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Old 04-05-2013, 02:51 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2011
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Determining if data is on an LTO-4 tape / and how to get at it

Hey folks -

We had an analyst return to our workspace with about 20 tapes of data that he wanted us to work with; but as I'm working with the tapes it doesn't seem like there is anything on them. All are labled and SHOULD have the data, but I can't find it.

Granted I'm a Linux newbie and don't have a ton of experience.

We have CentOS 5 and a HP LTO-4 tape deck, the tapes are LTO-4 tapes from SONY.

I know the tape deck works and its communicating with the computer, I can put another tape from a different project into the deck and pull data from it and write data to it.

Here's what I've tried to do on the tapes in question -- and again I'm certainly not an expert here so this could be something I'm doing wrong.

# tar -xvf /dev/nst0
tar: /dev/nst0: cannot: read input/output error
tar: At beginning of tape, quitting now
tar: Error is not recoverable : exiting now

I've tried that command after using <mt -f /dev/nst0 setblk 0, 16, 32, 128, 256, 512 and 1024> same results every time.

I tried to fast-forward to the end of the data using
#mt -f /dev/nst0 eod
The command enters without error, but nothing happens and the tape doesn't advance

I tried this command to see if I could figure out a block size
#dd if=/dev/nst0 of=/tmp/test.file ibs=1024K count=1
After that command I get the following
dd: reading '/dev/nst0' :input/ouput error
0+0 records in
0+0 records out
0 bytes (0 B) copied, 0.00110075 seconds, 0.0 kbs (I tried a much bigger number for ibs='' as well but the same result)

I next tried
# tar -tzf /dev/nst0 to see if it would list the files but it returns this
tar: /dev/nst0: cannot: read input/output error
tar: At beginning of tape, quitting now
tar: Error is not recoverable : exiting now

gzip: stdin: unexpected end of file
tar: child returned status 2
tar: error exit delayed from previous errors.

Can anybody help a suffering worker drone out? Appreciate all the help and time!!

Old 04-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
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Have you asked the analyst what was used to create the tapes?

You can dump a block of data using the dd command and examine it with a hex editor to look for a header, magic number etc that might provide a clue to what application was used.
Old 04-05-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2013
Posts: 2

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Possibly, cpio. Some older-ish school admins like scripting backups using cpio.


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