Our capabilities 

Ontrack has the ability to restore and repair data from corrupted, broken and inaccessible backup tapes. If you need to restore information from your tape archives within a tight timeframe, we can help.

Targeted restores

Looking for a specific item? Our granular search capabilities enable you to restore exactly the data you need to the format of your choice. 

Lightning speed

No matter how short the timeframe, we can help you solve you restore your archived data. We can work 24/7/365 to restore your data so you can meet even the tightest of deadlines. 

Any media type

We can recover from a variety of storage media, and backup systems that was originally used to store the data.

Preparation for Cloud Migration

We can prepare the extracted data, such as email, to formats ready for import into your cloud environment.

How it works

We use a project-based approach tailored to your exact requirements. A usual tape restoration project can include:

  • Recovery of inaccessible data
  • Replication and de-duplication
  • Catalogue and indexing report for future data mapping
  • Conversion of your legacy media in a secure, efficient and cost-effective manner
  • Accurate bit-for-bit copy of the source data, supplied back to you in the required format

All of these steps are flexible and can be adjusted to suit your needs, particularly when the delivery deadlines for data restores are very tight. 

Tape formats 

We cater for LTO 1-7, DLT and SuperDLT magnetic storage, no matter how new or old the technology is. Even if your media is damaged, our engineers can help using proprietary tape recovery techniques.


ReaderTapeTape capacity
3500 Series
3500 MP Series5 to 700 GB
AIT Series | SAIT Series
8mm (AIT)35 to 500 GB
Oracle (formerly StorageTek)
9800 Series | 10000 Series
9800 Series
10000 Series
40 to 1,000 GB
DLT Series | SDLT Series
DLT Series
SDLT Series
80 to 800 GB
Tandberg Data
DAT Series | LTO Series
SLR Series | VXA Series
4mm, 8mm (MP)
Ultrium (generation 1-5)
38 to 6000 GB
Quantum, HP, Sony
DDS Series | DAT Series
DDS 4 mm20 to 40 GB
IBM, HP, Quantum, Sony
LTO Series
Ultrium (generation 1-6)200 to 6000 GB

Any backup system

Our expertise doesn’t end with tape; we also provide additional services to assist with the migration of backup systems:

ARCserve®Veritas NetBackup™Veritas Backup Exec™Microsoft® Backup
Catalogic® DPX™Retrospect®CommVault®Data Protector

If you don’t see your backup software here we can still assist you.

Request free online quote

Total data security 

We’re trusted by thousands of organisations globally each year with the most sensitive of data. We can provide you with: 
  • Full chain of custody 
  • Strict security protocols
  • Data returned on encrypted media
  • Secure courier service
  • Disposal of end-of-life media to government standards 

FAQ: Restore your data for legal reasons

You have been asked to restore data for legal reasons, e.g. a user’s mailbox, but you are unable to extract the data from the tape. Perhaps you are unable to determine on which tapes the data resides because of time pressure and/or lack of available resources.

Normally emails are stored deep within your backup software. The complete Microsoft Exchange mailbox server database file (.edb) is embedded within the backup software files. The .edb file contains all the mailboxes and their respective emails.

In order to gain access to the emails, you must first restore the backup access the .edb file. Then you have two options:

  • You make a brick-level backup with another physical Microsoft Exchange mailbox server to restore all or single emails
  • If you prefer an easy and reliable way, you use Ontrack PowerControls

Ontrack PowerControls is a specialised software package which allows you to easily extract the .edb file from its container format with its ExtractWizard and import it into the software. Soon after, you have full access to each and every email from the Microsoft Exchange mailbox server. Since Ontrack PowerControls maintains the integrity of the Exchange source files, it is the perfect tool to search, identify and export relevant data for ediscovery review or for compliance and regulatory requests.

You can recover a single email from tape by using Ontrack PowerControls for Microsoft Exchange. To access a single email, you just have to import an existing Exchange database file (.edb) or Personal Storage file (.pst) into the software. By doing so, you now have full access to the emails inside the Exchange or Outlook database file. Then, you can easily find the email required by using the advanced search functions, selecting the item and copying and pasting the email to any location.

You can do this by importing either an existing Microsoft Exchange database file (.edb) or an existing Personal Storage file (.pst) into Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange. After importing it, you can select the desired mailbox and search for single emails that are required, perhaps for review or legal purposes. Since no changes are made to the original data, using Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange is the perfect tool for use in legal disputes.

By extracting the mailbox from an existing backup file, you can then access either the .edb or the .pst file for multiple or single mailboxes. After the extraction, you have full access to all emails stored inside the mailbox(es) and can search, collect or save both the content as well as the attached data in whatever way you want. Before you can make use of Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange, you have to extract your .edb file using your current backup software.

This depends on the case.

If you try to access user data, which was originally stored inside a SharePoint server and then backed up on tape, you could use Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint. With this specialised tool, all user data which is stored on SharePoint can be recovered as easily as emails, mailboxes and Exchange server databases.

If you can access your SharePoint server databases by extracting them with your backup software, just load them into Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint and search for the material required.

