Using Audio DATs in DDS drives
Mon Oct 18 20:34:17 BST 2004
These pages contain information on using DDS (Digital Data
Storage, i.e. computer data) drives to read DAT audio tapes.
Be warned before you read further that disappointment and
despair are frequent outcomes of attempting to do this.
(N.B.: This is not about the long-running Audio DAT vs. DDS
media debate. Look on the DAT lists
for that info.)
Summary and background information.
DDS drives and firmware.
Reading DAT audio tapes from suitable drives.
Other useful sources of information.
Emails from various people about this subject.
Look for the and
Admin note: If anyone wishes to mirror these pages, then
adopt them and take over maintenance to become the new "official"
location, please contact me. I have still not got round to obtaining a DAT
drive of my own to experiment on, and forthcoming domestic upheavals
(first child!) mean that updates may cease altogether.
- 2004-10-18: Torsten Lang's ReadDAT X for OS/X has seen a major update and
the english translation has been integrated into his site.
- 2003-10-12: Emails from
Andrew Myer (translation of Torsten Lang's page) and Chris Stos-Gale
(flashing and using a CTD-8000). (NB. The site has now moved to NTL.)
- 2003-03-26: Firmware for
SDT-9000 drives courtesy Arzeno Fabrice, and MacOS
X software from Torsten Lang.
These pages may move soon as I'm changing ISP. To avoid losing them, edit
your bookmark and change the URL to:
This will always redirect you to the right place.
- 2003-01-26: Yowsa, I've been lax! A link to another
firmware page, new software (wdat) and an email about CTD-8000s.
- 2002-05-15: Link to Seagate firmware update utility.
- 2002-04-30: Link to read_dat
sent by Andy Loening.
- 2002-02-05: Email from
Michael Block re. SDT-9000s.
- 2002-01-09: Finally added a link to Jos Heemskerk's
"firmware holy grail" site on the hardware page.
Mea culpa for not doing this much sooner.
- 2002-01-03: Added a link to the Wayback Machine to
the hardware page, to help in locating the
defunct V2.75 firmware page. (Thanks to da2ve.)
- 2001-12-24: Email from Mark
Mayhle to report success. Charles Johnston also retracted his earlier
disaster report after discovering that the drive had merely changed IDs
On a personal note, I was recently outbid for a Seagate Peregrine on Ebay, so I don't see what anyone else
has to be "merry" about. ;-(
- 2001-11-20: Emails from John
Anderson and Mark Dove reporting success in flash-upgrading drive
firmware. Also an email from Max about firmware affecting SCSI IDs on some
drives. Many thanks to everyone who continues to mail me with reports and
- 2001-10-28: Email from Charles
Johnston warning about the perils of flash updates.
- 2001-10-10: Email from Jos
Heemskerk describing how he flash-updated new firmware.
- 2001-10-04: Note from
HP regarding their DDS drives & audio capabilities (thanks to Mike
Milewski). Email from Douglas Mandell describing
how to burn firmware on to a new EPROM.
- 2001-07-08: Email
from Eric Boucher re. 5.ACB firmware. More links on the Resources page.
- 2001-02-23: Added a warning on the drives and firmware page about the lack of audio
support in SGI DDS4 drives.
- 2001-01-16: Added a really clear link on
the drives and firmware page to Computall's DAT
FAQ, which discusses required firmware versions.
- 2000-12-18: Link to another SGI drive vendor on the
- 2000-07-21: Added a link to VDAT on the software page.
- 2000-05-09: I have split the original page into the
above sections and will reorganise further as time allows. I have also
added info on secondhand DDS drive resellers and EPROM updating to the
If you have any useful links to add, success stories,
pointers to DAT drive vendors or a source of second hand SGI drives,
please mail me (note
the SPAM-retardant address). Please don't feel disgruntled if I don't get
back to you immediately; I am extremely busy, and not only with my
day job. However, I do appreciate your contributions as they are often
extremely helpful to others.
Unless you request otherwise, I will freely quote your name and the
content of your email in these pages where it is useful. However, unless
you explicitly give permission, I will not publish your
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