Need some old school help

Phandalyon

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Joined
Jun 12, 2001
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5,840
OK. I need some brainstorming here.

My boos has asked me to recover some data off of some 10 year old backup tapes.

I did a bit of research and discovered that the drive that the tapes originally went with is a Colorado Trakker 350 or Jumbo 350.

I went on eBay and found a Colorado Trakker 350 new in box for $20 so I bought it.

I have the drive and when I put a tape in everything spins.

Unfortunately the software is DOS based. XP is the oldest OS I currently have on premesis. OF course plugging the tape drive in to the XP machine does not work as the drive is not detected since I believe tape drives were driverless back in the day.

I don't even have a copy of DOS anymore. I threw my last one away not too long ago.

Any thought on how to recover the data from the tape?

Is my only real option to hunt down and build a DOS machine?

I get the software to run in XP but it does not recognise the drive. I believe that it is most likely an IRQ issue but since there is no driver for the drive I can't really play with IRQ.

The drive connects via a parallel port.

So anyone want to help me brainstorm this one?
 

rbanzai

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
446
What's the name of the backup software? Is there a modern equivalent?

I think HP bought Colorado so you should do some digging for a driver.

Even with the driver without the software that can read the tape you won't get far.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
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Yeah, the drivers probably need the old real mode interface (I think that's what it was called) to the hardware and XP doesn't allow that. Your best bet is booting DOS and getting the stuff off that way. You may be able to build your own disk using the resources available here:
http://www.bootdisk.com/
 

Phandalyon

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What's the name of the backup software? Is there a modern equivalent?

I think HP bought Colorado so you should do some digging for a driver.

Even with the driver without the software that can read the tape you won't get far.

The backup software is Colorado Backup.

HP did buy Colorado and I have checked their site. The only thing available is Colorado Backup. I did do a little hunting on the internet for Colorado Backup II which HP released for Windows 95 and I tried that, but without success.

I have all of the original disks that came with the drive, which includes the original version of COlorado Backup for DOS/Windows 3.11. I have the latest DOS version installed, but it will not recognize the tape drive.

I believe that BigBadBiologist hit the nail on the head with the lack of support in XP for this type of drive. I brought an old machine from home this morning and I last night I found FreeDOS which is an open source project to create a new version of DOS. I downloaded the CD image and I am going to try to install it on this old machine if I can get it to work.

Wish me luck.
 

moetop

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,471
This may require some drivers loaded in the Autoexec.bat and config.sys files on your DOS boot disk..


EDIT: Ok I did a little looking around. Couldent get much info on DOS drivers, but it looks like you amy need to have them.

What I did find was that you need your parallel port to not be in ECP epp mode.. just regular old parralel port mode.. the other thing I found was a possible Linux solution.... http://www.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de/~delwi/trakker.html
 

Phandalyon

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Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
5,840
This may require some drivers loaded in the Autoexec.bat and config.sys files on your DOS boot disk..


EDIT: Ok I did a little looking around. Couldent get much info on DOS drivers, but it looks like you amy need to have them.

What I did find was that you need your parallel port to not be in ECP epp mode.. just regular old parralel port mode.. the other thing I found was a possible Linux solution.... http://www.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de/~delwi/trakker.html

Wow, thanks!

Fortunately though, all is working. I am restoring the needed tapes as we speak. I brought in an old throw-away machine from home and installed freeDOS on it and everything went very smoothly.

I am truly impressed that after 10 years in storage I only have had one bad tape so far and that this tape drive works after sitting in a basement or something for so long. I am doing the big restore now which spans 2 tapes. If that goes well then I will be all set.

Thanks for the help everyone. I just bit the bullet and did it the old fashioned way...literally.
 
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