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Old 08-08-2001, 06:50 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Ohio
Distribution: RedHat, Engarde and LFS
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Parallel port backup device

I have a Microsolutions Backpack Parallel port Tape Drive. It is a model 141080 and I think it is a series 5. (The kernel help said that if it doesn't say series 6 on the bottom, then it is most likely a series 5).

I have recompiled the 2.4.7 kernel to include the following...

<*> Parallel port IDE device support
<*> Parallel port ATAPI tapes
<*> MicroSolutions backpack (Series 5) protocol

<*> Parallel port support
<*> PC-style hardware [*] Use FIFO/DMA if available (EXPERIMENTAL)

I have the following entries in my logs...

dmesgarport0: PC-style at 0x378 [PCSPP(,...)]

messages:Aug 8 15:48:13 lockbox kernel: parport0: PC-style at 0x378 [PCSPP(,...)]

dmesgaride: bpck registered as protocol 0
kernel:Aug 8 17:41:49 lockbox kernel: paride: bpck registered as protocol 0

I am not too sure if this is what I should be looking for or not. Is 'bpck' an entry that is supposed to be in my dev directory. (It isn't there now)

I am pretty sure I have the correct kernel settings but I am unsure what I wshould do next, I can't even tell which /dev entry will correspond to my tape drive.

Any help or pointers is appreciated.
Old 08-10-2001, 02:20 AM   #2
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Registered: Jun 2001
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i've never worked with tape drives under linux... so if i say anything that doesn't make sense... just ignore me.

but... don't tape drives require a program to get them to work? even under dos or windows, just trying to copy files using a dos command won't work. the file system on the tapes is significantly different from the file system on a hard drive. i don't think the kernel itself would support that kind of operation. does a tape drive have it's own controller?
Old 08-10-2001, 04:22 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Ohio
Distribution: RedHat, Engarde and LFS
Posts: 237

Original Poster
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It seems to me that it is not much different than a floppy device.

The backpack when opened up up is no more than a 3.5 inch tape drive hooked up to a parallel port interface. After doing some searching I have found that I also have the option of removing the drive from the bay and hooking it up under the floppy controller. I didn't really want to do this because I would be breaking the portability of it and my case does not have a free 3.5 inch bay so a little modification will be necessary.

Also after doing some seaching, I have found a couple of answers to my questions, but they weren't as helpful as I had hoped. I found that the bpck is the name of the kernel's chosen protocol for this device. (which is the correct choice)

Maybe some software is necessary, I tried to compile ftape earlier but it dumped so many errors on me, that I didn't know where to begin. (I had given up trying to compile it because I wasn't even sure if it was the answer I was looking for) I am going to go back to trying to get ftape installed ( maybe I should try a CVS snapshot). In the meantime, I appreciate any comments on this problem.


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