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Unable to recognize previously archived DDS3 tapes

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Retrospect 5.1

Mac OS 9.2.2 (the only machine in our office with a SCSI connection)

Unable to read previously archived DDS3 tapes


We recently had our Sony SDT-9000 tape drive eat a tape, we decided it was shot, so we purchased a used replacement. The new SDT-9000 Version 0400 (also an external unit) will not recognize our DDS3 tapes which we have previously recorded, and we suspect it is not using hardware compression, as we are not getting as much data on our backups. I checked and the jumper for disabling hardware compression is NOT present.


Is there something I'm missing here? The tape drive will read older, sixty meter tapes. Is there something I should be looking for in Retrospect? Sony was unhelpful regarding hardware compression, basically saying they've never heard of one not working.


Dave Braun

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A couple of suggestions, with the understanding that I never ran Retrospect 5.1 - didn't think it was ready for production; we went from 4.3 to 6.0. But I think these parts are the same.


(1) try creating a new backup set (you can't change compression on a backup set once it's used). Configure > Backup Sets, New, see how "Allow hardware data compression" is set/unset. Try a new set with that selected for hardware data compression.


(2) it's possible that the new drive has different alignment than the old drive. Tapes that aren't as dense won't be as fussy.


(3) you don't say what type of a computer this is, only that it's running 9.2.2. Too bad it's not running Unix, because you could use some real tape tools to figure out what's happening.


(4) perhaps it was sold used because it didn't work.


(5) There don't seem to be Sony tape tools for OS 9. There are for Windows and Unix:


You might want to take the drive to another computer that runs Sony's diagnostics and give the diagnostics a shot.


(6) Note that there is a firmware update (version 0601) but it looks like it only updates under Windows. You might try to find a Windows machine and give that a shot:


The firmware update is built in to the Unix (MacOS X) Sony Tape Tools; I've done it before on a SDT-7000 that we have hanging around to read our old Retrospect DDS and DDS2 tapes from Retrospect 2.0 ... 4.3 back when we had an ASIP server. It had no trouble reading tapes made on an HP DAT drive that died.



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