[rescue] "I prefer a GUI"

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Wed Jun 15 17:57:03 CDT 2005

Sorry to jump in late... digest mode... :-)

On Wed, 15 Jun 2005, Jeffrey Nonken wrote:

> I've had this Sony drive for almost 5 years now (bought used, of
> course) and it's got its problems, but data-integrity-wise it's been
> trucking right along, even on some pretty old tapes. On some tapes it
> retries a fair amount, but it's been making it through in the end. And
> yes, I've done enough restores to be pretty confident that if it can
> succeed on the write, it'll succeed on the read.

Have you been doing the restores on the same drive as the backups?  
Therein lay another nasty problem that DDS and 8mm drives tend to exhibit,
that seems to be far less common with DLT:  over time, they start to write
tapes that only the drive that wrote 'em can read again.  You may find 
out the hard way that while you can restore those tapes now, if/when 
disaster strikes and you have to build a _new_ machine to read them back 
in, you're screwed...

This is one of the reasons that I think a lot of experienced admins on
this list are highly wary of DDS and 8mm; we've all been burned.  That was
useful info about the conversation with HP, though; I knew duty cycles
were an important issue on those old drives, but hadn't heard numbers as
low as 12-20%... Exabyte always talked about how their drives were far
more rugged than the "videotape guts" the first 8mm drives were built
around. :-)

Anyway, it's just good practice regardless of media choice to try doing
test restores on a completely different system to make sure those tapes
you trust aren't "write only".  In that regard, DLT so far has been the
most reliable for me, but I haven't tried AIT or LTO... and that's after
lots of years playing tape monkey with QIC, 9-track, TK-50, DDS and 8mm
tapes.  Of course, YMMV.

-- Chris

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