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#1 2021-05-15 12:49:23

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Tape drives

So i found this iomega tape 250 drive along with this 3gb ditto tape that belonged to grandpas first pc
and i bought a chinese floppy to usb converter (picture)

the question is, how do i get it to work?
in the repository is a tool that is called mt-st and it looks like it is the right tool for the job
however when i try it, i get this

mt-st rewind
/dev/tape: No such file or directory

lsusb indicates that a new usb device is found, but it does not show as a tape drive
i dont even know if this thing is still working or if i plugged the connector the right way because there is no indication which way it goes

any ideas?

MBwIxMt.jpg

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-05-15 12:51:52)

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#2 2021-05-15 13:23:16

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Tape drives

Maybe try the gnu version? I dont know if there is a difference but when i installed mt-st i get 2 versions, mt-st and mt-gnu ??

https://manpages.debian.org/testing/cpi … .1.en.html

Last edited by dice (2021-05-15 13:24:45)

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#3 2021-05-15 13:36:04

alphalpha
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From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

mt-gnu rewind
mt-gnu: /dev/tape: rmtopen failed: No such file or directory
ls /dev/tape
ls: cannot access '/dev/tape': No such file or director

it does not recognize it as a tape drive
i just noticed there is a jumper on the back that can be set to DS1, DS0 or DSP, it is currently on DSP


edit:

sudo mt-st -f /dev/sdc status

does nothing, at least there is no noise and no output

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-05-15 13:42:24)

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#4 2021-05-15 13:46:59

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Tape drives

does dmesg give any hints  maybe?

unplug and plug in while below command is running in a terminal.

# dmesg -wH

also is there any output when you do

# mt status

i found this with a search which may help...

http://etutorials.org/Linux+systems/how … e+Devices/

Last edited by dice (2021-05-15 13:53:01)

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#5 2021-05-15 14:01:07

alphalpha
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From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

dmesg -wH
[  +0.682265] scsi 6:0:0:0: Direct-Access     TEAC     USB UF000x       0.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
[  +0.000354] sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[  +0.191556] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] 2880 512-byte logical blocks: (1.47 MB/1.41 MiB)
[  +0.064088] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
[  +0.000006] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 00 46 02 00
[  +0.063989] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] No Caching mode page found
[  +0.000004] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[  +8.127890] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[  +0.000012] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current] 
[  +0.000006] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Incompatible medium installed
[  +0.000013] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 00 00 00
[  +0.000002] print_req_error: I/O error, dev sdc, sector 0
[  +0.000003] Buffer I/O error on dev sdc, logical block 0, async page read
 mt status
/dev/tape: No such file or directory

from man mt-gnu:

The device must be either a character special file or a remote tape drive.

/dev/sdc is not character special but block special

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-05-15 21:21:38)

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#6 2021-05-15 14:07:42

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Tape drives

so is this thing attached to a floppy drive?

maybe you need fdutils?

# apt install fdutils

might be problematic due to the usb connection of the tape drives.

Have a read of this here: https://www.linux.org/threads/how-do-i- … ive.33919/

I know yours is not a travan tape drive but could be a similar issue.

Last edited by dice (2021-05-15 14:26:14)

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#7 2021-05-15 15:49:31

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 856  

Re: Tape drives

Hello.

alphalpha wrote:

... iomega tape 250 drive along with this 3gb ditto tape ...

Nice find.  8^)

alphalpha wrote:

... how do i get it to work?

The key to this may be here:

Wiki wrote:

Technical aspects

Ditto internal drives were connected through the floppy drive channel and used MFM encoding to store data (the same method as on older floppy drives). An ISA accelerator card called the Ditto Dash, providing higher speed than a stock floppy controller, was also available.
--- snip ---

Check that the USB Floppy adapter is correctly inserted.
It should (?) have a key (like the IDE cables did) or some indication in the adapter's manual/instruction sheet.

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditto_(drive)
https://www.manualslib.com/products/Iom … 35190.html   <---- | x |
https://johnvidler.co.uk/linux-journal/LJ/022/1215.html
http://pong.tamu.edu/~baum/linux/LDP/HO … TO-28.html

Edit:
https://tldp.org/HOWTO/pdf/ZIP-Drive.pdf

Best,

A.

