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Old Backup Tapes Inexplicably Blank

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
We used to use DLTTape IV media in a Quantum DLT VS80 internal drive as our backup drive.  In 2007 we moved to a different format and the Quantum drive and associated media was relegated to our accounting network.  

We've recently taken back possession of the server with this drive and decided to catalog some old year ends.  The problem is that all of the tapes we've taken out to catalog have come up blank when I run inventory.  I am, however, able to read the accounting backups.  

The tapes in question may or may not have been created in a previous version of Veritas Backup Exec.  All of the old tapes were stored in a box inside our server room.  Is there something we're neglecting to do when trying to read these tapes?  Is there any explanation as to why the tapes are blank?
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Question by:cbentsen
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SysExpert earned 500 total points
ID: 22734617
1)  were these tapes ever previously verified ?

2) Could it be they were exposed to strong EMF that erased them ?


I hope this helps !
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by:cbentsen
ID: 22734853
Yes, they were verified.

My original suspicion was EM too, but I don't think there's anything in the server room that would emit enough EM to fry them.  Especially since they were in a corner away from all equipment except for some switches, POTS lines and T1 jacks.

Could an excess of heat do it?  It doesn't sound plausible, but at one point the cooling unit went bad and the the temperature got up to the high 90s.
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Expert Comment

by:dovidmichel
ID: 22735701
My guess is that someone who was doing the accounting backups erased all the old tapes.
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Author Closing Comment

by:cbentsen
ID: 31506838
I looked at some old tapes that were stored elsewhere and they were fine.  I don't know how, but these tapes were definitely blanked out somehow.
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Expert Comment

by:IncisiveOne
ID: 22796156
Exactly.  Only the person/dept that physically stored the tapes while they were archived would know.  If that was not you, then you simply do not know.  Anyone smart in accounting would have erased the tapes in readiness to use them.  Besides, placing them in a box in the server room is not exactly securing your backup tapes.
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