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Old 09-25-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
martygeist
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Smile newbie, and getting cipher tape to work


Hi All;
I am new to this site and to linux... I have a cipher M990 tape Drive, and had wanted to get it working on Windows, for experimentating with and to read old tapes, that I have... I was directed to Use Linux instead, and have had some good response from the drive... I don't have the MT command on my system, it is a Fedora but I don't know which version.. I am writing the post on a different machine (Laptop) than the one I have the tape connected to. I have it connected as an SCSI and not as Pertec, and when I try to mount the tape the tape moves and re-looks for BOT... but it won't mount it says it needs filetype.. I hope to get MT coppied from this machine to the other machine by jump drive as soon as I can find it on google.. so I can try out the different commands like erease, rewind, etc....
THANK YOU marty
 
Old 09-26-2011, 09:36 AM   #2
michaelk
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Welcome to LinuxQuestions.
I agree it would be much easier on a linux vs windows PC.
It has been a number of years since I have played with a 9 track tape drive. Those were the days...

Never played with one on a linux computer.
You can install mt via yum. Try yum install mt-st (as root). If your version is no longer supported this will fail.

Tape drives are not mounted like a file system, instead they are read like a data stream (character vs block device) and can be opened like a file.
If the controller recognized the drive and all the modules are loaded you should have a /dev/st0 and /dev/nst0. The difference between st0 and nst0 is that nst0 will not automatically rewind the tape upon completion of a command.

Do you have any idea on what or how the tapes were created? You might want to start by reading a few bytes from the tape via the dd command.
dd if=/dev/st0 of=/some/where/test.dat count=1 bs=1024 (Change the count to read as many blocks as desired)

Last edited by michaelk; 09-26-2011 at 09:38 AM.
 
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:00 PM   #3
martygeist
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cipher tape

Hi All;
Thank you for your response..
I had Fedora ver 9, and I have today upgraded to Fedora 12, I didn't know about setting the Mt with yum so I will need to try and do so as I am not able to get permission to do anything with mt...
also , how do I get the # instead of the $ on terminal mode ??
THANK YOU Marty
 
Old 09-26-2011, 05:56 PM   #4
michaelk
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To become root use the su command. To inherit root's environment use su -

The current fedora release is 15. Any version < 14 is unsupported.
 
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #5
martygeist
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Unhappy cipher

Hi All;
Thank You for your help..
I got the tape to move and obey commands. I have upgraded to Fedora 14, since I thogh the problem was with fedora 12... Which it wasn't...
I would like to read a tape which is at 1600 bpi and see if it is or was , my other tape, since I was using a scratch tape, I don't know of its quality.. I have tried to use tar but it says it can't open the directory i had already created, which is at --- /home/marty/tape ...
So how do I get tar or some other program to read this tape ????? It may be characters or binary.. is is for a backup for a Nova MV compuer using Pcopy, so I think I should be able to read it.. I have lots of other tapes for various old computer systems, but most of them are at 65xx bpi.. and I have not tried to read them yet, as a 1600 bpi i am working on first...
THANK YOU Marty
 
Old 09-27-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
michaelk
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The basic command to read a tar archive from tape is
tar xvf /dev/st0

To list files from the archive
tar -Tvf /dev/st0

This will extract the files from tape to the current working directory. I am unfamiliar with Pcopy so do not know if it uses a proprietary format.
 
Old 09-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
martygeist
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Unhappy

Hi All;
I have run the tar programs and get the following error -- cannot read --Input/output error. ----
I have run the Diagnostics on the drive itself.
Does anyone have a manual or switch settings for the scsi interface -- cipher csc 100 ????????
THANK YOU Marty
 
Old 09-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #8
michaelk
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Have you tried dumping data via the dd command?
 
Old 09-28-2011, 11:19 PM   #9
martygeist
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Smile

Hi All;
I GOT it to work !!!!! I found out I had to write to the tape since I was using a blank scratch tape. so after many tries and attempts, not knowing what I was doing I got it to write to the tape and then tell and all the other commands work... SO THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
now HOW do I make directories and copy "test" files (text) and del these files as needed... I have copied the GPL liscence file to the tape as a test, but instead of typing /home/Marty/Downloads/GPL , I would like to create a directory /marty and copy the GPL text to that shorter location (less typing) but I go and do a gui copy but it won't let me create a directory /marty , nor copy to it ????????
THANK YOU Marty
 
Old 09-28-2011, 11:24 PM   #10
snooly
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I'm not a tape expert, but from reading this thread, I assume that tar will let you create a tape archive, or 'tar' as they are called.

So:

tar cvf /dev/st0 /home/marty

should read everything from /home/marty and dump it onto the tape.
 
Old 09-29-2011, 08:17 AM   #11
martygeist
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Smile

Hi All;
Yes, that will get the file copied to the tape, and that is what I would like to do... but, I need to copy the file from home/Marty/Downloads/GPL to home/marty.. and I can't get it to do that.. before I copy it to tape I need a file to copy... but on another vein I am going to try to copy an unknown tape to that file and see what happens... So, THANK YOU.. I found out that cp is the copy program that I want, and it did what I needed to get done.. I have copied to tape with both Tar and Dd , so I now know that the tape drive works... and copied them to a different place on the drive..
I now need to delete files , I know how to delete directories, but not individual files... I also now know that I will need special software to read these old tapes that I have, I have a friend who has this software (He wrote it) to do just this... So for now I have done all I can with my old tapes... I will keep on experimenting with my tape drive and reading and writing.... THANK YOU
marty

Last edited by martygeist; 09-29-2011 at 11:45 AM.
 
  


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