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USB tape drives/backup solutions

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  • Stina Bridgeman
    My goal: a moderately-priced backup solution that will work with a Latitude C600, an Inspiron 8000, and a Precision Workstation 330. My preference is for an
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2001
      My goal: a moderately-priced backup solution that will work with a Latitude
      C600, an Inspiron 8000, and a Precision Workstation 330.

      My preference is for an external drive that can easily be moved between
      machines, but an internal drive mounted in the desktop is a possibility
      since I can backup the laptops over the network. I've been considering
      primarily tape drives, and I would like the media to hold around 20GB. (The
      machines have 30-40GB drives, but it will be a while before they get more
      than 20GB of stuff, and I'd like to be able to backup each machine to a
      single tape. 8GB seems too small.) All of the machines have one or more
      USB slots; none of the machines currently have SCSI cards.

      The Seagate Travan 20GB USB tape drive seemed like the perfect solution, but
      it does not seem to be Linux-compatible. (More information on my trials
      with this drive are at the end of the message, in case anyone can suggest a
      solution for making it work.)

      So...any suggestions? I'd prefer to stick with an external USB drive (even
      better if it can use the Travan TR-5 tapes), but I haven't been able to find
      any information about ones that will work with Linux (or even if there are
      any possibilities other than the Seagate drive). Another option might be
      some other kind of removable-media USB drive, but I don't know what the
      options are for that. Failing that, I'm considering the internal Seagate
      Hornet Travan 20 (basically the ATAPI version of the USB drive I tried) for
      the server.

      Thanks for any recommendations.

      And now, the trials with the Seagate USB drive. The problem seems to be
      that it has a Freecom USB controller.

      I'm running RH 7.2 (kernel 2.4.7). There is an option in the kernel
      configuration for Freecom USB/ATAPI bridge support, but it doesn't seem to
      help. With both the out-of-the-box kernel and a recompiled version (making
      sure that option is set), I can get the drive detected with a manual 'insmod
      usb-storage' - it takes about 5 minutes to complete, but once it is done,
      /proc/scsi/scsi shows:
      Host: scsi1 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
      Vendor: Seagate Model: STT20000A Rev: 8A51
      Type: Sequential-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
      (Interestingly, the model number on this particular drive is STT6201U-R;
      from the model numbers, it seems like it is being recognized as a generic
      internal TR-5 ATAPI drive - STT20000A doesn't seem to exist as a model
      number, but STT22000A is the 20GB internal TR-5 ATAPI drive.)

      Trying to access the drive (e.g. 'mt -f /dev/st0 status') results in error
      Oct 31 11:37:56 lumini kernel: st0: Error with sense data: Current st09:00:
      sense key Illegal Request
      Oct 31 11:37:56 lumini kernel: Additional sense indicates Invalid command
      operation code
      It looks to me like the driver isn't talking to the drive in a way it

      If anybody knows of a way to fix this, I'd be grateful.


      Stina Bridgeman Dept. of Computer Science
      stina@... Colgate University
      http://cs.colgate.edu/faculty/stina/ Hamilton, NY 13346
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