Summary: Solaris 7 and Wide SCSI tapes

From: Chad Price (
Date: Thu Mar 25 1999 - 09:09:35 CST

This is a summary to a question I didn't ask the list, but resolved with
the help of the 3rd party vendor and Sun.

Question: I just installed Solaris 7 (reinstall from 2.4) and my SCSI tape
does not appear to be recognized.

Details: SCSI controller is a PTI-SBS450, which is a SCSI-III (ultra-wide)
controller. This is in addition to the built-in SCSI-II controller on my
Sparc-10. This controller has 2 modes, selectable by dip-switch on the
card. The "native" mode is Ultra-wide and the "emulation" mode emulates a
Sun Wide SCSI controller.

Under 2.4, I ran the card in Native mode, which required using the vendor's
driver package. Using this, I was able to use a Sony AIT tape drive and
some Seagate Baracuda 18G drives in external cabinets.

On installing 2.7 (7), the vendor drivers do not work correctly and it
takes over 20 minutes to boot the system, most of which time is spent
watching the drive lights on the 18G drives stay steadily lit. I almost
gave up waiting assuming that the drivers were simply going to fail. This
is with the latest drivers from the vendor which state compatibility with
2.4, 2.5, and 2.5. (But clearly not 7). Well, they work under 7, but it
takes a really long time to boot.

Switching the card to Sun emulation mode and rebooting with 'boot -rv'
shows that the drives are recognized, but not the tape drive... I went
round and round between the vendor and Sun, each claiming that the other
had to deal with it, and with Sun claiming that Sony was going to have to
deal with it. No soap with Sony - last time I tried to deal with them, I
came to the conclusion that they have no end-user support mechanism, that
they only deal with dealers. Ultimately is was a Sun misconfiguration problem.


The upshot of this is that Sun is shipping Solaris 7 (at least when
installed in 32-bit mode) with /kernel/drv/sd.conf (the SCSI hard drive
file) configured so that SCSI targets 8 to 15 are automatically recognized.
 Unfortunately, st.conf (the SCSI tape drive file) is installed with
recognition of targets 8 to 15 DISABLED. My tape drive is configured as
target 12. In order to recognise tape drives with SCSI targets over 7, one
must edit the st.conf file and remove the "#" marks which comment out
recognition of these targets.

After removing the comments,

You _may_ need to add the following 2 lines to st.conf:

tape-config-list = "Sony SDX-300C", "Sony AIT 8mm", "SONY_TAPE";
SONY_TAPE = 1,0x34,0,0x1639,4,0x13,0x8c,0x8c,0x8c,3;

run "drvconfig"
run "tapes"
run "modinfo" to find which id # is the st module in the kernel (left hand
run "modunload -i ##"
and run "mt status" to force a reload of the st.conf file and the
associated drivers.

No reboot is necessary if the complete sequence here is followed.


Chad Price
Systems Manager
University of Nebraska Medical Center
600 S 42nd St
Omaha, NE 68506-6495
(402) 559-9527
(402) 559-4077 (FAX)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:13:17 CDT