8MM Tape drives

Nico de Jong nico at farumdata.dk
Sat Oct 3 05:39:29 CDT 2009

Subject: 8MM Tape drives

I hit the local recycler today and purchased a few tapes drives. Snagged a 
DDS3 external, DDS4 external, and a cool looking IBM drive that I was hoping 
might have been AIX. Turns out its an 8MM Mammoth 20/40GB drive (looks like 
ebay #290335147769). The drive had a couple AS/400 stickers on it and 
appears to be HVD (with terminator attached on the back). Are these drives 
pretty decent, reliable, and fast? I don't have any experience with them and 
grabbed it because I like collecting any kind of removable media drive I 
don't have. Turned it on (fan must be moving quite a bit of air by the sound 
of it) and the LCD went through diagnostics and then to a ready state with 
no tape so I assume its not DOA so far. Just curious what you guys think 
before I go looking for tapes and a cable to connect it to a HVD 68 pin card 
in my SUN U5. I assume Solaris 8 might know what to do with this thing, or 
PC backup software will work with it.

>From my experience in media conversion, I can tell you that Exabyte drives 
are very stable indeed. I only use SE drives, but that should not have any 
influence on my answer.
4 mm drives (DDS3...) are based on the same experience a PITA. I once had a 
drive pulling the tape out of the cassette and wrap it around the motor. the 
customer was not very pleased, as it was to be used as evidence in a fraud 


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