Last edited by Altoid (2021-05-15 18:44:16)

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#8 2021-05-15 21:19:44

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

dice wrote:

so is this thing attached to a floppy drive?

i used this adapter --> link

Altoid wrote:

Check that the USB Floppy adapter is correctly inserted.
It should (?) have a key (like the IDE cables did) or some indication in the adapter's manual/instruction sheet.

there is no indicator, but im sure i have it correctly now
the usb device would show up either way but only when it is right side up, it shows sdc in lsblk


as i said earlier, mt-gnu expects a character special file or a remote tape drive
can i create that file with mknod or something?
i tried

mknod tape c 8 32

where 8 and 32 are MAJ and MIN from /dev/sdc
but no success

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-05-15 21:22:20)

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#9 2021-05-15 22:17:20

aitor
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From: basque country
Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 57  
Website

Re: Tape drives

alphalpha wrote:

as i said earlier, mt-gnu expects a character special file or a remote tape drive
can i create that file with mknod or something?
i tried

mknod tape c 8 32

where 8 and 32 are MAJ and MIN from /dev/sdc
but no success

Try with the b flag instead of c, for block-oriented devices:

mknod /dev/{filename} b MAJOR MINOR

Last edited by aitor (2021-05-15 22:17:51)


If you work systematically, things will come by itself (Lev D. Landau)

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#10 2021-05-20 15:01:27

alphalpha
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From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

mknod was the wrong approach,
maybe eudev can do something

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#11 2021-05-20 19:30:00

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 572  

Re: Tape drives

Did you try making /dev/tape a link to /dev/sdc? (though it might well need some API adapter between)

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#12 2021-05-21 17:02:15

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

you mean just do

sudo ln /dev/sdc /dev/tape

?

sudo mt-gnu status 
mt-gnu: /dev/tape is not a character special file

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#13 2021-05-22 00:38:47

ralph.ronnquist
Administrator
From: Clifton Hill, Victoria, AUS
Registered: 2016-11-30
Posts: 572  

Re: Tape drives

Based on a shallow look-around, it would seem you'll need to get the "st" module loaded.

Perhaps a plain

# modprobe st

is sufficient, or maybe it needs some more intricate incantation.

(Possibly it needs a tape loaded at the time)

Look up Documentation/scsi/st.rst in the kernel source for details of that module.

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#14 2021-05-22 08:29:46

aitor
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From: basque country
Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 57  
Website

Re: Tape drives

alphalpha wrote:

you mean just do

sudo ln /dev/sdc /dev/tape

?

sudo mt-gnu status 
mt-gnu: /dev/tape is not a character special file

Did you try exporting the TAPE variable:

export TAPE=/dev/stX

mt-gnu might use the value of this variable as the default device, so that you'll be able to by-pass the /dev/tape symlink.

Ralph is right, tape devices should be named /dev/stX.

Last edited by aitor (2021-05-22 08:39:26)


If you work systematically, things will come by itself (Lev D. Landau)

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#15 2021-05-22 10:48:23

dice
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Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
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Re: Tape drives

^ that is what i was thinking needed to happen when i looked at the  mt-gnu manpage, i have hadnt much to do with mknod, i suppose it is similiar to makedev.

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#16 2021-05-22 11:57:25

aitor
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From: basque country
Registered: 2016-12-03
Posts: 57  
Website

Re: Tape drives

dice wrote:

^ that is what i was thinking needed to happen when i looked at the  mt-gnu manpage, i have hadnt much to do with mknod, i suppose it is similiar to makedev.

Are you sure it's a scsi | tape device? Have a look at the device/type file in the same path to the filesystem [1] you are taking the MAJOR:MINOR numbers from. If i'm not mistaken, the different options are (taken from the code of vdev [2]):

   0 : DISK
   1 : TAPE
   4 : OPTICAL
   5 : CD
   7 : OPTICAL
0xe : DISK
0xf : OPTICAL

[1] For example, something looking like this:
/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:08.1/0000:04:00.3/usb1/1-3/1-3:1.0/host0/target0:0:0/0:0:0:0/block/sdc/device/type

[2] lines nº1145 - 1168 in vdevd/helpers/LINUX/stat_scsi.c:
https://github.com/jcnelson/vdev/blob/m … tat_scsi.c

Last edited by aitor (2021-05-22 12:09:10)


If you work systematically, things will come by itself (Lev D. Landau)

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#17 2021-05-22 17:16:32

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 856  

Re: Tape drives

Hello:

It seems that what is needed is to load the proper driver modules.

ie: modprobe zftape -> depends ftape

This will load zftape and ftape, creating all needed devices under /dev, so there's no MAKEDEV to run.

