Exabyte 8500c unusable with Solaris 2.3

Exabyte 8500c unusable with Solaris 2.3

Post by David Humphr » Fri, 19 Aug 1994 00:04:46

I have a few of these Exabyte model 8500c tape drives that will not work under
Solaris 2.3 (and, I have heard, fail also with 4.1.3).  The problems remind
me of a thread that I quickly dismissed awhile back on this same problem with
the tape drive (or was it an 8505) when I didn't own one...  At any rate, I
do recall that there was no official Sun patch to work this drive, and have
confirmed this with the SunSolve resources.  BUT there was a user work-around
that I remember someone came up with.

Could anyone point me in the direction of the elusive fount of knowledge
which knows how to use this tape drive with Solaris 2.3?


.  `now listen "mother", we are the Pros from Dover... so get me a nurse who
.  can work up close without getting her teats in my way and send out for some
.  breakfast.   Eggs are OK, steak would be even better...'


1. Exabyte 8500C woes in SOlaris 2.3

I have an Exabyte 8500C that works fine when attached to a SunOS 4.1
machine. When I attach it to a Solaris 2.3 machine, I cannot read a tape I
could previously read with the same drive on the 4.1 machine (the tape must
be in a compressed format).

Does one have to do anything special to get Solaris tape drivers to read
8500C tapes properly? It seems (from <sys/mtio.h>) that Solaris knows only
the 8200 and 8500 by default, so I would understand that Solaris, by default,
would not know how to specify that one is writing in compressed mode.

In SunOS 4.1, one modified the /usr/sys/scsi/targets/st_conf.c file to
describe tape driver characteristics. In Solaris, one modifies
/kernel/drv/st.conf. I tried to specify the 8500C characteristics using the
st_conf.h 8500C entry as a guide. These are the values I have:

vendor string = "EXABYTE EXB8500C"
density codes= 0x14, 0x15, 0x90, 0x8C

The Solaris st.conf entry requires a type value (from mtio.h), and I don't
know whether to specify MT_ISEXB8500 or MT_IS8MM for the 8500C.

When I modified the st.conf file and rebooted, I could read low and hi
density tapes under Solaris, but not compressed ones.

Has anyone else had to get an 8500C working under Solaris? How was it done?
Does it make a difference to reading if the tape is accessed via the
different device names that specifify the densities (e.g. /dev/rmt/0ln,
0lbn, 0hn, 0hbn, 0cn, 0cbn)? My understanding is that is does not, and the
drive itself overides the ``requested'' density with that of the actual data
on the tape.

Ray Blaak

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