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Format AIT Tape using Windows Backup

By psyche_serenity ·
I am currently maintaining a voice recording system, which performs its backup on AIT tapes. The program that I use to initiate the audio backup encrypts on the tape that it will not be overwritten for 99 months. But I need to reuse the tapes after only 3 months. A colleague of mine told me that I could possibly overwrite the tape using OS backup (Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup), but I cannot see any option to format the AIT tape (I only see backup, restore, and create a boot disk option). Plus, I cannot access the AIT tape in the Backup tool because the files that it backs up comes from an unformatted drive (for security purposes), so it doesn't display the drive (same as unformatted HDDs). The version of the OS is Win2k Pro.

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by Poettone In reply to Format AIT Tape using Win ...

Good question here: One thing I took note of however is your statement. "the files that it backs up comes from an unformatted drive".. There are no files systems/methods, that I am aware of that allow files to even be written to an unformatted drive. This is necessary for a disk to be formatted to write files to it..

Was there something I missed in the explanation given?

Please inform if there is someway to do this,, I would love to hear its method of reading/writing..

Good Luck

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by psyche_serenity In reply to Format AIT Tape using Win ...

Yay! The solution is sooo simple! Actually I kind of risked it, but it worked out just fine! =)

I just placed in the used tape in the AIT drive, then run the Backup tool. It will automatically detect the unformatted tape, so it will try to format it, thus erasing/overwriting all previous contents. So there. =)

If you are interested in the voice recording system I am working with, check out

The computer is specially customized, that I call it "Another MAC computer that runs Windows". =) It has special PCI boards for the audio compression, recording, backup, etc. It has one HDD, partitioned into three parts, drive c which has Windows, drive d which has the voice recording software, and drive e which is unformatted (where the actual audio is stored). Although unformatted, I think it is accessed by MSSQL, and other details about that is still cloudy in my mind. Which leads us to the fact that when it archives the audio, MSSQL is partly responsible for that job, since the audio comes from an unformatted drive, and is sent to another unformatted drive. (really i am as clueless as you are as to how this is actually done)

I also tried to load an archived tape, into another "normal" computer that has an AIT drive. It said the tape was unformatted, and that it cannot read its contents, so it got me more confused than ever.

Anyhow, I got the tape overwritten, so the data in it somehow got "corrupted". I tried using the same tape to archive another set of audio and the voice recording program detected it as an empty tape. =)

There, I answered my own question. Boohoo!

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