thing can cause such a huge headache...