Subject: Re: Tape problems (fwd)
To: None <>
From: Kjetil B. Thomassen <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/13/2001 14:07:15
I am sorry to have to post this message, but all email I send to Mr. Cain
bounces with an error spawning off procmail. Even
fails with the same error message.

Anyway, included below is my response to Mr. Cain.

Kjetil B.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 13:50:07 +0200 (CEST)
From: Kjetil B. Thomassen <>
To: D'Arcy J.M. Cain <>
Subject: Re: Tape problems

On Thu, 13 Sep 2001, D'Arcy J.M. Cain wrote:

> I have a system that I backup to using tar every day.  Every few days I
> start seeing the following message.
> tar: can't write to /dev/tape : Input/output error
> If I reboot the system it is OK again for another few days.  This is with a
> 1.5T system.  Has anyone else seen this?  Should I upgrade to a more
> current system?

I have seen this problem on NetBSD/sparc 1.5.1 using an HP DDS-1 drive.
The problem occured when I tried to use some very old tapes from 1998, but
when I switched to new tapes, everything was fine.

HP recommends to use a tape no more than 100 times before replaing it,
and also to clean the drive regularly, generally once week if you do one
backup a day. They also say that cleaning too often does no harm.

Please copy this to the list if you feel it to be appropriate!


Kjetil B.