Formatting a tape?

Warren Block wblock at
Thu Mar 19 20:00:08 PDT 2009

On Thu, 19 Mar 2009, Jaime wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 7:37 PM, Warren Block <wblock at> wrote:
>> And the device acts flaky.  That screams "SCSI termination problem" to me.
>>  That would also be consistent with most/all of the tapes failing, because
>> it's not the tapes.
> I've checked the termination more times than I can remember.  (No
> exaggeration.  Problem had been on-going for months.)  Its OK.  I have
> one bent pin on one of the two "ports" on the SCSI cable, but it (1)
> isn't the one being used and (2) doesn't touch any other pins.  Its
> just an unusable "port" on the cable, not a source of ... "cross
> contamination," I guess you could say.

Two terminators, one at each end of the bus?  Another possibility is 
that the terminators are fine, but nothing is providing termpower (blown 
fuse or jumper).  And there are different SCSI bus widths.  The more 
devices you have, the more interesting it gets.

> So I am pretty sure that we're OK on the SCSI chain.  I *am* starting
> to wonder about the tape drive itself, though.

Could be the drive, or could be cables.  If you have other devices on 
the bus and they work fine on large, fast transfers, then suspect the 
tape drive.  If you can get that one tape to work repeatedly but none of 
the other tapes will, maybe a bad batch of tapes.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

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