Tape Drive Management

How to Set up your Tape Drive for use with BackupAssist


  1. Introduction
  2. Other Backup Software
  3. Installing the Windows Drivers
  4. Verify Your Setup
  5. Ensure Your Tape Drive Is Enabled
  6. Run Windows Backup
  7. Setting Up BackupAssist

Important Notice

The information and instructions contained within this document are specific to BackupAssist v3.x.x. While some of this information will be valid for other versions of BackupAssist we do not support the application of any steps or suggestions on versions other than v3.x.x


BackupAssist will use any standalone tape drive that is supported by the Windows operating system.

This White Paper explains how to ensure that BackupAssist will run with your hardware.

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Other Backup Software

If other backup software products are installed, they may prevent BackupAssist from working. Many products including Veritas BackupExec, CA Arcserve and Yosemite Tapeware will actually uninstall the standard Windows drivers for your tape drive, and install their own. This prevents other software from working. Please uninstall these products before using BackupAssist.

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Installing the Windows Drivers

Most tape drives will be automatically detected by Windows and installed. However, you should also ensure that the latest versions of the drivers are installed - most tape drives come with a CD of Windows Drivers. Please install these drivers from this CD. Alternatively, you can download the latest versions of the drivers from the manufacturer's websites.

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Verify Your Setup

To verify your setup, check that your tape drive is listed in the Device Manager by following these instructions.

Please note: The screenshots were created on Windows XP, and vary slightly across operating systems.

  1. Go into Control Panel > System
  2. Click the Device Manager button on the Hardware tab, as shown.
  3. Windows Device Manager

  4. Expand the Tape drives tree to show your tape drive
  5. Windows Device Manager

  6. Right click on the tape drive and select Properties. You will see a window that should state that your tape drive is working properly.
  7. Drive Properties

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Ensure Your Tape Drive Is Enabled

The next step is to enable your tape drive. Some software packages will disable your tape drive, so following these steps will enable it again.

  1. Go into Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management
  2. Expand the tree called Storage > Removable Storage > Libraries. Your tape drive will now be visible, as shown in the screenshot below.
  3. Windows Removable Storage

  4. Right click on the tape drive, and select Properties. Ensure the Enable drive checkbox is checked, as shown in the screenshot below.
  5. Windows Removable Storage Properties

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Run Windows Backup

The final step is to run the Windows Backup program and ensure that your tape drive is detected.
  1. Do this by going to the Start Menu > Accessories > System Tools > Backup
  2. If the Backup or Restore Wizard appears, click on Advanced Mode as shown below.
  3. Windows Backup Wizard

  4. Click the Backup tab as shown below, and under Backup destination, your tape drive format should appear. In the example, a DDS 3 tape drive has been installed, so the Backup destination is 4mm DDS.
  5. Windows Backup Tape Drive

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    Setting Up BackupAssist

    Now that you have confirmed that your tape drive is working, BackupAssist should automatically detect your hardware.

    Under the Options tab, the Device and Media pool settings should be automatically detected. Simply click the down arrow for each drop down list, and your hardware will be detected and listed.

    BackupAssist Setup

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