SUMMARY: Illegal Request on write to EXB8900 tape drive

From: Sean Bolton (
Date: Mon Oct 11 1999 - 18:02:52 CDT

Hi all, Once again, this list proved helpful in a very short time. The recent
comments about newbie questions, etc., kind of hit home for me, because
if I'd had a flippin' manual, I could have read the flippin' manual for the answer I needed. So thanks for your patience and tolerance. Some important points about the Exabyte Mammoth EXB-8900, which Sun sells repackaged as their "StorEdge 20-40Gb 8mm Tape Drive": - The drives can only write to special 170AME metal-evaporated tapes, while they can read the metal-particle tapes written by other drives such as the 8200, 8500, and 8500c. - Once they have read a metal-particle tape, they must be cleaned before they will accept a metal-evaporated tape for writing. - The 'h' device files (e.g. /dev/rmt/0h) are the correct device files to use.
- If Sun has online documentation on these drives (other than skimpy
specs-and-features), I couldn't find it, while Exabyte has some good
pages at:

- The drives can be hard-reset by holding in the eject button for 10 seconds. Somehow, the drive had gotten confused, either before or during all
our attempts to get it working, so it was that last item that got us
going. Thanks to all who replied: Kelvin White Mike DeMarco Joseph Chiu David H. Brierleym Viet Hoang Malcolm Gibbs Reinaldo Luis Ono Kevin P. Inscoe Dan at Darren Dunham
Original message:
> From: Sean Bolton
> Sent: Wednesday, October 6, 1999 8:33 AM
> To: 'sunmgrs'
> Subject: Illegal Request on write to EXB8900 tape drive
> Hi all,
> I hope this isn't something totally obvious: I have an Ultra 10, in a
> remote office, running 2.6 and connected to a Mammoth EXB-8900 8mm tape
> drive. I can read from the tape just fine, but whenever I try to write to
> it (with tar, mt weof, cpio, or dd), it gives me an I/O error, after which
> an 'mt -f /dev/rmt/0m status' reports:
> Mammoth EXB-8900 8mm Helical Scan tape drive:
> sense key(0x5)= Illegal Request residual= 0 retries= 0
> file no= 0 block no= 0
> and the operator at the remote site says the display on the drive says
> "illegal write". We've tried multiple tapes, and I've had him carefully
> double-check that the tapes are not write protected.
> Sounds like it may be a tape drive problem, which would put this outside
> the scope of this list, but I'm hoping someone has some wisdom to share,
> since I have no docs on the drive and it's 500 miles away, which makes it
> hard for me to play with.
> I will summarize. Thanks,
> -Sean
> Sean Bolton
> Unix Systems Administrator
> United Advertising Publications
> 18943 120th Ave NE Suite 101
> Bothell, WA 98011
> (425) 487-0100 ext 3150

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