SUMMARY: possible to recover "bad" tapes?

From: <>
Date: Wed Sep 01 2004 - 02:08:56 EDT

Many thanks to all the people who responded:  Eugene  ;>D , Pablo Panchig,
Omyma Mahmoud Abelhafeez, Russell Page, Frank Smith, Ryan A. Krenzischek, Bob
Rahe, Joe Fletcher, Hendrik Visage.

About half of the respondents suggested retensioning the "bad" tapes, and the
other half thought the problem was probably with the drive and that I should
replace it.

Since I seem to have a good set of tapes at the moment (I haven't gotten any
write errors for more than a month), I decided yesterday to try the first
solution first.  Extrabyte doesn't allow the "retension" option in the mt
command, but since the erase command takes the tape to the end and back, I
used the command:

mt -f /dev/rmt/0 erase

The "bad" tape I prepared in this way yesterday was used for last night's
backup and no write errors occurred.

Thanks to everyone!

Marian Russell
Vienna, Austria

# # # # # # #

Original message:

I have been performing daily backups of SUNBlade 100 files to an Extrabye
XL using 8mm Sony tape cartridges, 112m and 160m, for about 3 months.
According to one source, these tapes should be usable up to 50 times, and
in my experience so far, I am getting Write errors like:

Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1 scsi: [ID 107833 kern.warning]
WARNING: /pci@1f,0/pci@5/scsi@0,1/st@3,0 (st10):
Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1   Error for Command: write
Error Level:  Fatal
Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1 scsi: [ID 107833 kern.notice]
Requested Block: 497                       Error Block: 497
Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1 scsi: [ID 107833 kern.notice]
Vendor: EXABYTE                    Serial Number:
Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1 scsi: [ID 107833 kern.notice]
Sense Key: Media Error
Aug 11 03:24:27 sgcp1 scsi: [ID 107833 kern.notice]
ASC: 0x3 (<vendor unique code 0x3>), ASCQ: 0x2, FRU: 0x0

These errors occur after one or two uses, and sometimes even occur with new
tapes!  I now have about ten tapes that are supposedly bad.  Are these tapes
really bad?  Is there some way I can efficiently check them to see if they
really bad?  Can they be repaired somehow by reformatting?  It seems such a
waste to throw them away.

Is the problem possibly with the tape drive?  We have another Extrabyte 8505
XL tape drive that is not being used.  Should I try replacing the tape drive?

Thank you in advance for any advice.

Marian Russell
Vienna, Austria

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Received on Wed Sep 1 02:08:52 2004

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