3 Tips for Preventing Data Loss from Obsolete Media Formats

Do you lie awake at night worrying about the critical data sitting on your obsolete media formats?

Technology is advancing so rapidly these days. Perhaps you haven’t got around to engaging tape transcription services. Maybe, organising remastered versions aren’t a priority. Sure, there are data recovery services available that can help if an unforeseen situation arises. But it’s not a risk you should be willing to take.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to avoid complete data loss from your obsolete media formats. If you want to prevent this type of event from occurring in your workplace, then be sure to follow these steps.

What are Examples of Obsolete Media Formats?

It’s both fantastic and frightening what media formats are still in use. Often these mediums are relied upon for critical data. It’s accessed frequently as part of the day to day operations. Some examples of this obsolete technology include:

  • Analogue shot records with magnetic strips
  • 7-track, 9-track and 21-track tape reels
  • 3480, 3490 and 3490E tape cartridges
  • 3590B, 3590E and 3590H tape cartridges
  • 3592-J1A, E05, E06 and E07 tape cartridges
  • 8mm Exabytes (8200, 8500, 820, Mammoth-1 & Mammoth-2)
  • 4mm Dats (DDS1, DDS2, DDS3 & DDS4)
  • DLT tape cartridges (2000, 4000, 7000, 8000 & DLT1)
  • SDLT-1, SDLT-1.5 & SDLT-2 tape cartridges
  • LTO 1 to LTO 8 tape cartridges
  • 3.5” floppy disks and CD’s

DVD’s, USB drives, and hard drives continue to be utilised in many offices today. However, they still pose a considerable risk when it comes to data loss. Recovery is more straightforward compared to information stored on magnetic tape. But, you should still take the necessary steps to avoid this situation from occurring by investigating modern storage solutions.

How to Prevent Data Loss from Obsolete Media Formats?

Before you begin your search for a long-term solution to avoid critical data loss, there are steps you can take to prevent this event from happening.

1. Transfer Data Regularly from Old Media Formats to Modern Storage Mediums.

If you have the equipment available, you should organise the transfer of important data between storage formats as often as you can. Start with the information that you access regularly and work backwards.

If you don’t have the capability, then engage with tape transcription services. They can copy, reproduce and employ techniques to legacy formats even if they’re damaged. Some tape transcription services in Australia can even reformat the data. This will allow it to be accessible on current platforms.

2. Ensure Obsolete Media Formats are Stored Safely and Securely in an Adequate Environment

Retaining files on magnetic tape is quite risky. It often requires specialised equipment to read them, making data recovery more expensive.

Magnetic tape should be stored for no longer than five years. Then it’s recommended that you digitise your records for long term safekeeping. If possible, keep magnetic tapes off-site for added protection. Especially if you’re in a location where disasters such as fires and floods are common.

3. Remove Data from Obsolete Storage Devices and Have it Digitally Remastered

Having files digitally remastered and transferred onto modern data storage mediums will ensure that your information is preserved. It also means it can be accessed whenever you need them. You’ll also avoid your data getting lost forever due to damaged media or equipment.

Digitally remastering your data utilises a combination of conversion and migration techniques. It also ensures it gets preserved for as long as you need it. It’s even possible to format it for new storage mediums, including cloud environments.

What are the Benefits of Engaging Tape Transcription Services?

Tape transcription services utilise data migration techniques to ensure your information is preserved forever. Even if it’s stored on outdated storage mediums.

Some benefits of engaging tape transcription services early include:

  • Improves your chances of data recovery from legacy media
  • Ensures your data retention compliance obligations get met
  • Provides you with a greater understanding of the content of your media so you can unlock its true value
  • Preserves data that would otherwise be lost
  • It offers an opportunity to audit and quality check your media content

Is Data Retrievable Once It’s Lost?

In most cases, data is not easily retrievable once it has been lost. If it can’t be successfully repaired, replication may be the next best option. This can prevent complete loss from obsolete media formats.

Data storage duplication or backup involves taking a copy of the files for safekeeping. Just in case something goes wrong later down the track. However, even with modern hardware storage devices, the information sometimes cannot be retrieved from these mediums without specialised recovery equipment.

This is why moving your files to cloud environments is the ideal solution. Data on physical devices can degrade over time. It can be due to environmental factors such as heat, humidity and magnetic fields. Fortunately, tape transcription services can help you with this process without compromising data integrity or usability.

When Should You Engage Tape Transcription Services?

Attempting to maintain your old media formats can be time-consuming and stressful. It can make it difficult to retrieve information when you need it. It leaves data exposed to elements that can cause irreversible damage. Plus, it increases the risk of losing it altogether.

Maintaining the environment and protecting obsolete media formats prevents the risk of lost data. However, it’s not a long-term, sustainable solution. Instead, you’re best to engage with professionals who offer tape transcription services and reformat your media for modern solutions.

Want expert advice and help with your obsolete media formats? Through its Digital Transformation Solutions Division, Compu-Stor helps maximise the accessibility and flow of information within organisations through such solutions as Tape Transcription and Media Remastering. With offices across Australia, Compu-Stor works with its customers to provide cost-effective solutions tailored to their needs.

Contact us today for a free initial exchange to see how we can help you: 1300 559 778

For more information, visit our website at https://www.compu-stor.com.au/