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Media identification

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Media identification

Removable Storage uses two identification methods to track media and perform inventories: on-media identifiers and bar codes.

On-media identifiers

On-media identifiers are electronically recorded on media the first time a tape or disk is inserted into a library. The next time the medium is inserted into the library, Removable Storage uses the on-media identifier to recognize and track the tape or disk.

An on-media identifier has two parts: a label type and a label ID. The label type identifies the specific format used to record information on the tape or disk, such as Microsoft Tape Format (MTF). The label ID is a unique identifier for the tape or disk in the Removable Storage system. If Removable Storage does not recognize the label type, it puts the medium in an unrecognized media pool. If Removable Storage recognizes the label type but does not recognize the label ID, it puts the media in an import media pool. If Removable Storage recognizes the label type and the label ID, it updates the Removable Storage database to reflect that the medium is online and available for use.


  • Removable Storage does not record on-media identifiers for read-only or write-once optical media, such as CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-R, DVD-R, or WORM disks. Instead, Removable Storage uses the volume and serial number information that is already associated with the disk.

Bar codes

If your library supports bar codes, Removable Storage can use them to identify media. Media with bar codes also have on-media identifiers, and Removable Storage can use either one. Using bar codes to track media is generally much faster because each tape or disk does not have to be mounted to read the on-media identifier.

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