SUMMARY: tape processes that don't die

From: Irene Kam (
Date: Fri Aug 15 1997 - 10:23:24 CDT


My original posting talked about erasing a tape and the command
was hanging. Many of you suggested that perhaps the command
wasn't hanging, it's just that it takes a LONG time (3-6 hours) to erase
a 8mm tape. Thanks, this is useful to know.

However, I still think the command was hanging because:

1) I did several ps during the time and they all showed that
   my "mt erase" command was sleeping

2) at the end of the 3 hours, I got the following message on the

/iommu@f,e0000000/sbus@f,e0001000/espdma@f,400000/esp@f,800000 (esp0):
        Disconnected command timeout for Target 4.0
/iommu@f,e0000000/sbus@f,e0001000/espdma@f,400000/esp@f,800000/st@4,0 (s
        SCSI transport failed: reason 'timeout': giving up

Hence, I think the command was hanging and finally timed out.

Anyway, I got a great suggestion from Hans Schaechl on what to do
if your tape command is blocking but you need to use the tape drive
soon: (thanks Hans)

        "What may help you in short terms is:
        switch off the tape-drive - change the drive's
        SCSI-ID - switch it on again - do a drvconfig -
        tapes - now you should be able to at least use
        your tape drive for your backups (don't forget
        to adjust the SCSI-ID-info in your dump-scripts
        or whereever you have this info configured) un-
        til you're able to reboot your machine without
        interfering the users."

And thanks to the following people for their suggestions and
informing me that it takes a long time to erase a tape,

Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services <>
Ray Brownrigg <>
Michael Baumann <>
"Andrew Moffat" <> (Craig L. Gruneberg)
"Juan Nicolas Ruiz N." <>


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