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Retrieving Data from DDS-3 Tapes

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I have a lot of DDS-3 4mm tapes - the 12Gb / 24Gb variety. I believe they were created with Retrospect 5 or 6 on OS X 10.2.8. My problem is that I no longer have that Mac and have to get data off of them. When we sold our office, we got rid of that Mac, which I think was an old G3.


I have the latest versions of Retrospect for both Mac and Windows. What's the best way for me to read these tapes? I have the SCSI tape drive but have no way to connect it yet. Can I read these tapes in Windows, or should I stick with Mac? How do I connect my SCSI tape drive to my Mac? Is there a USB to SCSI or FIreWire to SCSI interface someone can recommend? Should I instead get a new tape drive?


As you can tell, I'm kind of stuck. Any suggestions will help.





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You must use the Mac version. The best way would be to buy an old Mac with a SCSI port and run Retrospect 6. Version 6 is backward compatible with version 5.


IF you can connect the DAT to a modern Mac and IF the backups were made with Retrospect 6, you should be able to restore from the tapes. If the tapes were made with Retrospect 5, you are out of luck with recent versions of Retrospect (and modern Macs).

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Do you know which Mac I should get, or which is the last model on which SCSI ports were included?

You need a PowerPC machine or an Intel machine that can run an OS that supports Rosetta PPC emulation.


I'd recommend choosing a G5, G4, maybe a G3, or an Intel machine from a few years ago that can run on OS 10.5.x or 10.4.x, and then installing a compatible PCI SCSI HBA card, preferably one made by ATTO. Some Apple-branded cards didn't always play nice with tape drives or with OS versions later than 10.3.x, though if you can get a machine with one of these cards already installed fairly cheap, it could make a good starting point.

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