Our DAT drive just died and we've got all of our old projects archived on many DAT tapes. It seems that they don't even make our particular format drive anymore, although they do still make the tapes! Since we need to retrieve old projects frequently and update them for clients, etc. we can't just trash all these hundreds of GB of DAT data and move on with life.

The weird thing is it seems like everyone is moving to a "hard drive storage solution," which is just bizarre to me. They fill up quick and you need to get 2 in case of disaster (keep one at home). For this reason, all the companies we've worked at before used the economic and convenient DAT solution: back up once a week on 2 tapes using Retrospect and take the duplicate home when you're done, so you have 2 sets of all your work. One at home and one at the office. If both your house and your office blow up, then you're screwed, but that is unlikely.

Our particular DAT drive is discontinued. We bought a refurbished one for $400 and that was DOA, so we sent it back.

I have a few questions:

1. Are the new several-thousand-dollar DAT drives backward compatible with old tapes? We really don't want to pay $4,000, but if that is the only option, then I guess we have no choice since we can't lose our past DAT archives.

2. Is there any other storage backup solution which has replaced DAT? I'm sure people are using DVDs, CDs and hard drives... doing multiple sessions on DVDs seems like a crappy option and the hard drive solution seems ridiculous.

If you have any advice for us, we'd really appreciate it.