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Forums Storage & Archiving LTO 8 Tape drive storage mismatch

  • LTO 8 Tape drive storage mismatch

  • Raj Samanta

    November 3, 2021 at 12:21 pm


    i am using a tanberg LTO 8 drive to backup our content. we use LTFS formatting for our tape and we get 10.6 tb natively. as a normal practice we create two copies of the tape. one for on premise and the other one is stored off premise.

    recently while creating a backup we encountered a mismatch of used data between the master tape and the backup tape. master shows data used 5.13 tb which is correct. while the back up tape shows data used 7.12 tb. in both the tapes we have copied the same files. even verified them. i don’t use any specialized software to copy and paste. we just use windows explorer to copy paste the files.

    can you guys help me understand what could have caused this?

  • Neil Sadwelkar

    November 6, 2021 at 2:43 am

    If you don’t use any software for the copying, copying to LTO by drag and drop, then how are you verifying the copy?

    Have you actually restored any of these tapes back from LTO to hard drive?

    One of the perils of using drag and drop to backup to LTO is that the media on the LTO is somewhat disorganised which makes restoring from LTO to hard disk a long drawn process. Particularly if your media is in the form of frame seq.

    Going forward, consider getting a software to do the backup. These kind of anomalies what you’re seeing will be minimised. Since you are on Windows, you could get Archiware.

    On a Mac, Yoyotta, Canister, Archiware, many options exist.

  • Raj Samanta

    November 6, 2021 at 5:39 am

    Hi, thanks for the reply. actually my tanberg vendor had suggested no need for any external archiving interface and suggested to use the IBM LTFS utility. So basically we have been using windows copy all this while. yes we have been restoring files but till now no issues.

  • Raj Samanta

    November 6, 2021 at 5:40 am

    If you think windows copy is the culprit for this storage mismatch can you suggest a better workflow for me

  • Neil Sadwelkar

    November 9, 2021 at 1:41 am

    I have no direct experience in using LTO in Windows. Though I do know folks who do, but I’ve no recollection of any of them experiencing what you are. But I do know that Finder or Explorer level drag and drop copying is not a natural method for tape based media. So its likely that additional redundant data is being written/considered in the file/folder sizes.

    The way data is written to tape is quite different to how its written to hard drives. This is why, a software layer makes the process more simpler for the computer. Basically, using a purpose built LTO software makes the LTO look and feel more like a hard drive, to the computer.

    I can’t seem to find any economical Windows software that’s LTFS based. Archiware is the one that comes to mind but that’s $ 1,680. Over on the Mac side there are many.

    There used to be Bru which is now called Argest and has a Windows version for $249. But this does not do LTFS, it writes its own proprietary format. Nothing wrong with that, though and I’ve used Bru since 2009 and have even restored tapes from 2010 recently. But If you have to have LTFS then Argest isn’t right for you.

    On Mac there’s also Canister ($300) and Yoyotta ($500) both are excellent for making verified copies and can restore with ease. Yoyotta has better data cataloguing features. But they are Mac only.

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