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Shelto Perry
Occasional Contributor


Is this the best way to get a list of file on a magnetic tape or will a dump do the same? Backup/list=filename device
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Backup/list


if there are BACKUP savesets on a tape, then BACKUP/LIST tape-device-name:*.*/SAVE will list the contents of all backup savesets on tape, i.e. all the files included in all the backup savesets.

$ DIR tape-device-name:*.* will list all 'files' on the tape. A backup saveset is a 'file', which has it's own internal structure.

DUMP tape-device-name: will produce lots of hex output, most of which you can't decode yourself. Use DUMP only, if you are chasing problems in the low-level data on tape.

Respected Contributor

Re: Backup/list

Using the backup command is the only true way to get a complete listing. The command as you listed is correct.

Backup/list=filename device:{saveset}

Include the saveset name if you know it (without the braces).


Re: Backup/list

if you use a save set file, add "/save" parameter at the end of command:

back/list=output.lis files.bck /save
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Backup/list

Shelto Perry,

Dumping the contents of a tape is normally done by mounting the tape /FOREIGN and using the DUMP command (see HELP text for details).

There are also SET MAGTAPE commands to skip the tape forward. A cautionary note is in order: dumps can be extremely voluminous. A disk block is approximately one page of output.

- Bob Gezelter,
Shriniketan Bhagwat
Trusted Contributor

Re: Backup/list


While listing the savesets on the tape use /REWIND qualifier.


Above command display the list on your terminal. If you want to write it to the file use /LIST[=file-spec]. Below is the link to HP OpenVMS System Managers Manual Volume 1: Essentials, Refer section 11.10 for detailed explanation on sting the saveset.

Honored Contributor

Re: Backup/list

Clarification: Ketan's approach will list (only) the first saveset on the tape and not the contents of any subsequent savesets that might be resident on the tape.

The /REWIND is typically unnecessary when the tape is newly mounted, too, due to how MOUNT positions the tape.

Unnecessary tape movements are something that should be avoided particularly with DAT/DDS storage media, as that adds extra wear for the recording substrate underneath the tape headers, and DAT/DDS often doesn't have all that many "spare" passes before the media fails.