[rescue] Dumping SunOS tapes

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Fri Sep 8 07:42:15 CDT 2017

> OK so the SS2 is installed 4.1.3_U1 (sans Presto Card) and the
> Archive 150 Tape drive is operational and confirmed not destroying
> tapes :-).


> [...]

> So here is the question.

> What format/tool do people suggest I use to image the tape such that
> others could use the images[?]

Personally, I like copytape.  I don't know where the version I have
came from; the header comment, which encapsulates all I know about its
genesis, says

 * This program duplicates magnetic tapes, preserving the
 * blocking structure and placement of tape marks.
 * This program was updated at
 *      U.S. Army Artificial Intelligence Center
 *      HQDA (Attn: DACS-DMA)
 *      Pentagon
 *      Washington, DC  20310-0200
 *      Phone: (202) 694-6900
 * Apparently, some copytape version was, on 1991-12-13, available from
 *  oak.oakland.edu in /pub2/unix-c/tapes/copytape.tar.Z.  Whether or
 *  not it's still available from there now I have no idea.
 * On 2000-10-19, I was told source and manpage were available from
 *  http://sources.isc.org/utils/backup/copytape.txt, though I did
 *  not check this myself.
 * May 2005             Mouse
 *              Added -T.
 * October 1998         Mouse
 *              Ported to NetBSD and wgcc - note, USE_RMT code untested.
 * July 1986            David S. Hayes
 *              Made data file format human-readable.
 * April 1985           David S. Hayes
 *              Original Version.

This version is up on ftp.rodents-montreal.org, in
/mouse/local/src/copytape/, in case anyone wants to pick up a copy.

In your particular case, copytape is probably overkill, because IIRC
QIC tapes are not streams of self-delimited tape records (which is the
usual Unix magtape model) but rather streams of fixed-size blocks (with
interspersed tape marks), so repeated runs of dd can probably capture
the content.  I'm sure someone here can correct me if I'm wrong; I may
confusing QIC tapes with some other format like TK-50s.

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