Archive 4586NP 4mm auto-loader tape drive

From: Dan Pritts (
Date: Thu Sep 11 1997 - 14:13:04 CDT

first off, when i was doing research on this drive i looked in the
sun-managers archives and elsewhere and did not find a working st.conf
entry for this drive, so i thought i'd pass the one i constructed

It appears this drive's mechanism is a python 28849, so this st.conf
should work for one of those, too.

the line beginning ARCHIVE Python 28849 and the following line should
be one long line, i have wrapped them to avoid them getting munged in

	"ARCHIVE Python 28849-XXX4.CM","Archive Auto-Loader",

ARCH_PythonStacker = 1,0x34,0,0xde39,2,0x13,0x24,1; ---

/dev/rmt/0 (or /dev/rmt/0m) gives me compressed dds-2; /dev/rmt/0l should give you dds, although i have not tested this as i dont' have any non-dds-2 tapes.

(i must admit that i changed the string "ARCH_PythonStacker" in the two lines above from something else that i used locally; this string may be too long, or something, but as long as they match you'll be fine).

Now, my questions.

Compression: ------------ I don't know how to control compression on this drive. Experimentation shows that using the standard device /dev/rmt/0n with this st.conf entry will give me compression (i fit 6.4G on a 120m tape), which is good, but i would like to know how to disable compression if possible.

Adding 0x10000 to the configuration string (0xde39 above), which for some drives should control compression (according to the st man page), gave me errors on this drive. Thus, it would appear that i need to know the appropriate "density" mode switch (as per the above st.conf entry, 0x13 for standard DDS, 0x24 for DDS-2...i got these from source for the linux "st" command) for non-compressed dds-2.

The example density code of 0x8c given in the st.conf file for an earlier archive python drive did not work.

Stacker Control: ----------------

Also, does anyone know of a utility to allow me to send an arbitrary scsi command to a tape drive on a sun? the vendor supplied info (contributed by another customer) on controlling the tape stacker functions on a FreeBSD system, using freebsd's /sbin/scsi command. As it is, the only control i have over the stacker is that ejecting one tape will cause the next to be loaded. this is obviously better than nothing, but not great.

I took a look at the "scsiinfo" source, which seems like it must be sending scsi commands to drives, but it wasn't immediately obvious to me how to modify it for my needs.

Drive info: -----------

Finally, thought i'd let y'all know that these drives are available from for $279 for the bare drive, which is a great price for even a standard single-tape drive. It's a 4-tape changer with an optional ($80 or so) 12-tape magazine. Don't expect much in the way of support from the folks, though, and since archive was bought by conner, who was bought by seagate, mfr. support is perhaps hard to come by.

danno --- dan pritts Unix System Admin First Virtual Holdings, Inc. 313-213-3791

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