We need to perform complete restore to critical server using tape backup (Veritas). Found out that former IT director put p/w on tape and we cannot locate or figure it out. Options for recovery?

  • What was the reasoning behind encrypting the backups? – joeqwerty Jan 16 '10 at 17:56
  • Tapes are taken off-site as additional security measure. – Jeff Rawlins Jan 20 '10 at 3:13
  • is this backup exec or netbackup? unix or windows? Do you have support with symantec/veritas? – egorgry May 25 '10 at 20:19

Reconnect with the old IT director and see if he remembers the password. You could also try and guess the password based on if you know any of his other passwords. Maybe he left a documentation notebook or file behind somewhere?

Otherwise, weep. Weep in anguish. :'( Oh, and let this be a lesson to you to always document your passwords. And no, undocumented passwords are not job security. Example: Would you hire this IT director if you were in the position to in the future? Didn't think so. </rant>


From what little I know about Veritas, it uses the password to encrypt the data on the tape. This is the danger of security, even you can't get into your own tapes.

The option would be to call the former IT director and hope he remembers the password, and is willing to tell you.


There is no official way to recover a lost password. The data itself is not encrypted on the tape, but Backup Exec won't allow you to read the media without the password.

  • Thoughts on 3rd party recovery from tape? I would be willing to get raw data w/o directory and format if feasible. – Jeff Rawlins Jan 20 '10 at 3:17
  • I don't know is the answer! There are companies who advertise that they can do this, but have never used one myself, and don't know of anyone else who has. I'll bet they charge a pretty penny! The good news is that Backup Exec uses the Microsoft Tape Format on tape, so it's something that should be fairly common. – hmallett Jan 20 '10 at 10:00

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