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The only way I know to read from an LTO tape drive is with big, heavy tools like Backup Exec.

I am looking for a light weight or free tool that can read files from an LTO tape drive attached to a Windows server. Preferably the tool would let me inventory the backup sessions on a tape and choose one or more files to read from the tape to disk. If the backup is encrypted, (hardware encryption in the tape drive), I would need to be able to enter the crypto key.

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closed as off-topic by mdpc, Falcon Momot, Ward, Sven, Oliver Jan 22 '14 at 7:09

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product, service, or learning material recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – mdpc, Falcon Momot, Ward, Sven, Oliver
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can any other "votes to close" please advise how this post can be improved to be acceptable? –  samsmith Jan 15 '14 at 4:47
I think it's a shopping question, in essence, myself. I don't see any way to improve it. –  Falcon Momot Jan 15 '14 at 5:53
@FalconMomot Thank you. A lot of what I do as a sysadmin is look for tools to solve admin issues. If SF is the wrong site for that, can you suggest where I should go? –  samsmith Jan 15 '14 at 16:49

1 Answer 1

The assumption you're making here is that there is a single LTO tape format.

There isn't.

Each backup software does it their own way. Some use TAR format from UNIXland, the rest do their own thing. This makes a 'simple option' nonexistent.

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According to wikipedia, ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_Exec ) "Backup Exec shares the same Microsoft Tape Format with Windows' built-in NTBackup." So in Win-land, there seems to be standard tape layout. And.... I guess the simple tool is NTBackup! –  samsmith Jan 15 '14 at 4:47
Maybe specific versions are supposed to be compatible, but it certainly didn't work for me in the past. –  JamesRyan Jan 15 '14 at 12:55
There are some free tools that can read Microsoft Tape Format (and it is true that Backup Exec uses MTF), but as soon as you bring in encryption I suspect you're probably well outside the standard. –  Evan Anderson Jan 15 '14 at 23:46
@EvanAnderson You may be right RE encryption. The flip side is that encryption is usually done in the tape drive itself (in my case it certainly is). Whether that is part of MTF or not, I do not know. (I am trying to set up a test rig.... no luck yet getting it all together) –  samsmith Jan 17 '14 at 23:10

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