Thread: Windows Hell
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Old 11th November 2015
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Re: Windows Hell

Originally Posted by Otto View Post
Interesting, I'd no idea there were still such things as tape drives. I used to use 400MB Travan tapes for backups but these days I use a USB hard drive. My tape drive may be in the attic but I doubt very much if it'd work with Windows 7!
Tape drives did fall by the wayside for a while around the year 2000; I suspect mainly because of limited storage capacity, but also because there were several incompatible systems running alongside each other. This wasn't helped by the fact that you could write 800 MB to a CD, which was a lot of data back then, even if few people realised how vulnerable a CD's and DVD's were to data loss!

Digital Audio Tapes were popular for a while, and are still used now, but these could only store about 80 GB of uncompressed data, which isn't much by todays' standards.

However, the launch of the 'Ultrium' Linear Tape Open (LTO) system in the year 2000 changed all that by creating one common system that was supported by all of the major computer manufacturers. The original LTO-1 tapes stored up to 200 GB of compressed data. Capacity was approximately doubled for each generation, so the current LTO-6 tapes will each store about 5 TB of compressed data, with sustained read and write speeds of 160 MB/s!

One essential element of the LTO standard is that tape drives must be able to read and write to previous generation tapes, and must be able to read the past two generations (i.e. LTO-5 drives must be able to read and write to LTO-4 tapes, and must be able to read from LTO-3 tapes).

LTO drives connect to the host computer via SCSI or SAS, and are thankfully OS independent, so any LTO drive should work with Windows XP, 7, 8.* and with Mac.

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