Cry about...
MS-Windows Troubleshooting

NT Backup: No tape drive detected


When running NT backup a dialog box is displayed containing the message:

No tape drive detected. If a tape drive is attached, make sure that the cables are properly connected and that the power is on. Also make sure that the appropriate tape driver has been installed using the Tape Devices option in Control Panel.

Possible Causes and Remedies:

  • No tape drive is installed. You cannot use NT Backup without a tape drive.

  • If the tape drive is external (i.e. if it is powered separately) then NT will fail to detect it if it was not connected and switched on when NT was started. To remedy:

  • Reinstall the tape drive in ‘Tape Devices’ in Control Panel by selecting ‘Detect’ and selecting the appropriate device. Ensure that the driver for the device has been loaded by clicking the driver tab and checking that the driver has started.
  • To avoid the problem always ensure that the tape drive is connected and switched on when NT is started.
  • If the tape drive is an internal one then it may be that the connections have worked loose. To remedy:
  • Check that all the connections to the tape drive are sound.
  • Try a cold reboot of the station (i.e. shutdown, power off, power on and start up). This has been known to cure the problem!
  • Other things to try if the above does not work:
  • Check that the latest service pack has been installed. If any (other) software has been recently installed then try reinstalling the latest service pack.
  • Ensure that the latest driver for the tape drive has been installed.

These notes have been tested with Windows NT4.

About the author: is a dedicated software developer and webmaster. For his day job he develops websites and desktop applications as well as providing IT services. He moonlights as a technical author and consultant.