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Erasing all Data
Removing all records
The first record on a LTO or 3592 tape is written by the drive when the tape is used for the first time. It is called "FID" (Format Identification Data set). It contains no user data, just some tape format related data. No tape drive will write to a tape when the FID is missing.
Due to the serpentine nature of LTO and 3592 recording there are many records written in parallel to the FID that contain user data.
Starting the erasing process beyond the FID will leave these user records intact. While it is not easy to retrieve these records, it is not impossible.
The only choice for a secure erase is to remove all records, which also deletes the FID.
Writing the FID
Many tape drives, such as the 3592 drives (including TS1120, TS1130, TS1140 drives) do not write the FID on a tape that has been previously recorded. (How does a drive know whether a tape has been recorded before?)
Only our unique technology is capable of writing the FID on any tape, whether previously recorded or new. This proprietary technology enables us to always remove all records during every erasing process. After the completion of the erasing our equipment simply re-writes the FID and creates a completely empty, but perfectly functional tape.
Removing all recorded signals
When data are overwritten by the same type of equipment that originally wrote the data, some of the original data remain on tape. With sophisticated methods, these data can be recovered.
The erase component in the Secure Erase equipment generates magnetic fields that are many times more powerful than the write components in a tape drive. This strong magnetic field penetrates the entire magnetic layer of the tape and removes the data entirely.