Helping a friend with accessing an old backup file (circa 2000) of some ProTools sessions provided by a recording studio on DAT-style data tapes. He has the tapes, and a Seagate STD 124000N SCSI tape drive which accepts them.

After sorting out a SCSI-USB converter, and connecting it via a Windows system (as the Adaptec SCSI-USB converter doesn't have a driver for OS X), we finally got it recognized as a device, and got drivers installed. But I can see no way to mount the tape as a drive, or see/access the contents thereof.

What kind of Windows software (that is still available somewhere) will be able to see the drive and copy files from it?

  • This is a great question, I would recommend editing the last part slightly so it doesn't get marked as off-topic (product recommendations are considered as such).
    – user201262
    Sep 10, 2013 at 3:07
  • Which software was used to store the files on the tape? If it was plain tar you should be able to read them from any un ix like system, including OS X.
    – Hennes
    Sep 10, 2013 at 12:35
  • @Hennes I'm afraid we don't know what was used to make the tape. Does that affect how we will be able to access the files stored on it? I (naively?) assumed that files are stored on a tape much like they are stored on any media - in a standard filesystem. Unfortunately we can't access the drive under UNIX or OS X, due to no driver support for the SCSI-USB adapter. Sep 10, 2013 at 13:17
  • If the archive program encrypted the files (which is good security) then you might need that program and the password/key used to encrypt them. I am not saying this is the case, but it is good practice to encrypt backups and I think most people who do tape backups at work will do that out of habit.
    – Hennes
    Sep 10, 2013 at 13:28
  • 1
    Tapes are fine for sequential access, but if you don't know the storage format I could prefer a 1:1 dump of the tape into a file for analysis. I don't know how to do that with windows, it would be a perfect job for dd. Did you try a Linux Live-CD? Knoppix has IMHO a very good hardware support.
    – mpy
    Sep 10, 2013 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


So I used to use Novastor's software for this very reason, as you could read the first xxx blocks of the tape where the software identification is written. It identifies the make, model, and usually the revision of the software that wrote the data to tape originally.

If its a major brand of software (i.e. Backup Exec, Comvault, etc.), most have a 30-60 trial you can download and install to restore the data to a drive/share.

Good luck!

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