At least once a week we get asked if there’s a way to recover material from a video tape that was recorded over by mistake.  It’s usually the wedding video that the husband taped over with this week’s big game.

The anwser is “no”.  They’ve been trying to recover the famous 18 1/2 minute gap in the Nixon Watergate tapes for years.  Read more on that here or here.

The smart thing to do is to break out the tabs on your VHS tapes.  It will keep your VCR from recording on the tape. 

An even smarter thing to do is transfer those tapes to DVD, make a bunch of copies, and put them in different places.

By the way, audio cassettes also have tabs that can be removed.  Camcorder tapes (VHS-C, Video 8, MiniDV) have tabs that slide back and forth to cover the record prevent hole.  After you remove the tape from your camera, slide the tab to the opposite position.  Also put a label on it so you know what it is 20 years from now.

Break Out The Tabs