Tape Services

Tape Restoration

Tape archive restore requests are often urgent – we’re ready to act fast

Sometimes when you need tape archives restored, you don’t have time to wait for your busy IT department. We restore and repair data from backup tapes, no matter how tight the deadline.

Our Capabilities

Ontrack has the ability to restore and repair data from corrupted, broken and inaccessible backup tapes. We can help you alleviate common tape restoration headaches and meet even the strictest of deadlines.

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Targeted Restores
Looking for a specific item? Our granular search capabilities enable you to restore exactly the data you need to the format of your choice.
Lightning Speed Icon
Lightning Speed
No matter how short the timeframe, we can help you. We can work 24/7/365 to restore your data so you can meet even the tightest of deadlines.
Any Media Type Icon
Any Media Type

We can recover from any type of storage media, regardless of the backup system that was originally used to store the data.

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Cloud Migration
We can prepare the extracted data, such as email, to formats ready for import into your cloud environment.

How tape restoration works.

We use a project-based approach tailored to your exact requirements. A usual tape restoration project can include:

  • Restoring data from a tape backup
  • Recovery of inaccessible data
  • Replication and de-duplication
  • Catalog and indexing report for future data mapping
  • Development of custom software and tools
  • Conversion of your legacy media in a secure, efficient and cost-effective manner
  • Accurate bit-for-bit copy of the source data, supplied back to you in the required format

All of these steps are flexible and can be adjusted to suit your needs, particularly when the delivery deadlines for data restores are very tight.

Any tape format.

From reel-to-reel to the latest LTO tapes, we can cater for any type of magnetic storage, no matter how new or old the technology is.

Even if your media is damaged, our engineers can help using  proprietary tape recovery techniques. Here are just some of the tape formats we support, in any generation. Can’t see yours? Don’t worry, we can still help you.



Tape Capacity

3500 Series

3500 MP Series

5 to 700 GB

AIT Series | SAIT Series

8mm (AIT)

35 to 500 GB

Oracle (formerly StorageTek)
9800 Series | 10000 Series

9800 Series
10000 Series

40 to 1,000 GB

DLT Series | SDLT Series

DLT Series
SDLT Series

80 to 800 GB

Tandberg Data
DAT Series | LTO Series
SLR Series | VXA Series

4mm, 8mm (MP)
Ultrium (generation 1-5)

38 to 6000 GB

Quantum, HP, Sony
DDS Series | DAT Series

DDS 4 mm

20 to 40 GB

IBM, HP, Quantum, Sony
LTO Series

Ultrium (generation 1-8)

200 GB to 30 TB

Any backup system.

Our expertise doesn’t end with tape; we also provide additional services to assist with the migration of backup systems:


Veritas NetBackup

Veritas Backup Exec

Microsoft® Backup

Catalogic® DPX



Data Protector





We support any backup software, so if you don’t see yours here we can still assist you.

What Our Customers Say About Our Data Recovery Services

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Total data security.

We’re trusted by thousands of organizations every year with even the most sensitive data. We can provide you with:

  • Full chain of custody
  • Strict security protocols
  • Data returned on encrypted media
  • Secure courier service
  • Disposal of end-of-life media to government standards

Ensure your legacy tapes are accessible

Many companies have backup tapes that haven’t been accessed for many years. As a result, many IT teams don’t even know what’s on the tapes and don’t have the hardware they need to access them.

This can cause significant problems if legacy data needs to be accessed quickly, for legal or other business reasons.

To avoid this situation occurring, it’s advisable to:

  • Make sure you have access to the hardware and software you need to access the tapes, for as long as the data will be saved for
  • Migrate old legacy tapes to newer backup or tape formats
  • Use a managed data service to transfer and store the tapes, and restore the data whenever needed.

Our team of US tape restoration and data retrieval experts can restore the data you need, from any type of storage media, even if you’re working to a tight deadline. We can also migrate it to the cloud for easy access in the future.

