Yet another idea for recovering the data from Series80 tapes

Jules Richardson julesrichardsonuk at
Mon Oct 31 07:43:29 CST 2005

Vassilis Prevelakis wrote:
> "Joe R." <rigdonj at> wrote:
>>FWIW I tested about a dozen tapes a few years ago and about 4 failed
>>on the first pass, about that many failed in the next few days and
>>only one lasted a week.
> The tapes stick unto themselves, so it is a good idea to unwind them slowly
> rather than perform a retention (CTAPE) which is a violent and abusive
> treatment for a tape that is ready to fall apart.

You know, given the sticking aspect, does running old tapes through some 
gadget tht's completely submerged in some cleansing liquid make sense? 
It presumably wouldn't be that hard to take the mechanical side of an 
old tape drive and stick it in some form of bath, with belt drive to a 
motor outside of the bath to do a slow pass.

Presumably the magnetic data would survive happily. The only issue is 
properly drying the tape out afterwards before use.

Of course it depends on the cause of the stickyness. If it's total decay 
  of some aspect of the tape's construction then it'll probably destroy 
the tape during cleaning. If it's due to some surface-level problem 
(out-gassing or external contaminants, say) then maybe the cleaning's 
useful and will result in a tape that can at least be read long enough 
to get the data off...

Idle thoughts for the morning anyway! :)



More information about the cctech mailing list