Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've got old backup tapes made with previous versions (v10 and v12) that I need to pull data from (related to this prior question).

I have a machine set up with Windows Server 2008 and a trial version of Backup Exec 2010. It appears to be able to access the tapes and such when I run Inventory/Catalog commands, but each "inventory" command spins up the drive for a moment then looks (and sounds) like it's doing nothing after a few minutes, and the Job Monitor just shows the job "running."

My main question is -- is there an easier way to read these tapes than going through the whole song and dance of inventory / catalog / scan / etc that BE wants you to do? It was previously suggested to me to try using NTBackup to restore files from tape, but it looks like tape drive support for that was removed in Server 2008 (naturally). All I really need to do is scan the contents of each tape individually and be able to restore data from each - but the typical BE process seems overly complicated to me...

UPDATE - 2011-Feb-09

I've now got a Windows Server 2003 set up with the LTO drive and I'm just trying to use NTbackup to restore. When I open ntbackup.exe, I can see the "LTO Ultrium" drive as a device, but the tape that's loaded is not cataloged. How do you catalog a tape with NTbackup? I see the option to "catalog a backup file", but that asks to browse to disk somewhere for a .bkf file...

share|improve this question

Using BU Exec will give you a very good chance to recover what you require. While process is a bit time consuming, it will reveal the contents of the tape and allow the restore. The time is worth it if you want the data back.

share|improve this answer
What is the recommended procedure for this? Insert tape (got that far), then what do I run first in BackupExec? Do I catalog or inventory first? Or something else entirely? – colemanm Feb 3 '11 at 22:25
You pretty much load the tape and catalog it --… has more details. – voretaq7 Feb 3 '11 at 23:07
Inventory to recognize the tape and then catalogue. Inventory is quick. Catalogue can take a bit – Dave M Feb 4 '11 at 13:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.