How to Transfer Tape Data to Hard Drive?

Case 1: I have some very old business data stored on tape media. I tried to transfer tape data to hard disk but the software didn’t allow me to do so. Is there a way to transfer my crucial tape data to a hard drive?

Case 2: I am a “Data Backup & Restore Administrator” in my organization. The organization has backed up a lot of business data on tape media. The data on tape media has become unreadable and data restore fails. Please help me to restore the tape data and move it to a hard drive.

If you want to restore or transfer tape data to a hard drive and are unable to do it, read this blog post. In this post, you’ll get to know why you’re not able to restore tape data to the hard drive and how you can successfully transfer the data from tape media to the hard drive.

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Why Does Restoring Tape Data to Hard Drive Fail?

LTO TapeTape media are one of the oldest data storage devices. Because of their high data storage capacity, they’re typically used in businesses as data backup devices. Though restoring data from tapes to hard drives is simple, it might fail if there is any physical damage or logical corruption caused to the tape media.

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For instance, if the tape’s magnetic coating, the layer that holds data, or supporting layers are damaged, you’d not be able to transfer the tape data. Similarly, if the data on tape media gets corrupted, you might get errors such as “Cannot read media header, may not be NetBackup media or is corrupted”, while restoring data from the tape.

What are the reasons of Damaged Tape?

A tape may get damaged for the following reasons:

  • Tape deterioration due to moisture, dust, or heat
  • Loss of tape lubricant
  • Distortion of tape
  • Entangled tape
  • Broken tape
  • Sticky tape
  • Sticky shed

There are some other reasons that also don’t allow you to restore the data from tape media. These are:

  • Tape data restoration software is not the one used for backing up: There are various third party tape Backup & Restore software available in the market to back up the data on tape media. If you’re not using the same software for restoring/transferring tape data, the restoration process would fail.
  • Incorrect placement/sequence of tape drives: The sequence of tape drives plays a vital role while restoring the data. If the placement or position of tape drives is not correct, you wouldn’t be able to restore or transfer tape data to the hard drive.
  • Malfunctioning tape library or tape drive: A tape library is a robotic system used for storing, retrieving, reading from, and writing to tape cartridges in tape drives. If the tape library, which holds one or more tape drives, malfunctions, transferring the tape data to a hard drive would fail.

In such a case, you need to contact a tape data recovery expert such as Stellar who can restore/transfer the tape data to the hard drive.

Why Stellar Tape Data Recovery Services?

Stellar’s tape data recovery experts use proprietary tools and techniques to restore your business data stored on tape media. They have expertise in recovering data from all kinds of tape drives such as QIC, DDS 3, DAT, Mammoth 2, Super DLT, SAIT, LTO-1 to LTO-9, etc.

The process we follow to recover/transfer tape data to hard drives:

  • Fix physical problems with tape media such as broken ribbon, sticky tape, etc. by using propriety techniques
  • Use advanced tools to parse blocks and create an image file of the tape data
  • Analyze the image file
  • Customize the proprietary data recovery software and use it to extract tape data from image file
  • Transfer the extracted data to hard drive by using proprietary tools


Tapes are the most widely used data storage devices and can hold high volumes of data. Organizations typically use tapes to back up business data. Many times, they require to restore and transfer years old tape data to the hard drive. However, sometimes, they fail to restore tape data due to human errors or physical/logical problems with the tape media.

If you’re unable to transfer tape data to the hard drive then you need to contact a Professional Data Recovery Service Provider. They can help you to transfer the tape data to hard drive with safety and privacy.

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