Backup Media Care

Don't put your data in danger: Always buy new media, and retire what's old.

Your overall backup strategy should include plans to retire media periodically, based on length of time in service, number of uses, or read/write error rates. Copy data from old tapes onto new tapes before disposing of them. And when purchasing new media, be sure to check that the security seal is unbroken.

In addition, though DLT tape media and drives are extremely robust, lack of proper drive care and poor media management can compromise reliability.

The following outlines the recommendations for the care of DLT tape media as well as optimum media usage:


  • Have a media and data management policy and structure.
  • Seek advice if the media is suspect.
  • Inspect media for damage before use.
  • Acclimate storage media before use.
  • Observe environmental controls (storage, operation, and transportation).
  • Store media in specially designed racks or storage boxes.
  • Write-inhibit the media before long-term storage or data interchange.
  • Conduct periodic clinical cleaning of the storage areas.
  • Observe media labelling recommendations.
  • Observe data disaster and recovery procedures.
  • Monitor system and performance statistics and records.
  • Secure and control access to data and media.
  • Take care in handling.
  • Store media vertically.
  • Ensure that media and drives are kept clean.


  • Retain just one copy of critical data.
  • Use suspect or physically defective media.
  • Wait for the system to reject your media before retiring the media.
  • Use media on dirty subsystems and equipment.
  • Expose media to extreme heat, cold or humidity.
  • Store media near fire extinguisher points.
  • Carry or transport media loosely in a box.
  • Export media without environmental protection.
  • Smoke, eat, or drink within the media area.
  • Store media near debris-producing devices.
  • Touch the media surface with your fingers.
  • Store media in hostile areas.
  • Store media horizontally.
  • Stack media one on top of another.
  • Drop media.
  • Store data without periodically reading and copying it.
  • Retain media that has been exposed to environmental disasters.
  • Dispose of the storage media without destroying the data first.
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