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Archive Viper Tape Drive
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Thread: Archive Viper Tape Drive

  1. #1

    Archive Viper Tape Drive

    Hello, I am trying to do some disaster recovery from a SCSI tape drive for a local machine shop. They aren't UNIX familiar, and I am not tape drive familiar, so this should be interesting...

    I have tried using tar -xv[j and z]f /dev/st0 xxxxxxx, but am told that this doesn't look like a tar archive, and that the tape uses obsolescent [sic] 64 headers, blah blah blah. So, after trying tar for a while, I decided to do some more research, and found that I could access the tape via dd (once again, I am not familiar with this.

    I used dd bs=512 (I got this number from mt -f /dev/st0 status) if=/dev/st0 of=/home/ron/Desktop. This works... sort of. Not only does the thing move SLOW, SLOW, SLOW (around 21KB/s) but on the first tape I tried, I received I/O errors at about the 87MB mark. I am trying another tape now, just to see if the first tape is just old (the newest tape I have, out of about 20, is from 1994).

    Now, does the entire file need to be retrieved in order to be able to read it? And, how on earth do I read the file? I have the 87MB data file on my desktop, but I have no idea how to do anything with it. Running 'file -i xxxxx' tells me that the file is an application/octet stream, but when I make it executable, I can't run it, something about not being able to run a binary file... Anyways, these files were created on an old UNIX machine in their shop that is now in computer heaven, but I am kind of at a standstill now...
    Asus A8V Deluxe Mobo
    AMD Athlon64 X2 4400 -939
    2GB Crucial DDR3200 Dual-Channel
    ATi AiW 9800 Pro 128DDR
    Audigy2 ZS
    Sony DRU-810 DVD+RW DL
    3 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 160Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 300Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 120Gb 16Mb Cache

  2. #2
    Any chance of obtaining the name of the appliation that used to write to the tape?
    My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive.

  3. #3
    According to the ONE person that has been around this company for YEARS, it was tar. Then again, they couldn't remember the root password of the machine over the past 20 years, so who knows if that is accurate. Anyways, tar got me nowhere, as stated earlier, so I think they are maybe a little crazy... I will get back in touch with them and see if I can find out some other possibilities...
    Asus A8V Deluxe Mobo
    AMD Athlon64 X2 4400 -939
    2GB Crucial DDR3200 Dual-Channel
    ATi AiW 9800 Pro 128DDR
    Audigy2 ZS
    Sony DRU-810 DVD+RW DL
    3 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 160Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 300Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 120Gb 16Mb Cache

  4. #4
    Administrator Advisor peter's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Posts
    882
    Older UNIX systems used to use cpio before tar became popular. You could try that.

  5. #5

    Extract Data from Tape Drive, SGI IRIX OS and Suse 10

    Problem solved. I ended up having to use dd to extract the data and pipe it through tar. However, what made this work was byte-swapping. Online, I found a newsgroup thread from 1991, concerning reading SGI IRIX written tapes on a Sun system. I guess SGI tar is different somehow than GNUtar. Now, I AM trying to read IRIX written tapes, but not on a Sun. I am trying to read them with Suse 10. Well, just for grins, I tried the commands listed for Sun, and they worked. So, now, dd is taking the data, swapping the bytes, then piping the data through tar, and everything is extracting just fine.

    In case you are curious, the command is 'dd if=/dev/st0 conv=swap ibs=512 obs=512 | tar -xvBf -

    'ibs' is determined by the tape's block size, shown by 'mt -f /dev/st0 status'.

    'obs' is the same as 'ibs'.


    ***NOTE: When you use 'tar -xxxx "-"' it dumps the data WHERE YOU ARE. I found this out the hard way, as many of the files in my /root/ were replaced by IRIX files (including my /root/bin/ directory) and I may need to reinstall Suse again, as I am not savvy enough to know how to 'rebuild'. If you try to use 'tar -xxxx /path/to/restore/to/', tar gives an error concerning the location being a directory, and not being able to read it. I guess I could have done 'tar -xxxx file.to.extract.to.tar' but I wasn't sure how this would behave, as far as restoring the directory structure.
    Asus A8V Deluxe Mobo
    AMD Athlon64 X2 4400 -939
    2GB Crucial DDR3200 Dual-Channel
    ATi AiW 9800 Pro 128DDR
    Audigy2 ZS
    Sony DRU-810 DVD+RW DL
    3 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 160Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 300Gb 16Mb Cache
    1 x Maxtor MaxLine SATA 120Gb 16Mb Cache

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