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HP DAT DDS5 external USB tape drive connected to a CentOS 5 server. Some files are being backed-up directly to the tape using the Tar utility/command.

If I connect the tape drive to a Windows machine, and assuming I have installed the correct drivers, is it possible to 'see' the tar files on the tape?

Would I be able to use NTBackup to copy the files to the windows machine, and then use something like 7zip to extract the tar files?

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To get the .TAR image off the tape, I'd try using the dd command from the unxutils distribution. It supports reading from physical device, so something like:

dd if=\\.\Tape0 of=output.tar

Ought to work (assuming your tape drive is "Tape0" on your Windows Server... it should be). You may have to play around with the block size (bs= parameter on the TAR command) to get it to read properly.

Make a couple test tapes to play around with before you do anything with "real" data.

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I don't know if I understand your question, but if you have the correct driver (to access the filesystem of the tape), of course you could "see" the file. The question is if you have this driver...

An anology: If you backup your linux partition with tar on a ext3-formatted external hd and you plug it into a windows box, then you'll just need a driver like ext2ifs and you will be able to open the tar file on windows.

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I would give it a shot. I dont think it will hurt anything. I have no experience with tape backups. how are they formatted? There are some disk formats that Windows is ok with- NTFS, FAT32, but some that it cant see. I dont think Windows can see ext3.

EDIT - make a backup of the tape...then give it a shot. I have a learned much from just experimenting for myself.

Another EDIT - possible related conversation. Hope it helps. (its experts-exchange so have to scroll to bottom of page to read comments)

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How can you tell someone to give it a shot when your third sentence starts "I have no experience with tape backups."? – MDMarra Nov 12 '09 at 12:58
I dont, but it will either read it or it wont. I do have some file system experience. I may edit this to read, make a backup, then give it a shot. – cop1152 Nov 12 '09 at 14:26

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