- Melted tapes
The school which stored their entire backup tape set next to their server.
One office fire later, “No, we can’t restore your melted tapes.”
- Old tapes
The schools which refused to buy replacement tapes, because they were too expensive.
And wondered why, after a server hard disk failure, we couldn’t restore data off their 4 year old tapes.
- Dirty tape drives
The office locations which never ever cleaned their tape drives.
The tape drives would gum up, and make the tapes un-readable.
- “Not my job”
It wasn’t a difficult task to change the backup tapes every day, but it was always “someone else” responsible for it.
Net result: continual backup failure, and lost data.
- Slowing down with age.
Tape drives, being mechanical devices, slow down with age. So you get Tape Drive A (the old drive) creating tapes that Tape Drive B (the new drive) couldn’t read.
Showed them what a fire-damaged tape looked like. “Oh!” was the most common comment.
Try and grab a copy of the “critical” data when we could, via over-the-network backups.
Dirty tape drives:
Cleaned the drive when we visited once a year. Little else we could do.
“Not my job”:
Nothing we could do about that. A hardware failure would often change the attitude at the customer site.
Slowing down with age:
We’d only see the effect of this after a hard disk crash, where we try and read the tape, and fail.
Often involved paying a service technician *lots* of money to adjust a drive for us, so it could read the data.