[rescue] Tape drive woes

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Tue Sep 14 12:41:08 CDT 2004

Yesterday, I upgraded the firmware on my Ecrix (now Exabyte) VXA-1 8mm
packet tape drive to the latest firmware as instructed by Exabyte tech
support, in the course of resolving an apparent software compatibility

It appears that upgrading the firmware has completely and irreversably
hosed the drive.  It's now totally dead in the water.  It crashes hard
on writes, reads, even rewinds.  Reflashing it with the previous
firmware (which was working) doesn't fix the problem.

It's almost certainly long out of warranty.  I have a nasty suspicion
I'm going to end up SOL on it, which will leave me with no sanely
feasible backup device.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I might possibly lay my hands
on a retired-but-working AIT/VXA/Mammoth/LTO/Ultrium/whatever class tape
drive, in the event that my VXA-1 has indeed rung down the heavenly
curtain and joined the choir invisible?

(Naturally, since it was following Exabyte's advice that screwed up the
drive, I'm HOPING they'll Do The Right Thing and fix or replace it for
me, considering that by all indications the only reason I have this
problem is because I followed their instructions.)

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   phil stracchino : unix ronin : renaissance man : mystic zen biker geek
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