LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 10-26-2017, 09:00 AM   #1
Matra
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2017
Posts: 5

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Recovering data from unknown tapes


Hi all,

I've scoured this forum (and Google) which has really helped me get to where I am today, let me cut to the chase and explain the situation:

I have some DDS-150 (4mm) tapes that contain some data that may be of interest and want to convert it to a more usable/flexible format on an ext HDD or network.
  • I don't know what was used to make the tapes
  • I'm using a HP DAT72 (USB) drive which I know is working just fine
  • All tapes have a block size of 512b (found this out thanks to this forum using dd if=/dev/nst0 bs=128k count=1 | wc -c)
  • There are multiple files/folders on each tape but only around 10-20gb of each tape is used, each for an old HDD on a very old file server (I think). They are labelled as 'drive D', 'drive E' etc.

As you can see from above my drive name is nst0 and the usual mf commands work just fine.

When trying to determine the data type on the type:
Code:
file -< /dev/st0
returns
Code:
/dev/stdin: data
I've tried tar -tvf /dev/nst0 to view the contents and the return is
Code:
tar: This does not look like a tar archive
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors
(I did have a longer error message earlier but can't find it, first line was the same though)

So I then tried CPIO cpio -civt < /dev/nst0 which just returned a load of junk and some random text from what appears to be within a file.

Here I've been able to make some headway using dd (I'm a fairly 'fresh-fish in the Linux world)

Code:
dd if=/dev/st0 of=/tmp/file1
creates a binary file dump of the tape contents but I have no idea how to view/open it to see the tape contents and files.

Any help/suggestions would be great. Just being able to read the file list on the drive would be a massive bonus, recovering them would be the icing on the cake
 
Old 10-26-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,592

Rep: Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.

By the way the difference between /dev/st0 and /dev/nst0 is that using /dev/nst0 does not rewind the tape when the current tape operation is completed.

Since the tapes are labeled drive D, drive E etc maybe they were created on a Windows operating system. The data on tape could be a proprietary format which might be difficult to recover unless you have the application.

You can try viewing /tmp/file1 using a hex editor to see if there is a header or magic number that is readable.
 
Old 10-26-2017, 10:53 AM   #3
DavidMcCann
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: PCLinuxOS, Debian
Posts: 5,788

Rep: Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140Reputation: 2140
Just looking at the Wikipedia article reveals that the tapes may be using DCLZ compression. That was usually done by firmware rather than software, I believe, and different manufacturers' products did not always give compatible results.
 
Old 10-26-2017, 02:34 PM   #4
Matra
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2017
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.

By the way the difference between /dev/st0 and /dev/nst0 is that using /dev/nst0 does not rewind the tape when the current tape operation is completed.

Since the tapes are labeled drive D, drive E etc maybe they were created on a Windows operating system. The data on tape could be a proprietary format which might be difficult to recover unless you have the application.

You can try viewing /tmp/file1 using a hex editor to see if there is a header or magic number that is readable.
Thanks,

When I look at the device list st0 does not exist but nst0 does, figured the drive decided/decides which it's going to be?

They very well might have been created on a Windows system but most likely prior to 1997!! Next on my list was to inspect with a hex editor though I can't do this until Monday
 
Old 10-27-2017, 06:28 AM   #5
fatmac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants Border, UK
Posts: 4,206

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Judging by what you have said, I would imagine they were just daily or weekly backup tapes, probably nothing interesting on them.

You should have full backups of your present data somewhere, in case of emergencies, probably two of, if the data is critical, & these should be updated regularly.
 
Old 10-30-2017, 02:51 AM   #6
Matra
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2017
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.
You can try viewing /tmp/file1 using a hex editor to see if there is a header or magic number that is readable.
I've made some headway and found the tape creation data "XF tape created on 03/01/06 Microsoft Windows NT Backup (NTBackup.exe) version 1.0 Rev 3 41"

At least now I know where to look and will have to find how to get hold of that/run it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
Judging by what you have said, I would imagine they were just daily or weekly backup tapes, probably nothing interesting on them.

You should have full backups of your present data somewhere, in case of emergencies, probably two of, if the data is critical, & these should be updated regularly.
Annoyingly it's not 'our' data. It's another company's data from an acquisition over a decade ago. Nobody has even looked at these tapes since but obsolescence review means that I should (or have to) as they may contain notes from the original design that are not found anywhere else.
 
Old 10-30-2017, 04:48 AM   #7
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,592

Rep: Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163
FYI...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTBackup
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 10-30-2017, 06:44 AM   #8
Matra
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2017
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks, I at least know what format they are in and some Googling resulted in a program called mtftar which should convert the bkf to tar BUT I can't seem to find a version that will make, keeps coming up with errors - guessing it's an old unsupported program now and will have to dig out an old XP machine from somewhere
 
Old 10-31-2017, 10:34 AM   #9
Matra
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2017
Posts: 5

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thought I'd update this with progress, dug out an old XP machine and got the tape drive working... went to recover and it only saw the date created and wouldn't let me recover any files...

So I DD-d all of the drives to a single img file per tape (in linux) and copied across to my Win10 machine running Nucleus Kernel Tape Data Recovery Software - which shows all of the data that is on the tapes! Now I can sift through and find what I want and see if it's worth the fee to buy the software.

Thanks everyone for the pointers and help
 
Old 10-31-2017, 10:42 AM   #10
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 21,592

Rep: Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163Reputation: 4163
Thanks for the update
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] Unknown Data Uploading to Unknown Destination (Machine IP Broadcasting) vb_1989 Linux - Networking 2 06-17-2016 05:42 AM
Having trouble extracting data from DDS tapes on CENTOS 5.6 Preacherpj Linux - Newbie 5 01-30-2014 12:27 PM
Using tapes for long term data storage. What software to use? Not Amanda. WojtekO Linux - Software 5 04-07-2009 02:10 AM
How to do a write/verify test on data tapes with a Storagetek L700e robotic library pyrotherm Linux - Software 1 04-27-2008 03:29 PM
Recovering SD data Fice Linux - Software 2 12-21-2007 09:14 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:52 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration