Reading an unknown DAT Tape
martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu
Thu Mar 15 20:39:42 UTC 2012
This is a case of idle curiosity and not an urgent need
to recover a valuable backup. I found an old DAT tape and
attempted to read it on the very drive that probably once wrote
it and it appears to read the tape properly in that I can use dd
to copy it to a file and mt fsf 5, for example, takes the tape
to the fifth file marker so there is sanity.
Tar, however, does not recognize the format of the
archive so it is either something proprietary or I am not using
the correct utility on it.
I opened it with dd files=2 if=/dev/sa0 of=testfile and
then did the strings utility on testfile and got:
Setting security on system files...
Jun 23 2003 12:00AM
Jan 1 1900 8:45AM
Jan 1 1900 9:00AM
Note that we are obviously able to read data from the
tape as the top few lines are readible as words. The time stamps
at the bottom are possibly not time stamps as some of them are
The dd command never faltered with errors although I
did finally stop it manually.
Is there any FreeBSD utility that can tell more about
what created the original archive?
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