How it Works

Our tape services consist of four main steps that make managing your archive data a straightforward task.




Why work with Ontrack?

  • World-leading data management services and software since 1985
  • International coverage with 33 office locations for multi-site / jurisdiction cases
  • 24/7/365 availability
  • Over 30 years of technical experience and R&D capability to solve even the most challenging tape situations
  • Proprietary software tools that work independently of backup infrastructure/software
  • Strict security policies with chain of custody if required Q Security compliant - twice awarded by the US Department of Defense for outstanding security participation

Tape Restoration FAQs

How do I restore archives to a new backup environment?

Simply put, you must restore your tape archives and then extract the data. Then you can either import the content into the new backup environment, after you recreated the archive structure, or if your new backup system allows it, you can copy or import the complete archives into the new data structure.There are several options available to organisations when it comes to dealing with upgrading your archive systems, each one with its own considerations. In any case, restoring and migrating an old archive structure which includes data is not an easy task. Each backup system has its own way of saving data in its tape library and onto the tapes themselves, so you must dig deep into the manuals in order to achieve a problem-free new backup environment.Additionally, problems may arise when a client software is not available or if the paths to them have changed or are not working properly. This is often the case when only snapshots or dumps were taken instead of a full backup and the source consists of database files. In such a case, getting expert help is a better way of dealing with this issue. Our specialists have all the required knowledge and equipment for all the current and old software and hardware for tape and backup solutions. They use standardised processes for tape services, meaning that it is both time and cost-effective for you.

My tape restore failed. What can I do now?

If your tape restoration fails, try another device. Sometimes tapes that aren't playable on one drive can work just fine on another. This is a common problem due to the incompatibility between different branded players, as well as different branded tapes. This happens often and the best solution is to figure out which tapes work best with your drives.If that doesn't help, you can try cleaning the drive using a cleaning cartridge and checking the cable connections. In the worst-case scenario, your player no longer works. It is therefore advisable to contact Ontrack for professional restoration of your tapes as we stock a large number of readers of different brands and models.

How can I recover/restore a damaged tape?

In the case of tapes damaged by water, fire, or broken cartridges, you should not try to recover the data yourself! In most cases, you could make the issue worse and prevent any chance of tape restoration. If you try to access a damaged tape by inserting it into a drive, you risk destroying the machine, which is probably still worth a lot of money. In this situation, it is better to contact a data recovery specialist such as Ontrack.

How are custodian extractions and restores performed from tape?

Extractions and restores for investigations and legal cases are normally performed the same way as normal extractions and restores. The content of the tapes is restored either by a full or a brick-level backup (to get access to the tapes content) or by using Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange or Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint. Using this specialised tool, you can completely eliminate a brick-level backup for single item restore. Additionally, Ontrack PowerControls provides the ability to search, collect and extract the data stored inside a backup without changing the original data source.For further investigation and legal purposes, Ontrack Legal Technology and Computer Forensic experts offer a wide range of services for every possible legal- and compliance-related situations. They provide standardised and unique processes ranging from data identification, data preservation, data collection as well as data analysis and data processing in order to gain complete insight and more control over digital document evidence.

What is the difference between a legally compliant tape restore and a normal tape restore?

Since tape content is sensitive to legal compliance and, in some cases, to legal prosecution, it is absolutely essential that the material is original. No additions or changes to the content and its metadata are allowed to be made by the backup or restoration software in use. With this in mind, only specialised software can be used to avoid inadvertent damage to evidence.Even though it is possible to restore the tape content with your standard tape backup software, it is wise to use a forensically-sound email and content management tool, like Ontrack PowerControls. It allows IT personnel to meet all critical requests from the legal department and other external enquiries. Ontrack PowerControls software can also help administrators search, recover, restore and export data efficiently in Microsoft Exchange Server and/or Microsoft SharePoint Server environments.

KLDiscovery Ontrack, LLC, 9023 Columbine Road Eden Prairie, MN 55347, United States (see all locations)