O'Reilly logo

Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Tape Drives

Although corporate data centers still use tape drives for backing up, tape drives are no longer a mainstream technology for home and small business PCs, if indeed they ever were. For corporations, the advantages of high-end tape drives—extreme reliability, robust error detection and correction, high capacity, and speed—outweigh the disadvantages. For homes and small businesses, the disadvantages of consumer-grade tape drives—low capacity and speed, high cost, and the physical fragility of the tapes—outweigh the advantages.

Consumer-grade tape drives have always lagged behind hard drives in capacity, and that gap remains today. The highest-capacity consumer-grade tape drives, Travan 40 models, store only 20 GB natively, although they are advertised as storing 40 GB with compression. (Realistically, you can expect to store about 30 GB on a "40 GB" tape, less for incompressible data, such as image files.) Consumer-grade tape drives use the ATA or USB 2.0 interface—so even the internal models are as easy to install as an optical drive—but they require many hours to write and verify a tape. Also, tapes are quite expensive, at $30 to $40 each, which translates to a media cost of $1/GB or more. Figures 9-6 and 9-7 show Certance Travan 40 tape drives, internal and external models, respectively.

Certance Travan 40 internal tape drive (image courtesy of Certance LLC)

Figure 9-6. Certance Travan 40 internal tape drive (image courtesy of Certance LLC) ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required