SUMMARY: Travan/Seagate TR5 tape drives

From: David L. Markowitz (
Date: Thu Mar 30 2000 - 12:30:23 CST

Original question:

> Does anyone have experience using these tape drives under Solaris Intel
> or even under Linux? I'm thinking of getting one for backup use.
> Sun's HCL lists the NS versions only, which I believe means they have
> hardware compression. Will the (cheaper) non-NS version work, albeit
> without compression?
> Any good/bad stories about this technology anyone wishes to share?

I only got one response, so I'll just include it here.

Thanks to:

        "Kevin M. Korb" <>

who wrote:
> I have never liked the Travan/QIC type tape drives. They tend to be
> unreliable and they slow down with age of the tape. Also the high cost
> of the tapes usually cancels out the cheap cost of the drive over
> time. Before you buy one of these look into 4mm or 8mm drives all of
> wich are very well supported in Solaris and Linux. Also, you might
> want to get ahold of one of the QIC style tapes and dissect it. You
> will not like what you see.

> The tape is moved by turning a small wheel that sticks out of the front
> of the cartridge. The wheel moves a belt that turns the spools. The
> belt constantly rubbs the tape as it moves and is why the cartridges
> require the metal plate on the bottom to act as a heat sink! Also the
> tape is not actually connected to either spool. If the drive dosen't
> see the index holes in the tape it will happily rewind right off the
> end and you will have to do some surgery. The design of these tapes
> hasn't changed at all since the QIC-150 that only held 75MB and was
> 5.25" wide.

        David L. Markowitz Director, UNIX Software Litronic Inc

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