SUMMARY: Archive Python 4mm DDS-2 tape and SunOS 4.1.3

From: Mike Wagner (
Date: Wed Jul 26 1995 - 10:12:23 CDT

I got a couple of useful responses on the problem I was having with an
Archive Python DDS-2 DAT drive on our SS2 running 4.1.3U1. Two people
mentioned updates to the /sys/scsi/targets/st_conf.c file (which we had
already done), while one person mentioned a possible firmware update. I
finally was able to get through to Archive (Conner) tech support a couple
days later. The tech person there said the flashing lights we were seeing
indicated excessive read and right errors and most likely a good cleaning
would clear it up. A "good cleaning", according to Archive, is passing a
cleaning tape through the drive 10 times. I cringed when I heard this,
based on warnings I had heard about excessive cleaning of 8mm Exabyte
drives, but we tried it anyway and things seem much better (knock on
wood!). No errors in a week, with nightly backups of over 5GB.

Thanks to all who responded. My original message is quoted below.

>Has anybody had experience hooking up an Archvie Python DDS-2 DAT drive
>under SunOS 4.1.3U1? We've tried the drive on both a Sparc 20 and a Sparc
>2, and get random failures, usually timeouts followed by failed resets
>while writing. We've patched the st_conf.c to include the AUTODEN_OVERRIDE
>that was mentioned in the Sun Managers archives. That didn't seem to help.
>When the dumps fail, we get a flashing green light on the drive. I've seen
>both a slow and a fast repeat rate for the flashes. Not sure what they
>mean, though.

Mike Wagner
Educational Testing Service
Princeton, NJ 08541

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