Tape Drive & Tape Archival questions...

Scott Quinn compoobah at valleyimplants.com
Sun Aug 6 11:37:44 CDT 2006

(1) the tape drive: I fixed my IRIS drive by cleaning off the goo and sliding on a section of some sort of (probably very nice & expensive)
tubing I got at Boeing Surplus. Not quite vinyl (matte finish and slightly bluish, more flexable then vinyl), but similar.  Get a set of calipers in
there and get the O.D. and I.D. needed and let me know. I still have many yards of the stuff.

(2) Sun tapes are in TAR format, excepting the first couple, Let me grab my "System Administrator's Guide to Sun Workstations".

O.K.-  for SunOS 4.0 on QIC: 

tape:  file:    name:   format:  
1          0      boot       image
1          1      XDRTOC  TOC
1          2      copy       image
1    3     mini-root      image
1  4      munix             image
1  5      munixfs          image    
the rest are TARs, except tape1, file 15 (copyright) and tape2, 0 (boot) 2,1 (XDRTOC) and 2,12 (copyright)

Have the whole list if anyone needs it, don't want to choke up cctalk, though

I archive twice: once as "dd" files, once as "extracted" files. On TAR tapes, the dd files double as the extracted files, so there is no issue (same with CPIO). Things
like IRIS-4D disttapes (distcp) and Apollo Domain tapes (rbak) need to be extracted in order to be readable without rewriting a tape, though. Pay attention when
copying older tapes. Sometimes the belt slips and you get some slack that starts to make a snapping or popping noise as it gets pulled taut and goes loose.
If you don't catch this, you can tie your tape in knots.
A script I use to automate the dd copy follows

#! /bin/sh
filenum=1 #where the numbers in the filenames start
bs=1024 #block size, bigger = faster, smaller=better error handling

while [1]
dd if=/dev/nrst0 of=file${filenum} bs=${bs}
if [$? != 0]
filenum='expr $filenum + 1'

slightly crude, but works. Replace the /dev/nrst0 with your tape no-rewind device (this is set up for SunOS4 as it stands).
Make a directory with the name of the tape, cd to it, run the script, and the tapefiles will be extracted in file1, file2 ... files. 

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