Help sought with reading a tape - BSD

This is a discussion on Help sought with reading a tape - BSD ; I've got a FreeBSD 7.0 Release machine that I'm trying to read a tape with. The tape is a DAT72 (so is the drive, attached to an Adaptec SCSI card). The problem I have is that I don't know what ...

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  1. Help sought with reading a tape

    I've got a FreeBSD 7.0 Release machine that I'm trying to read a tape with.
    The tape is a DAT72 (so is the drive, attached to an Adaptec SCSI card).

    The problem I have is that I don't know what kind of system the tape came
    from - whether it's Windows, something unixy or something else entirely[0].

    I've tried:

    dd if=/dev/sa0 of=tape.dump

    but I'm getting:

    dd: /dev/sa0: Input/Output error

    This is as root.


    Any thoughts on how I can read this tape?

    Many thanks.

    Jim
    [0] In my line of work this is not uncommon.
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  2. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    Begin
    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:11:46 +0100, Jim wrote:
    > Any thoughts on how I can read this tape?


    At a first guess, dd should work, given the right input block size.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  3. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, jpd wrote:
    > Begin
    > On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:11:46 +0100, Jim wrote:
    >> Any thoughts on how I can read this tape?

    >
    > At a first guess, dd should work, given the right input block size.
    >
    >


    I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    1024.

    Same result, except with 1024 where it gave "(sa0:ahd0:0:6:0) Invalid
    request. Fixed block device requests must be a multiple of 1 bytes".

    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  4. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    Begin
    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:39:07 +0100, Jim wrote:
    > On 2008-07-28, jpd wrote:
    >> Begin
    >> On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:11:46 +0100, Jim wrote:
    >>> Any thoughts on how I can read this tape?

    >>
    >> At a first guess, dd should work, given the right input block size.

    >
    > I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    > 1024.


    Might want to try something bigger then, like 10k (which is the default for
    tar). I unfortunately do not know what is usual with oddball tape formats,
    but since bigger is (or at least used to be) better for efficiency,
    sticking to one or two 512B blocks isn't likely to hit the mark, no.


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  5. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, jpd wrote:
    > Begin
    > On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:39:07 +0100, Jim wrote:
    >> On 2008-07-28, jpd wrote:
    >>> Begin
    >>> On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:11:46 +0100, Jim wrote:
    >>>> Any thoughts on how I can read this tape?
    >>>
    >>> At a first guess, dd should work, given the right input block size.

    >>
    >> I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    >> 1024.

    >
    > Might want to try something bigger then, like 10k (which is the default for
    > tar). I unfortunately do not know what is usual with oddball tape formats,
    > but since bigger is (or at least used to be) better for efficiency,
    > sticking to one or two 512B blocks isn't likely to hit the mark, no.


    Is there a way of finding out what the blocksize actually is? I've tried mt
    with status, but it just reports 'variable'.

    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  6. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 08:39:07 UTC, Jim wrote:

    > I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    > 1024.
    >
    > Same result, except with 1024 where it gave "(sa0:ahd0:0:6:0) Invalid
    > request. Fixed block device requests must be a multiple of 1 bytes".


    Try using:

    dd ibs=64K if=... of=/dev/null

    (say) and see what it actually says if/when it actually transfers a
    block.

    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  7. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 08:39:07 UTC, Jim wrote:
    >
    >> I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    >> 1024.
    >>
    >> Same result, except with 1024 where it gave "(sa0:ahd0:0:6:0) Invalid
    >> request. Fixed block device requests must be a multiple of 1 bytes".

    >
    > Try using:
    >
    > dd ibs=64K if=... of=/dev/null
    >
    > (say) and see what it actually says if/when it actually transfers a
    > block.
    >


    It immediately responded as "dd: /dev/sa0: Input/Output error"

    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  8. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 09:54:19 UTC, Jim wrote:

    > On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    > > On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 08:39:07 UTC, Jim wrote:
    > >
    > >> I've tried issueing mt -f /dev/sa0 blocksize 0 to no avail. Also 512 and
    > >> 1024.
    > >>
    > >> Same result, except with 1024 where it gave "(sa0:ahd0:0:6:0) Invalid
    > >> request. Fixed block device requests must be a multiple of 1 bytes".

    > >
    > > Try using:
    > >
    > > dd ibs=64K if=... of=/dev/null
    > >
    > > (say) and see what it actually says if/when it actually transfers a
    > > block.
    > >

    >
    > It immediately responded as "dd: /dev/sa0: Input/Output error"


    Can you move the tape at all using mt? If not, then perhaps the drive
    doesn't like the tape (or the drive is faulty).
    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  9. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 10:21:10 UTC, Jim wrote:

    > On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    > >> >
    > >> > Try using:
    > >> >
    > >> > dd ibs=64K if=... of=/dev/null
    > >> >
    > >> > (say) and see what it actually says if/when it actually transfers a
    > >> > block.
    > >> >
    > >>
    > >> It immediately responded as "dd: /dev/sa0: Input/Output error"

    > >
    > > Can you move the tape at all using mt? If not, then perhaps the drive
    > > doesn't like the tape (or the drive is faulty).

