SUMMARY: Exabyte EOT -- how to skip over? (FAQ?)

From: Brian Dickson (
Date: Thu Dec 01 1994 - 11:24:51 CST

In a previous article I wrote:

> Due to an inadvertant error (despite my best efforts), I have a tape
> full of data which was written over with nothing (just two EOFs).
> Is there ANY way to force an Exabyte 8500 to skip over this to the
> data on the tape? Any utilities, program source, or even physical
> procedures (short of tape splicing) would be appreciated (although
> I would prefer authoratative answers from anyone who has actually
> done this -- urban legends abound.)
> Please reply via email; I will summarize.

Essentially, the answer is "no."
(But see below for a solution to the problem.)

I got three replies, and an answer from my vendor.

"" said, there is no way. He then suggested
variations on the ideas above (including power cycling the drive while
it is still writing, so no EOF, and splicing tape).
"" suggested I contact our vendor (OSS),
as he had heard they might have a PC program to change drive parameters
to permit fsf past EOT. (They didn't know anything about that.)
"" said he had contacted Exabyte, and they had told him
to contact a data recovery service.

There is no substitute for backups, and data recovery services exist
for a reason. :-(

However, when I contacted our vendor, they suggested I contact Exabyte,
and that they will recover data from tapes. When I contacted them
myself, I was told that it was free of charge, but was considered
a "favour", as opposed to a "free service" -- I cannot emphasize enough
the difference: if this service gets abused, it will go away. If you
have backups, recover from backups. This should only be used as a
last resort. If you *need* to do this, contact them yourself, and ask
nicely. And don't tell where you heard about this. ;-)

Brian Dickson             | University of Toronto Computing & Communications            | Network & Operations Services
+1 416 978 0993 (voice)   | External Network Facilities Managment
+1 416 978 6620 (fax)     | 4 Bancroft Ave., Rm 101, Toronto, ON M5S 1C1

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