Re: Tech question: restoration of flood-damaged magnetic media

From: Brian D Williams (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 11:34:42 MDT

From: "Michael S. Lorrey" <>

>Keep in mind that if his 'life's work' was on tapes that had been
>written years ago, on tapes that are a few decades old, there is
>a distinct chance of losing a good chunk of data in many places.
>Some tapes of the older and lower quality types (esp dealing with
>9 track), are extremely hard to recover data off of after
>storage for many years even under the best of conditions. I'm
>experienced dealing with poor quality tapes, some of which are
>older than I am, and its no picnic. If the winding of the tape
>loosened at all, water would have seeped in between the tape
>material rather easily.

>It can be done, but it is expensive.

Mike's point is a good one. Any magnetically recorded item starts
to degrade almost from the moment it's created and will need to be
re-recorded periodically depending on the levels it was recorded at
(key word hysteresis). Some formats are more notorious for this
than others. A box of even regular 3.5 floppys kept under perfect
conditions will degrade to useless over time. I forget the
technical name for this.

Contacting the tapes manufacturer should provide appropriate data
on this.


Extropy Institute,
Adler Planetarium
Life Extension Foundation,
National Rifle Association,, 1.800.672.3888
Mars Society,
Ameritech Data Center Chicago, IL, Local 134 I.B.E.W

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