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Old 10-02-2003, 12:40 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: RedHat
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Amanda & DAT tape size

Hi All,

I have been using Amanda to backup 4 different Linux servers (RH 7.3) to a single server that has a 20/40 Sony DDS4 (DAT) tape drive in it.

Recently the backup has been failing with the error:

A TAPE ERROR OCCURRED: [[writing file: No space left on device]].

I am doing software compression and writing uncompressed to the tape. The total output size as reported by Amanda (after compression) is 15.3 GB, yet it can't fit all of this onto a 20GB tape ?

Prior to this, the backup has been working fine for about 12 months, with the amount of data being backed up increasing steadily (as happens).

When I first installed Amanda, there was no tapetype definition for DDS4 tapes so I used the tapetype utility to generate one. The output from this was:

define tapetype dat4 {
# "tapetype" report for the DDS4
comment "just produced by tapetype program"
length 14101 mbytes
filemark 1484 kbytes
speed 1855 kps

Which you can see gives the total capacity as just over 14 GB. I ran the tapetype program again just now and the output was 13.5 GB (even less !).

I thought the above "length" was too small, so I modified it and made the length "20000 mbytes" and with this length it is failing with the above no space error.

The server is an IBM x345 rack rount, with an IBM 00N7991 tape drive connected externally via SCSI.

Any suggestions on how to make it backup to a full 20GB ? Is this possible ? If not, why not. How come a 20GB tape can only hold 14GB of data ?

Thanks in advance,
Old 10-02-2003, 08:21 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Debian 11
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" The total output size as reported by Amanda (after compression) is 15.3 GB, yet it can't fit all of this onto a 20GB tape ?"

Over time bad spots accumulate on the tape. Maybe your tape is getting effectively smaller by aging with use. you could try a new tape and see how that works.

Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.

Steve Stites
Old 10-02-2003, 11:59 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: RedHat
Posts: 51

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Thanks for the response. I don't think it is a tape error. The tape would be less than 6 months old and only used once a week. It is also not just on one tape, but same problem with different tapes.

Do you know how I can ensure that hardware compression is indeed OFF. I don't know how I can tell. Output from "/bin/mt -f /dev/st0 status" is:

SCSI 2 tape drive:
File number=0, block number=1, partition=0.
Tape block size 0 bytes. Density code 0x26 (DDS-4 or QIC-4GB).
Soft error count since last status=0
General status bits on (1010000):

The info from /proc/scsi/scsi is:

Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 06 Lun: 00
Vendor: SEAGATE Model: DAT 9SP40-000 Rev: 9070
Type: Sequential-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 03

I have no idea whether compression is on or off. According to the documentation of the "mt" command, it should tell me when I use the compression option (eg. "/bin/mt -f /dev/st0 compression") but all it does is go straight back to a prompt and doesn't tell me anything about compression.

I checked the manual for the tape drive and there is no jumper for compression so I have to assume it is software controlled, but I can't find any way to determine if it is even on, let alone switch it on/off.

Any suggestions ? Anyone ?
Old 09-10-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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Registered: Sep 2009
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I got the same problem.

Hi, I got the same problem, but some differents things.
The server i'm using is a Dell Power edge SC1430,
and I need to know how to get the used size on the tape,
and the left size on it. I'm using O.S. CentOS 5.3,
but I can't find the right command to get that information.

I hope you can help me, or maybe someone who read this.


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