Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Kroll Ontrack achieves industry breakthrough by retrieving data from overwritten LTO-6 tape cartridges

Engineers at Kroll Ontrack develop unique toolset to recover data from latest generation of LTO-6 backup tapes

Minneapolis, July 15, 2015Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery, today announced a technical breakthrough with the development of a unique toolset to retrieve overwritten data from LTO-6 tape cartridges – a significant first for the data recovery industry. Overwritten LTO-6 tapes cause major problems for organizations utilizing them as part of their backup protocols, as the original data on the tape is no longer available and crucial information can be permanently lost.

Kroll Ontrack investigated the challenge of retrieving data from LTO-6 tapes in response to a service provider that had accidentally overwritten data on a client’s back-up tape cartridge. Kroll Ontrack had already developed software and hardware tools to recover data from earlier tape designs (from LTO-1 – LTO-5). However, with LTO-6, originally released in November 2012, some significant changes were made in the design that were incompatible with Kroll Ontrack’s existing LTO tape recovery tools.

“The adoption of LTO-6 tapes is accelerating and we are seeing an increasing stream of tapes that have been overwritten, either through administrative or software errors,” explained Todd Johnson, vice president of data recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack. “The challenge with all tape media is that once a new block of data is written at the beginning of a tape that is full, all of the data stored on that tape after the new block becomes inaccessible. So if a tape is accidentally initialized or is even partially overwritten, historically it was not possible to recover the old data.”

“In an effort to maximize storage and manufacture faster and more efficient tape design, the specifications of LTO-6 changed fairly significantly from previous versions,” said Jeff Pederson, senior engineering manager, Kroll Ontrack. “In response, our engineers made the necessary changes to make our recovery solution compatible with LTO-6, allowing us to restore data even when it has been accidentally deleted. This recovery capability is available to service providers and organizations from our recovery labs across the world. As far as we are aware, we are the only data recovery company to provide this service for LTO-6 tapes.”

LTO-6 tape services are available as part of Kroll Ontrack’s standard data recovery portfolio. Customers have access to Kroll Ontrack state-of-the-art data recovery lab and ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environment, as well as first-class service and support.

For more information about LTO-6 tape recovery services, visit:

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyze, and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: or follow @KrollOntrack on Twitter.


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