Author Topic: Tape Drive & Config.sys  (Read 1916 times)

Ben

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Tape Drive & Config.sys
« on: 2012.02.03, 16:27:55 »

I recently had a number of SCSI tape drives given to me.

My SCSI card recognizes my test unit and the Hardware Manager shows it and provided the expected data.

Nothing shows up in my Drives Folder however.

I am unfamiliar with Tape Drives, but distant memory from reading past news groups, tells me that a device driver is required... I don't know if such a driver would be brand-name specific or not.

I did a Google Search on OS/2, Tape Drive & Config.sys, yet nothing shows up of value.

I don't know if it matters, but I'm using an Exabyte drive, internal.


Does anyone here have a working SCSI Tape Drive and some information on the Config.sys necessaries?

Any help would be appreciated.



Pete

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #1 on: 2012.02.04, 04:47:46 »
Hi Ben

Sorry, no experience of tape drives under OS/2 - but seem to recall that BackAgain/2000 did support lots. A quick rummage through the readme file shows:-

Supported Backup Devices
------------------------
Many different types of backup devices are supported by Back Again/2000
and do not require a separate device driver.  Back Again/2000 supports
almost every SCSI and ATAPI/IDE tape drive currently available, and has
been designed to automatically configure itself for future tape drives
as well.  Additionally, Back Again/2000 does not require any specific
device driver to work with a SCSI or ATAPI/IDE tape drive other than
the driver for the SCSI or IDE adapter itself.


So, the obvious suggestion is to install BA/2000 and see if it works with your tape drive(s).


Regards

Pete

ALT

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #2 on: 2012.02.06, 10:13:40 »

I recently had a number of SCSI tape drives given to me.

My SCSI card recognizes my test unit and the Hardware Manager shows it and provided the expected data.

Nothing shows up in my Drives Folder however.

I am unfamiliar with Tape Drives, but distant memory from reading past news groups, tells me that a device driver is required... I don't know if such a driver would be brand-name specific or not.


That's basically right.  Tape drives aren't random-access disk drives so they won't show up under the Drives folder even if you have a driver for them.  You need not only a driver, but an application that knows how to write stream data to the device presented by the tape driver.  There are a few options available.

SCSI tape drives are generic to a certain extent... by that I mean that a general "SCSI tape" driver has a good chance of supporting it.  Whether or not it supports all features is another story, of course.

Quote

Does anyone here have a working SCSI Tape Drive and some information on the Config.sys necessaries?

Any help would be appreciated.


I successfully used a SCSI DDS-4 tape drive for a while, using the free GTAK driver+apps.  GTAK has some virtues, like (a) being free, and (b) presenting a documented generic interface which lets you use custom programs to generate the tape data and/or write that data to the tape.

The disadvantages of GTAK include (a) it's free but not open-source (and no longer maintained); (b) it can be awfully slow, at least depending on the type of tape drive you're using; (c) whoever wrote the documentation seems to have assumed that his readers are experienced UNIX system administrators with detailed knowledge of SCSI and tape standards, and also psychic.  It's possible for mere mortals to piece together a working setup but it takes a lot of back-and-forth reading of multiple documents, careful experimentation, and swearing.  (That said, I wrote some simplified instructions way back which I can provide if needed.  I was working on turning them into a VOICE article before the newsletter went comatose.)


There's also BackAgain 2000, which is commercial but abandonware, and you can find registration codes online easily enough.  I gather it has some odd disadvantages of its own, though.  I've never used it myself so I can't say much about it.

Ben

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #3 on: 2012.02.06, 13:13:02 »

I have Back Again /2000 installed; It does not recognize the drive...

I do have all necessary licenses installed... including for the Tape Autoloader... though I'm not sure that's applicable here.



It's possible for mere mortals to piece together a working setup but it takes a lot of back-and-forth reading of multiple documents, careful experimentation, and swearing.  (That said, I wrote some simplified instructions way back which I can provide if needed.  I was working on turning them into a VOICE article before the newsletter went comatose.)

I'll give that a try, thank-you, if you can "provide" those instructions.  :)



ALT

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #4 on: 2012.02.09, 08:16:13 »
OK, here're the simplified instructions for installing & using GTAK, which IIRC I posted in a thread in ecomstation.support.misc about five years ago.

You need two software packages from Hobbes (or wherever): GTAK258 (the tape drivers & utilities) and GTAR258 (the backup program). 

Note that GTAR258 is a customized version of TAR which has the necessary hooks to work with GTAK; unfortunately Paul S.'s later ports do not include this support.  You will probably need to rename the included tar.exe to "gtar.exe" or something like that, to avoid conflicting with the more recent tar executable if you have it installed.

Note that the following instructions are mainly for local backups of the same system which has the tape drive.  It's also possible to do backups over the network, using NetBIOS or NetBIOS over TCP/IP (I used to use the former); the extra steps are pretty simple and are briefly mentioned below.

Installation

1. Unzip the files from GTAK258.ZIP.
 
2. Place the executables on the PATH, and the DLLs on the LIBPATH, and optionally copy GTAK.INF to somewhere on the BOOKSHELF.
 
3. Put the device driver ASPITAPE.SYS in some suitable directory, then edit CONFIG.SYS and add the following lines:
BASEDEV=OS2ASPI.DMD
DEVICE=path\ASPITAPE.SYS
SET TAPE=SCSI:+TAPE$4

 
4. Reboot.
 
5. Issue the command tape inq to verify that the tape drive is detected correctly.
 

Backing Up Over the Network (NetBIOS)

Note that this requires that NetBIOS (NETBEUI) be installed and working on both the client and the server.

