Waco wrote:(also, you should see how much fun it is to repair a tape that snaps while running at full speed).
LOL, I am having bad flashbacks.
One of my "skills" back when I worked at Fermilab (early 1990s) was recovering data from 8mm tapes that had been eaten by malfunctioning drives. The drives were helical scan, so when things went sideways there was often a wad of unspooled tape tangled up in the internal drive mechanisms, which in turn required disassembly of the drive to extract the cartridge. More often than not, the contents of the tape (minus the file at the point where the tape got mangled) was actually recoverable.
I imagine with a modern serpentine scan (e.g. LTO) tape, recovery is harder, since a mangled/broken section of the tape is going to affect all of the tracks, hitting many files.