What we do

“Unrecoverable” tape error? We’re the tape recovery bureau the other recovery bureaux come to.

Our company offers London-based data conversion and recovery services, specialising in LTO Ultrium and other magnetic tape and cartridges, (eg DLT, SDLT, DAT/DDS, TK50, TK70, 3480/3490/3590/3592/TS11XX).

But we can migrate, duplicate, replicate, transcribe and copy virtually any data format.

Established in 1984, we have been providing the highest levels of service in data conversion, media recovery and tape duplication for over 3 decades.

We’re the conversion bureau most UK (and even some European and U.S.) bureaus sub-contract their difficult tape work to, specialising in challenging formats like VAX VMS (and OpenVMS) backup, AS/400 SAVLIB and SAVOBJ, corrupted .bkf files, variable-length packed decimal, and dates stored in proprietary binary structures. We’ve reverse-engineered literally dozens of obscure and difficult formats other bureaus have failed to crack. Unreadable AXF or LTFS tapes? Can’t restore your MS Exchange backup? Whatever it is – if it’s tape, give us a call.

Contact us for professional, impartial advice — no matter how large or small your project.

Please talk to us first- you’ll probably save a lot of time, aggravation and money

Our history

In 1984 A L Downloading Services started trading in the back of a shop on the Portobello Road in West London, beginning with a few diskettes. Within three years the company had become the largest conversion bureau in the UK.

Advanced Downloading Ltd started trading in 1992, concentrating on difficult conversion tasks requiring reverse-engineering of data formats and bespoke programming. In June 2005 Advanced Downloading acquired A L Downloading’s conversion business, becoming the UK market leader in tape conversion, recovery, duplication and migration.

What our clients say

"I was eager to recover a valuable image from a 6250BPI magnetic tape from about 1986. A friend recommended that I contact Jim at Advanced Downloading (ADL) in London. The process could not have been easier: I sent Jim an email on Thursday, I shipped him a tape from California on Friday, and I had my digital image on Monday morning. Terrific response time. Great service!"
Tom Porter @ Pixar
Senior Vice President (Production)
"Sony UKTEC IT department needed to recover some important system files from years ago. The system where they were located had long been de-commissioned. Fortunately the system backup tapes were still available. We found Jim and his data recovery company Advanced Downloading Ltd on the internet. Jim worked tirelessly late into the night and over the weekends to retrieve the data - which he did. This saved the company many months of re-writing code and allowed us to meet a critical deadline. Would highly recommend his service"
David Morgan @ Sony Europe B.V.
Head of IT Operations
"Advanced Downloading (ADL) is a true tape data recovery and conversion specialist. We have used their service numerous times over the years. Their work is second to none and delivered on time. If you have corrupted/unreadable tapes or very old tapes that need to be converted to more modern formats or readable data ADL is the place to go. Highly recommended."
Eric Sminia @ Reqor Data Recovery
"We work in collaboration with ADL and they have proved to be the most reliable and knowledgeable experts in tape data recovery. They have a 100% success rate, which speaks for itself. If you are having problems reading tapes, look no further because you have found the UK experts".
Aran Pitter @ Data Recovery Specialists Ltd
Commercial Director
"Advanced Downloading (ADL) provide excellent service when it comes to data extraction. They were able to help us out of a sticky situation in a timely and professional manner. They will be our go to for all things LTO in the future!"
Benjamin Smart @ Taylor Made Media Ltd
“We approached ADL with an important LTO-7 backup that was corrupt, having previously had no success with OnTrack.

Jim was upfront and extremely helpful with us from the beginning, offering useful and sound advice that helped inform our decision making. After deciding to go ahead with the recovery, he kept us in the loop throughout, carefully explaining exactly the issues he encountered, what this meant in terms of the recovery, and, of course, making sure not to get our hopes up. He needn’t have worried because he did a fantastic job and against all expectations recovered 97% of the media!

From first engaging with Jim to receiving the tapes back post-recovery, the communication and service was flawless. With so many data recovery scams out there it can be hard to find a company you can trust, but we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Jim to others or use Advanced Downloading (ADL) again."
Hannah Gormley @ Natural History Film Unit
“I had to recover data off an old HP autoloader tape drive that had stopped working in 2011! Having removed the seven Ultrium 2 tapes from the tape drive I had no idea how to go from there. I spent half a day looking up potential companies that suggested they could do this; I particularly wanted one near Central London where I live. I saw Advanced Downloading on a search and decided to give them a call and spoke to Jim. He could not have been more helpful when I explained the situation. I arranged a drop-off date for the tapes the following week. Jim completed a quick look as to which tape was the most recent backup and had completed the data recovery that same day... He even was kind enough to put the most important data folder into a Dropbox folder for me that same day. Everything was super easy, very quick and at a good price. Thoroughly recommended.”
Peter Rowe @ PR Capital Ltd

(Some of) our clients

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