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Old 06-07-2004, 10:53 PM   #1
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Distribution: Fedora
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Question Installing ATAPI tape drive

I'm trying to install / configure an ATAPI tape drive on a Fedora system, and am getting very bogged down.

The tape drive is recognized by the hardware. /etc/sysconfig/hwconf has a section for TAPE that shows driver: ignore and desc: Seagate STT20000A. Hardware browser shows a tape drive, with the correct device (/dev/hdd) but manufacturer unknown.

I believe I need to have ide-scsi and scsi_mod, and possibly st or sg. lsmod shows scsi_mod dependent on sg, but there is no sign of ide-scsi. This module doesn't appear to be on the system, but ide-tape is there.

/etc/rc.sysinit has stuff about loading st, but this doesn't happen.


Question 1. How can I set up the right modules to load on startup?
Question 2. Was there a right way to configure the tape (ideally with a graphical tool)
Question 3. Where can I find an explanation of the relationship between the different modules?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.
Old 06-08-2004, 09:49 AM   #2
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It's been a while but I had a seagate ide tape drive which I never got working quite right, I think due to a hardware problem with drive since it behaved erratically in windows as well. IIRC correctly, you can run the tape drive in ide mode or under scsi emulation. It looks like your system is insisting that you run it in ide mode for some reason. If you're running the drive in ide mode, the device file for the drive is /dev/ht0 (rewind) and /dev/nht0 (no rewind). When mounted using the ht0, the tape will automatically rewind after the tape operation and when using nht0 it won't rewind after the operation. To access the drive from the command line you use the "mt" command which has the syntax:

# mt [options] <device file> <command>

You normally need to be root to use "mt" IIRC.

You can test whether your system can see the drive on ht0 by running as root:

# mt -f /dev/nht0 retension


# mt -f /dev/nht0 rewind.

If the tape rewinds or retensions, the drive is being recognized.

Another good tool is a program called "taper" which is probably on your install cds. It's an ncurses tape backup program which runs from the command line. If you get a response from the tape drive with the above commands, install the taper rpm and check out the documentation for taper.
Old 06-10-2004, 12:47 PM   #3
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Distribution: Fedora
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Thanks! This worked. At this point I think it was more important to get the tape working than to increase my understanding, but I don't understand the device names.

I was able to rewind and retension, and also see some data on the tapes using dd.

I'll take a look at taper. Need also to set the TAPE variable so that mt and other programs have a default set. I know I can set the variable manually, but it would be nice to have it set automatically.


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