What Is A Tape Drive?
A tape drive is a peripheral hardware device that reads and writes data into non-volatile magnetic tapes. A magnetic tape that resembles a conventional audio cassette tape, contains a magnetized coating on a thin plastic strip which data is written on. Unlike dynamic and random storage mediums such as hard disks and flash drives, a tape drive operates using indexing and sequential-access. You have to run a tape from beginning to the end to perform a read or write operation. This means that data is written to the tape in one continuous stream. To read a particular piece of information, the tape must wind past all preceding data to access it. Quite simply, a tape drive is like a cassette recorder that stores large volumes of digital data. Due to its cost efficiency and long shell life, tape drive makes a popular device for backup and archival purposes.
How Does It Work?
A tape drive uses a controlled motor to wind the tape from one reel to another with its magnetic strip passing a read/write head. To cope with the difference between the rate which data is written into the tape and the data streaming to or from the computer or host, the tape drives incorporates a tape drive controller, which performs buffer procedures and logical operations such as ECC (Error Correction Code) during the data storage process. During a backup process, the computer memory buffer is loaded with the data information from the host computer and sent to the controller's buffer. The controller then commands the recording mechanism to write the data into tape. When it completes, more data is loaded into the controller buffer from the computer and the cycle repeats itself until all data has been completely stored.
Storage capacity of tape drives range from a few hundred megabytes to several Terabytes compressed. They support compression capability and transfer rate of over 500MB/s. Tape drives are interoperable and usually connected to the computer via SCSI, IDE, USB and Firewire.
Tape Drive comes in several formats or standards:
|DATA STORAGE MEDIA|
|Information on the different types of storage media|
|DATA RECOVERY RESOURCES|
|Do-it-yourself troubleshooting tips and knowledge on storage media types.|
|ADRC provides data recovery services for a wide range of storage media.|