    >
    > Sorry, I'm being dense here - could you give me an example command to try?
    >
    > FWIW I'm as sure as I can be that the drive itself is fine[0], and the tape
    > itself is certainly of the correct type for the drive.
    >
    > Jim
    > [0] it was used in another (Windows) machine last week with no problems.


    Use 'mt fsf...' or 'mt 'fsr...' or 'mt rewind' or perhaps 'mt retension'
    (if supported).
    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  10. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    >> >
    >> > Try using:
    >> >
    >> > dd ibs=64K if=... of=/dev/null
    >> >
    >> > (say) and see what it actually says if/when it actually transfers a
    >> > block.
    >> >

    >>
    >> It immediately responded as "dd: /dev/sa0: Input/Output error"

    >
    > Can you move the tape at all using mt? If not, then perhaps the drive
    > doesn't like the tape (or the drive is faulty).


    Sorry, I'm being dense here - could you give me an example command to try?

    FWIW I'm as sure as I can be that the drive itself is fine[0], and the tape
    itself is certainly of the correct type for the drive.

    Jim
    [0] it was used in another (Windows) machine last week with no problems.
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  11. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    >>
    >> Sorry, I'm being dense here - could you give me an example command to try?
    >>
    >> FWIW I'm as sure as I can be that the drive itself is fine[0], and the tape
    >> itself is certainly of the correct type for the drive.
    >>
    >> Jim
    >> [0] it was used in another (Windows) machine last week with no problems.

    >
    > Use 'mt fsf...' or 'mt 'fsr...' or 'mt rewind' or perhaps 'mt retension'
    > (if supported).


    All of those give no errors, but don't have any obvious effect on the tape.
    No movement detected.

    I'm starting to wonder if this tape is just blank...

    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  12. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 10:29:03 UTC, Jim wrote:

    > On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    > >>
    > >> Sorry, I'm being dense here - could you give me an example command to try?
    > >>
    > >> FWIW I'm as sure as I can be that the drive itself is fine[0], and the tape
    > >> itself is certainly of the correct type for the drive.
    > >>
    > >> Jim
    > >> [0] it was used in another (Windows) machine last week with no problems.

    > >
    > > Use 'mt fsf...' or 'mt 'fsr...' or 'mt rewind' or perhaps 'mt retension'
    > > (if supported).

    >
    > All of those give no errors, but don't have any obvious effect on the tape.
    > No movement detected.
    >
    > I'm starting to wonder if this tape is just blank...


    What does:

    atacontrol list

    say? And what about the dmesg output? Any errors?

    --
    Bob Eager
    UNIX since v6..
    http://tinyurl.com/2xqr6h


  13. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, Bob Eager wrote:
    >
    > What does:
    >
    > atacontrol list
    >
    > say? And what about the dmesg output? Any errors?
    >


    It's a SCSI tape unit, so I wouldn't expect atacontrol to be of much help
    here. FWIW though:

    ATA Channel 0
    Master: no device present
    Slave : no device present
    ATA Channel 1
    Master: acd0 ATA/ATAPI revision 0
    Slave : no device present
    ATA Channel 2
    Master: ad4 Serial ATA v1.0
    Slave : no device present
    ATA Channel 3
    Master: no device present
    Slave : no device present


    With regard dmesg, all looks to be okay there. The drive is showing up and
    is correctly identified:

    sa0 at ahd0 bus 0 target 6 lun 0
    sa0 Removable Sequention Access SCSI-3 device
    sa0 40.000MB/s transfers (20.000MHz, offset 32, 16bit)


    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

  14. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    Jim wrote:
    > I've got a FreeBSD 7.0 Release machine that I'm trying to read a tape with.
    > The tape is a DAT72 (so is the drive, attached to an Adaptec SCSI card).
    >
    > The problem I have is that I don't know what kind of system the tape came
    > from - whether it's Windows, something unixy or something else entirely[0].



    If you suspect that the tape is from a Windows machine, try mtf[1] on
    it. Similar, vmsbackup[2] will read vms tapes.

    HTH

    References:
    1) http://www.freshports.org/archivers/mtf/
    2) http://www.freshports.org/emulators/vmsbackup/
    --
    Torfinn Ingolfsen,
    Norway

  15. Re: Help sought with reading a tape

    On 2008-07-28, Torfinn Ingolfsen wrote:
    > Jim wrote:
    >> I've got a FreeBSD 7.0 Release machine that I'm trying to read a tape with.
    >> The tape is a DAT72 (so is the drive, attached to an Adaptec SCSI card).
    >>
    >> The problem I have is that I don't know what kind of system the tape came
    >> from - whether it's Windows, something unixy or something else entirely[0].

    >
    >
    > If you suspect that the tape is from a Windows machine, try mtf[1] on
    > it. Similar, vmsbackup[2] will read vms tapes.
    >
    > HTH
    >
    > References:
    > 1) http://www.freshports.org/archivers/mtf/
    > 2) http://www.freshports.org/emulators/vmsbackup/



    Thanks for that. I tried mtf to no avail ("Error reading tape! Error reading
    first block! Error opening tape!")

    I strongly doubt it's a vms tape but I'll give it a go anyway.

    Jim
    --
    http://www.ursaMinorBeta.co.uk http://twitter.com/GreyAreaUK

    "Sometimes when I talk to a Windows person about using a Mac,
    I feel like I'm explaining Van Halen to a horse." Merlin Mann

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