8 mm tapes

Steven Hirsch snhirsch at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 10:22:40 CDT 2010

On Fri, 24 Sep 2010, Dave McGuire wrote:

> On 9/23/10 5:57 PM, Steven Hirsch wrote:
>>>> I've added a scsi tape drive to my collection. I hope to use
>>>> it with my Sparcbook. It is a Sun box with a sticker on it saying
>>>> that it is a EXB-8500C drive. Do I need special 8mm tapes
>>>> with it? How do I know what tapes will work with it?
>>>> I've never dealt with these drives before.
>>> The 8200 (2.3GB) could use standard video tapes, but the 8500 (5GB)
>>> requires data tapes. I tried video tapes in the 8500 when it came out,
>>> but the error rates were horrendous.
>> And, I don't want to dump cold water on anyone's backup plans, but I've
>> found the 8mm DAT drives are by far the least reliable of any tape
>> system ever used here. Not necessarily in terms of data integrity, but
>> in terms of the _&)(*^^ drive itself dropping dead or developing problems.
>> Probably threw a half dozen of them away in the past ten years. I have
>> two working that I keep around only for laughs and data recovery.
>  There is no 8mm DAT.  Do you mean 8mm Exabyte or 4mm DAT?

Slip of the brain...  8mm Exabyte, of course.

Interestingly enough, I never had much trouble at all with the 4mm drives. 
Go figure.  Haven't used any of the rotary head drives much since getting 
my first DLT in 2005 or so.

>  Not that it makes much difference, as one is just about as bad as the 
> other.  I will never go near helical-scan media again.  Give me DLT, SDLT, 
> and LTO and I'll be happy.

We violently agree on that point...  I used DLT7000 drives for a few years 
until I grew tired of changing tapes every 1/2 hour.  Currently quite 
happy with the LTO-2 units.  The eBay price-point is just right and I was 
able to pickup a plastic storage-bin full of tapes for $20 at a flea 
market.  The tapes track usage and none of them were anywhere near the 
point where I'd worry about data integrity.



More information about the cctech mailing list