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Date:      Tue, 19 Dec 2006 22:16:10 -0600
From:      Mark Kane <>
Subject:   SCSI Tape Drive Problems
Message-ID:  <20061219221610.4bcdb4c4@localhost>

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Hi everyone. I'm experiencing some problems with two tape drives
attached to this machine. Here is the situation:

I first tried backing up 17GB of data using cpio to a six tape DDS-4
autoloader with a fresh 20GB/40GB Fuji tape. It stopped writing after
about 9GB and gave the following error message on the command line,
but didn't output anything to /var/log/messages:

"Internal overflow, aborting"

If I try to use tar instead of cpio and backup the same 17GB directory
to the same 20GB native tape, it will give a tape full error way before

With that six tape autoloader, I have tried with two different brand new
DDS-4 20/40 tapes, and the unit itself is brand new from the factory
and has only written a few GB so far (mainly smaller files, which
seemed to work fine).

I then tried backing up the same 17GB directory to a Sun DLT 4000 single
tape unit with a 20GB/40GB tape using cpio. It wrote about 250MB and
then quit with a "Found End of Volume" error. It outputted a lot of
errors to /var/log/messages which can be found here:

I did another test on the same Sun DLT 4000 with a smaller 1.5GB
directory and a different tape. This time it wrote about 550MB and then
gave the same "Found End of Volume" message as before. This time there
were even more errors in /var/log/messages:

I also tested with the smaller 1.5GB directory to the DDS-4 autoloader,
however that did complete without error.

At this point I was running "6.2-PRERELEASE #18: Wed Nov 15 11:12:09"
from last month, so today I cvsupped to RELENG_6 and rebuilt. 

Trying the same 1.5GB directory using the Sun DLT 4000 after the update
resulted in it writing about 200MB of data and then stopping with the
"Found end of volume" message again, as well as errors
in /var/log/messages (however not as many this time):

Any suggestions on what to check or any ideas on how to proceed would
be great. I don't think it's both tape drives failing or bad tapes
because pretty much the same thing happens with two different drives
(one of which is completely new), and four different tapes (two of those
completely new). I suppose it could be a problem with the SCSI
controller (Adaptec 2940U2W), but I'd like to rule out any software
issues before having to buy any additional hardware.

Thanks very much in advance.


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