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Restore Data from a really old tape

Created: 08 Mar 2013 • Updated: 01 Apr 2013 | 4 comments
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We have a ton of old tapes from a previous backup (not exactly sure what version, but it's probably Netbackup 4.x, running on AIX). Everything (master/media server, tape library, tape drives, backup software) have all be decommissioned years ago. Tapes are the only things we have now.

We currently use Netbackup 7.1, different tape library, running on Windows 2008 R2.

My question is, how can I restore data from those old tapes? I'm being hounded by Legal :-)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Operating Systems:

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RamNagalla's picture

what is the type of tapes you have? like LTO2 LTO3 ..

and also the Type of Tape Drives currenty you have ? LTO4 LTO5 

Tape Drives have the capacity to go back and read the tapes from 2 old genarations.

if you have LTO5 tape Drives.. you can read tapes of LTO5, LTO4 and LTO3... you can not read the Tapes of LTO2.

so first check if your currnet tape drives are able to read the tapes or not..

if they are able to read..

then you would need to  do the Import of the tapes to create catalogs.. then do the recovery..if 4.x tapes can recoverd from Netbackup .7X

as you are saying it can be 4.X.. so i am not sure, if 4.X tapes can import on 7.X Netbackup.

may be some experience once from then connect can tell this.. .

robbyd925's picture

Hi Nagalla,

Thanks for the response. As for the tapes and tape drives, the old tapes are LTO4. Our current is LTO5. So I think we're good. I actually injected a couple of old tapes to our current drives and it was able to "see" it.

I guess now, I need to know how to import them... anyone?


D.Flood's picture

Since it "sees" them, the next step is see if you can do a Stage 1 Import followed by a Stage 2 Import.

That's the "import images" function comes in.  It's described in chapter 19 of the Windows Admin Guide volume 1.

One gotcha that I've tripped over is if the tape wasn't created with TIR turned on then sometimes the Phase 2 import fails.  I've seen some suggestions in other questions in this forum that there may be a work-around but I haven't had the need/oppertunity to try them yet. 

Another gotcha is if the tape was created with a different block size than current settings.  The only surefire solution I've come up with for that is to use a tape drive connected via fibre to one of the Appliances.  The combination of fibre and Linux seems automatically adjust to whatever the block size was.

RamNagalla's picture

hi ,

in addition to the admin guide.. below Step by step process also will help you