|Re: Reading HP9800 tapes|
Message #2 Posted by Vassilis Prevelakis on 7 Oct 2003, 9:05 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jean-Louis Dornstetter
OK, first the tapes, do they look like these?
According to your description, the computer cannot be a 9825 since
this one has only a one line LED display. So you are either thinking
of a 9835, like this one:
Or (most likely as this one can have two tape drives) an 9845. This
is not the best picture, but its the only one I could find:
Now the bad news, your tapes are probably long gone -- destroyed
by age. Assuming that you can find a working 9845 you may
have a single chance at reading the data off the tape, but before
you do that, you have to make sure that
a) the rubber belt that moves the tape still works. You will have
to open the tape housing and look inside. If the belt is broken or
about to break you will have to replace it with one from a working
tape (preferably manufactured the past 10 years). This is
a not so good picture of the internals:
b) Make sure that the tape is not stuck on itself. Carefully wind
(manually) the tape from end to end (DO NOT USE A RE-TENSION COMMAND)
checking to see whether the oxide stays on the correct part of the
tape. If the oxide is falling off or sticking to the back of the
tape, then your tape is gone.
Assuming that the tape passes the above two tests you should assume
that you have ONE chance of copying the data.
Have another tape or (preferably) a disk (diskette or hard) ready
to accept the contents of the old tape and PRACTICE the copy operation
a couple of times with ANOTHER TAPE.
If everything looks OK, insert the original tape, say something
comforting to the machine in a friendly and stress-free voice and
The pictures above are from the Classic Computers web site www.classiccmp.org.