If the user data is not stored inside a SharePoint environment and the backup software will not show any results, you should consult the experts at Ontrack. They have the necessary tools to both access the lost tape catalogue as well as recover any data that might needed from the tapes.

Even though it could be possible to access and extract an existing Exchange database file (.edb) directly from tape, it is neither common nor advisable since most IT professionals store their entire Microsoft Exchange server in a backup solution, which is then saved into a different format. Modern tape storage systems usually store their information on several different tapes. Accessing the entire contents of an .edb file can therefore result in a time consuming process.

The standard procedure of an .edb extraction is basically to copy the .edb file onto a different storage device – usually a disk – and then extract its content using Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange.

This is quite simple. You just import the .pst file into Ontrack PowerControls and extract the required emails. By using the target, you can select multiple single emails and collect them in any order that suits your needs. You can either copy and paste your selected emails and save them as a text file or assemble them and save them again as a .pst file for further use.

If you do not have an original .pst file on tape, you can also restore the single mailbox via an .edb file with Ontrack PowerControls, select the appropriate single mailbox, search for the important emails, arrange and save them as a new .pst file or as single text files.

Since tape content is sensitive to legal compliance and, in some cases, to legal prosecution, it is absolutely essential that the material is original. No additions or changes to the content and its metadata are allowed to be made by the backup or restoration software in use. With this in mind, only specialised software can be used to avoid inadvertent damage to evidence.

Even though it is possible to restore the tape content with your standard tape backup software, it is wise to use a forensically-sound email and content management tool, like Ontrack PowerControls. It allows IT personnel to meet all critical requests from the legal department and other external enquiries. Ontrack PowerControls software can also help administrators search, recover, restore and export data efficiently in Microsoft Exchange Server and/or Microsoft SharePoint Server environments.

With Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange you can perform a full backup of your Exchange server with your standard backup software. Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange restores and extracts individual mailboxes, folders, attachments, calendar items, or any number of duplicate or unique messages directly to your production Exchange server or any .pst file. You can then have full access to all the information stored inside the mail server for legal or compliance related purposes. With the advanced find functions of Ontrack PowerControls, it is easy to search by matching keywords, excluding keywords, dates, senders, subjects, and recipients.

You can use backup inventory and catalogue files. However, it is worth noting that tape restoration time should not be underestimated and forward planning is always advised to prevent disruption to your business.

In order to reduce time and money spent, it is worth knowing the structure (order, sessions and tape sets) of the backup tapes. With the possibility to create inventories and catalogue files by the backup software, a good deal of time can be saved when performing a backup extraction. Since these two files contain all the necessary information for the restore process, accessing them will dramatically speed up the backup process. Since not every source and tape storage location has to be checked over and over again, the restore just relies on the information provided and will therefore be much faster.

Extractions and restores for investigations and legal cases are normally performed the same way as normal extractions and restores. The content of the tapes is restored either by a full or a brick-level backup (to get access to the tapes content) or by using Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange or Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint. Using this specialised tool, you can completely eliminate a brick-level backup for single item restore. Additionally, Ontrack PowerControls provides the ability to search, collect and extract the data stored inside a backup without changing the original data source.

For further investigation and legal purposes, Ontrack Legal Technology and Computer Forensic experts offer a wide range of services for every possible legal- and compliance-related situations. They provide standardised and unique processes ranging from data identification, data preservation, data collection as well as data analysis and data processing in order to gain complete insight and more control over digital document evidence.

First of all, it is important to note that backup tapes were created for business continuity purposes. Therefore, planning for a backup restoration is advised so that, should you ever need the data for litigation or regulation purposes, the data is easily accessible and your business can meet the necessary legal and compliance requirements. In most cases, you take the tape backup software that your enterprise uses to carry out restores. You can either choose a full backup restore or a brick-level restore to gain access on single items. Since the brick-level backup restore demands a second server and takes a long time to complete, it is an expensive and complicated method. With Ontrack PowerControls for Exchange and Ontrack PowerControls for SharePoint, there is no longer a need to set up a second server. You can easily restore single storage items simply by using your existing full backup. With ExtractWizard, you can extract the Exchange database (.edb) containing the mailboxes or the SQL files containing .mdf, .ndf and .ldf files from the original backup format within seconds.


Find out if your data is physically accessible with the Ontrack tape audit service. We can also provide visibility on what has been stored past its retention period.

Tapes auditing


Get a comprehensive and accurate overview of your hard to access archive data. Ontrack offers indexing, cataloguing and categorisation of your storage media to ensure your legacy data stays organised and compliant.

Tapes cataloguing


Whether you are migrating from one IT service provider to another or found that your tape formats are no longer supported by your current hardware or software, Ontrack can help migrate your data to a new system or storage medium.

Tapes migration


Have you received an emergency legal or regulatory data restoration request? Ontrack can help you quickly retrieve granular information from your tape archives ensuring you are able to comply with legal and government requests.

Tapes restoration

Request a free consultation today

Contact our team of legacy data experts for a free assessment and find out how our tape auditing solutions can help you take back control of your archive data.

Call us +971 4 275 7433 Get a free quote