Protecting Data Tape Cartridges from Excessive Humidity
While tape drives can operate effectively in a range of conditions, it is important to take appropriate precautions to maintain a consistent humidity and temperature in any long-term media storage environment.
A relative humidity of around 40 percent is ideal for long-term storage. Check humidity at least once a day, and if humidity changes drastically for any reason, gradually readjust the relative humidity to avoid damaging your tape cartridges. Do not attempt to read your data cartridges for at least a week after any major changes in the relative humidity of the storage environment.
To keep humidity from building up in data tape cartridges, always store your media in protective cases. Keep temperatures consistent–most manufacturers recommend storage temperatures of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18.34 degrees Celsius).
Dust and Humidity
Many tape users do not realize that airborne particles can trap and transport moisture. Dust can contribute to humidity-related damage, so always keep archival media in a consistently clean environment. Regularly clean your tape drives with manufacturer-approved cleaning tapes, but never touch or attempt to clean the tape of your data cartridges.
While these general tips apply to most popular tapes, you should always check your manufacturer’s instructions before adjusting the humidity or temperature of your tape drive’s operating environment.
When kept in an appropriate room, many tape cartridge formats can provide reliable archival storage for decades. However, any data cartridge can lose data under the right circumstances. When data loss occurs, you should immediately seek the assistance of a professional tape repair company.
At Secure Data Recovery Services, we specialize in tape data recovery and repair. Our engineers can safely treat damaged LTO, DLT, DDS, DAT, QIC and all other popular tape formats in a certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom with dedicated temperature and humidity controls.
Time is often a major factor in data cartridge recovery cases. If you cannot access your data and you believe that humidity or dust contamination contributed to cartridge damage, contact Secure Data Recovery Services as soon as possible to discuss your options.