Using a single tape drive

A tape drive that is locally attached to a managed machine can be used by local backup plans as a storage device. The functionality of a locally attached autoloader or tape library is limited to the ordinary tape drive. This means that the program can only work with the currently mounted tape and you have to mount tapes manually.

  Backup to a locally attached tape device  

When creating a backup plan, you are able to select the locally attached tape device as the backup destination. An archive name is not needed when backing up to a tape.

An archive can span multiple tapes but can contain only one full backup and an unlimited number of incremental backups. Every time you create a full backup, you start with a new tape and create a new archive. As soon as the tape is full, a dialog window with a request to insert a new tape will appear.

The content of a non-empty tape will be overwritten on prompt. You have an option to disable prompts, see Additional settings.


In case you want to keep more than one archive on the tape, for example, back up volume C and volume D separately, choose incremental backup mode instead of a full backup when you create an initial backup of the second volume. In other situations, incremental backup is used for appending changes to the previously created archive.

You might experience short pauses that are required to rewind the tape. Low-quality or old tape, as well as dirt on the magnetic head, might lead to pauses that can last up to several minutes.


  1. Multiple full backups within one archive are not supported.
  2. Individual files cannot be recovered from a disk backup.
  3. Backups cannot be deleted from a tape either manually or automatically during cleanup. Retention rules and backup schemes that use automatic cleanup (GFS, Tower of Hanoi) are disabled in the GUI when backing up to a locally attached tape.
  4. Personal vaults cannot be created on tape devices.
  5. Because the presence of an operating system cannot be detected in a backup located on a tape, Acronis Universal Restore is proposed at every disk or volume recovery, even when recovering a Linux or non-system Windows volume.
  6. Acronis Active Restore is not available when recovering from a tape.
  Recovery from a locally attached tape device  

Before creating a recovery task, insert or mount the tape containing the backup you need to recover. When creating a recovery task, select the tape device from the list of available locations and then select the backup. After recovery is started, you will be prompted for other tapes if the tapes are needed for recovery.

Using a single tape drive