On the server (the system which has the physical tape drive attached), edit or create STARTUP.CMD and add the line:
DETACH NETBSERV.EXE 0:TAPEDRIVE TAPE$4 >NETBSERV.LOG

On the client (the different system which you want to back up), repeat steps (1) and (2) from up above.
Then edit CONFIG.SYS and add the line:
TAPE=NETB:+TAPEDRIVE

Reboot the client and issue the command tape inq to verify that the remote tape drive is accessible. 

Commands for Running a Backup

You should now be able to run tape backups (on either the client or the server) using tar.exe from GTAR258.ZIP.  (As I said, you will probably want to rename this program to gtar.exe or something similar.)

To make sure a tape is inserted and ready:
tape status
(In my experience, you must always do this before starting any other operation.  The first time after rebooting you will get the message 'unit attention'.  The second time, you will get 'ready', which means you are ready to go.)
 
To back up a partition, e.g.:
tar -c -E -p --posix -X D:/exclude.lst C:/ 2>&1 >D:\logs\back_c.log
backs up drive C: excluding files listed in D:\EXCLUDE.LST, and redirects the output to a log file. 

You may also want to add the -D option (see GTAR.INF) to generate a QFA (index) file which supposedly makes single-file restores much faster.  I've never used this, however.
 
The tar utility originated on Unix, so remember:
  • Always use '/' in place of '\' (before the > redirection, that is).
  • tar treats filenames case-sensitively, even though OS/2 doesn't! So use whatever case the 'dir' command shows for a filename.
  • Do NOT append '*' to the path if you are specify a root directory (i.e. an entire partition) to back up.

To eject a tape:
tape unl
 
To rewind a tape:
tape rewind
 
To erase a tape (quick erase):
tape erasequ

To erase a tape (full erase):
tape erase
(Quick is usually sufficient.)
 
To move the tape head from one backup (on the tape) to another:
tape file [n] moves n backup(s) forward
tape file -[n] moves n backup(s) backwards, if the device supports it.
 
To restore a partition is presumably (never actually had to do it):
tar -x -E -p restores files to the current directory.
But make sure the tape head is currently sitting on the correct backup on the tape!  Use 'tape file [n]' syntax to move back and forth (as above).
 
A single file restore (had to do this a couple of times) is, e.g.:
tar -x -E -p OS2\OS2.INI (extracts OS2.INI from the tape).

Ben

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #5 on: 2012.02.10, 15:35:06 »


Tnx for the good info, Alt, I appreciate it.

I'll have a go at that over the next few days and afterwards, I'll post the results.


Ben

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #6 on: 2012.02.12, 18:02:45 »

Alex,

Thanks again for the detailed instructions; It made things quite easy.

In short, I tried it and it works so far. I have not tried to back anything up, but all indications are that it will work.

I have to try and find out what is presently on the tapes that I have been given. There should be some navigational charts... that I can use. But I have not been able to find a means to list files... yet. Is that even possible?

If, in the end, I can not do that, then I'll just erase them and go from there.

Just a little bit of feedback.


ALT

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #7 on: 2012.02.13, 10:00:25 »

I have to try and find out what is presently on the tapes that I have been given. There should be some navigational charts... that I can use. But I have not been able to find a means to list files... yet. Is that even possible?


Depends on what application wrote those tapes in the first place, and what format it used.  I don't know much about what data format various proprietary tape backup programs may use.


On that subject, I should mention that if you don't like to use (g)tar, it is supposedly possible to use an arbitrary archiving program (maybe something like RAR or ZIP) to generate the backups; in that case, you can write the archive to tape using tape.exe, or possibly buffer.exe if you want to pipe it to tape in real-time.  I've never tried to do either so I can't be much more help on that score; see GTAK.INF for the (exceedingly terse) details.


I'll also remark that the author doesn't much recommend writing compressed archives to tape, however, because a single corrupt block on the tape would render the whole archive unusable.  With an uncompressed (tar-format) archive, on the other hand, only the file occupying that physical block on the tape would be compromised, rather than the entire backup.  (The exception would be an archive format which used file-level compression rather than archive-level compression, but I'm not sure what those might be.  Also, some archive formats, including I think RAR, have some limited integrity support for recovering backups with corrupt portions.)

lwriemen

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #8 on: 2012.02.17, 19:27:36 »

I have Back Again /2000 installed; It does not recognize the drive...

I do have all necessary licenses installed... including for the Tape Autoloader..

Are you saying you have a BA/2000 autoloader license? I need one of those to run my HP DLT 818 from OS/2.

What we need is a port of mtx (and then a nice WPS GUI interface).

Ben

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Re: Tape Drive & Config.sys
« Reply #9 on: 2012.02.17, 22:31:34 »
Are you saying you have a BA/2000 autoloader license? I need one of those to run my HP DLT 818 from OS/2.

What we need is a port of mtx (and then a nice WPS GUI interface).

What I'm saying is that...

... in times of distress... (or as the "honourable", cigar-smokin', drag-queen, politicians say... "in times of 'dis dress"),

... that the...


PM,                    (that's the Personal Messenger... not to be confused with the Prime Minister),  :D

is your friend. ;)