But this was when you could actually find ftape and zftape for your kernel.

zftape and ftape went awol quite a few years ago, so they were taken out of the kernel from 2.x something on.
I have read in one post that maybe some old Ubuntu may have it, so booting that from a CD may be a solution.

https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.co … with-ftape

Check out these posts:

http://thewunders.org/SxS/storage/ftape.html

https://tldp.org/HOWTO/Ftape-HOWTO-6.html#ss6.1

https://github.com/Godzil/ftape

https://dmitrybrant.com/2020/11/01/how- … -qic-tapes

Good luck ...  8^)

Best,

A.

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#18 2021-05-23 19:39:39

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 94  

Re: Tape drives

aitor wrote:

Did you try exporting the TAPE variable:

export TAPE=/dev/stX

okay, mt definetly recognized this variable

aitor wrote:

[1] For example, something looking like this:
/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:08.1/0000:04:00.3/usb1/1-3/1-3:1.0/host0/target0:0:0/0:0:0:0/block/sdc/device/type

sorry i cant find anything usefull in /sys/devices/pci0000:00/ , that directory has way to much stuff inside that i never worked with and i dont understand

Altoid wrote:

It seems that what is needed is to load the proper driver modules.

ie: modprobe zftape -> depends ftape

that might be it
sadly ftape and zftape are not in the kernel anymore

i just downloaded linux-2.1.131

linux-2.1.131.tar.xz                               03-Dec-1998 01:55      8M

ah 1998, the year i got my first computer big_smile

i never tried building anything that old, will try it during the next week
if anyone knows where i can find an old ubuntu or debian iso from that time, please let me know

of course that eliminates any practical usecase for that tape drive, but i am still curious what might be sitting on that tape

thanks very much to everyone who participaded in this thread
you posted a lot of good recources


edit: at some point i may just try to just put it back into that old 486 where i ripped it out and access it from there
but we dont have that monochrome monitor anymore, would it work with any starndard old crt?

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-05-23 19:55:22)

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#19 2021-05-23 21:11:33

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 856  

Re: Tape drives

Hello:

alphalpha wrote:

that might be it
sadly ftape and zftape are not in the kernel anymore

Indeed ...

The problem was that this hardware (my opinion) was not really something solid like all the SCSI tape drives out there at the time.
The advantage was that it was much less expensive to get a QIC/Travan etc. and run it from a parallel port or IDE adaptor card.
But for most, not the real thing.

In my day, I had a QIC and a Travan under Windows but found them to be slow and unreliable.

Here's a link to old Ubuntu releases:

http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/

Try Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) or Ubuntu 6.06.2 LTS (Dapper Drake), both have 64bit DVD Live editions:

http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases … -amd64.iso
http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases … -amd64.iso

alphalpha wrote:

... any practical usecase for that tape drive ...

Quite so.

With relatively inexpensive fast HDDs to make a multiple Tb NAS with very little investment, tape ends up being cumbersome.
And no, I will not store anything in any cloud.

A cloud is just water vapour: one moment it's there, the next it's gone.

I had my last DAT DD2 drive sitting atop my box for the longest while and finally decided to move it out of the way last week.
A beautiful Sun Microsystems external box hosting a Seagate Scorpion 8000 which saw very little use.
Maybe the box, PS and SCSI board will be of use for something.

alphalpha wrote:

... still curious what might be sitting on that tape

Ahh ...
So that's it.  8^D !

alphalpha wrote:

... put it back into that old 486 where i ripped it out ...

You'll still need the application used to make the tape or download it raw and pick out the bits.

Once you find out what you can do by booting the Ubuntu DVD, you may want to make a VM see if you can access it from there.
Much better than trying anything with the 486.

Cheers,

A.

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#20 2021-05-24 14:15:28

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 559  
Website

Re: Tape drives

i came across this on the cyberciti website which maybe of some use?

https://www.cyberciti.biz/hardware/unix … -commands/

especially thelsscsi program.

list all SCSI devices (or hosts) currently on system

edited: got the command wrong for lsscsi, i typed lsscpi

Last edited by dice (2021-05-25 12:02:06)

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