tar - versions?

ME dugan at passwall.com
Thu Mar 29 11:59:11 PST 2001

On Thu, 29 Mar 2001 cdlcruz at sonic.net wrote:
> I am a newbie.  At work I manage some complex programs on SCO Unix System
> V/386 Rel 3.2
> Since SCO stopped supporting it in 1994, it has become obvious to management
> that some upgrade path is needed.  I have installed Red Hat 7 on my own
> machine and am struggling to learn Linux as well as the old version of Unix.
> To explore some of the options, I need to download a tape from the SCO system
> to the RH7; same tape drive (Seagate Python).  However, when I try 'tar -xvf
> /dev/st0' the tape drive starts to whirl, then  RH informs me that 'this does
> not look like a tar achive' then exits.  
> Any suggestions?  I REALLY NEED the data that is on this tape.

Is is possible that the tape created on the SCO box was created with
"dump" , "cpio" or some kind of commercial backup software?

Have you verified the contents of the tape on the SCO box to make sure the
tape is not damaged and the data is really there?

Are you using the same exact tape drive? (Differences in tape drives with
head location, and hardware compression systems may make tape from one
drive unreadable by another drive.)

Are both systems using the same architecture? (EG: HP SureStore 8eu DAT
backup drive has dip switches for different architectres: DEC Alpha, Sun
Sparc, Intel/PC)

look through the reports from dmesg to see that your tape drive is
properly identified (search for "st0") and the name listed matches your

It the tape rewound? (check out mt for control of the tape drive. If you
are in fact using the same drive, you may need to use mt to enable
hardware compression if for some reason the tape drive itself does not
recoignize the contents of the tape as hardware compressed.)

There is no SCSI ID conflict with another SCSI device is there?


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