Getting started with Debian, and learning fast, but seem to be in a
muddle with my tape drive. I'm trying to get the facilities I need on
a desktop system running under Debian Etch/4, and I installed Debian
onto hdb4 from the CDs - I'm running KDE as the GUI. I would like to
be able to use my Seagate Travan 20/40 GB tape drive (which I use
under Windows for backing up daily). I didn't find a 'man' page that
helped, but I did find several websites, and I have been following
this person's experience:

That (and most of the other sites I found) suggests that the Debian
backup facilities (there seem to be many) expect to see a 'scsi'
system, and the Seagate is 'ide'. I guess my first question is, is
that still the case with Debian 4 - is 'scsi' expected?

Assuming it is, the advice seems to be that a scsi system can run over
an ide device if specified at boot time.

I have tried that, with this Grub sequence:

title Debian 4 from hdb4 ext2
kernel (hd1,3)/vmlinuz root=/dev/hdb4 hdd=ide-scsi
initrd (hd1,3)/initrd.img

but the Dmesg output did not show any scsi system loaded. the
relevant section of output reads:
input: PC Speaker as /class/input/input1
ide-tape: hdd <-> ht0: Seagate STT3401A rev 310C
ide-tape: hdd <-> ht0: 755KBps, 256*32kB buffer, 12800kB pipeline,
48ms tDSC
Linux agpgart interface v0.101 (c) Dave Jones .......

I could not find any 'scsi' entries elsewhere in the output.

I guess my second question is, is setting a boot parameter the only
way to have the 'scsi' system loaded, or is there some other file I
can edit to ask Debian to load the scsi system? I perhaps ought to
say that I do not have an entry in fstab for the tape drive - I wasn't
sure whether the tape counts as an 'fstab'-able item.

Grateful for any hints.