Summary: tape device error No. = 5

From: Janet Leung (
Date: Wed Jul 16 1997 - 11:03:23 CDT

Thanks to:
Matthew Stier <>
"Rodney C. Marable" <>
Jeff Wasilko <>
Myk O'Leary <>
john benjamins <johnb@Soliton.COM>
Gonzo Bushman <>
"David H. Brierley" <>
Russ Poffenberger <>
Glenn Satchell <>
Stefan Voss <>
1. /usr/include/sys/errno.h
   #define EIO 5 /* I/O error */
2. something is either wrong with the drive or the tape. Might need
   to be cleaned.
3. Two other sources of trouble are faulty cables and improper
   termination. Make sure the cables are connected solidly and make
   sure the chain is properly terminated. If there are other devices
   on the scsi chain, try eliminating as many devices as you can and
   then try the tape drive. If this makes the tape drive work then it
   means your scsi chain is too long or one of the cables is faulty.

In our situation, we have the tape drive replaced, cleaned the tape head
before use and put in a brand new tape for backups. Things seem to be
moving along fine now.

Original Question/Problem
We seem to be getting the following error message on both our 8mm & 1/4"
tape drive:

        Error writing to tape device, Error No. = 5.

Does anybody know anything about what this error message means, and how to
troubleshoot/solve the problem?

Janet Leung, TACTech Inc., Yorba Linda, CA 92887

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