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Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

 
maxeem
Occasional Contributor

Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

I need to Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Sun Solaris system.. but I allway get the "BAD RECORD TYPE MESSAGE" HELP!
9 REPLIES 9
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

> [...] written under open VMS [...]

Written how?

> [...] but I allway get [...]

When you do what?

Assuming that the tape was written using
BACKUP, and that you're smarter than you
appear to be, you might try asking Google to
search for, say,
vms backup unix
and following some of the links suggested.

Or, find some kind person in your
neighborhood with a VMS system and a
compatible tape drive, and ask for some
practical help.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

Hello and Welcome to ITRC.

Unix is not known for its tape handling. It mostly works and often works well enough to succeed, but there are some rough patches and corner cases around media error recovery and such. (The tar utility is fully dependent on device-level user data integrity checks and recovery, for instance.)

What sort of tape device?

What are the command(s) used on both ends.

Are there other options for the transfer, such as USB keydisk (newer boxes) or CD or DVD? Or Network, whether via sftp, ftp or NFS, or via a "drop box" somewhere?

Is the data involved sequential (source) data or binary data?

RMS indexed files don't transfer all that well.

What format was the tape written with?

Do you have compatible tools and compatible tape devices in place at both ends?

OpenVMS uses and writes ANSI tapes, so if you MOUNT the tape and COPY files to it, you can potentially end up with a tape that the remote box might be able to read.

There are tools around that read BACKUP savesets on Windows and other platforms -- no, I don't have pointers -- or you can switch to fixed records and write out the data that way.

There are tools around that can probably be coaxed into writing tapes. I've not tried using the OpenVMS port of tar for this purpose, but it might work.

Google can be your friend, too. Two of the hits that were found that look potentially relevant to your goal are:

http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/computing/buns/tapes.html
http://www3.tsl.uu.se/tsl/computing/migrated_vms_www_server_files/guide/guide_tapes.html

Finding a copy of vmsbackup for Solaris is left to the reader, should that path be the one chosen here.

Stephen Hoffman
HoffmanLabs LLC
maxeem
Occasional Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

Ok.. I will provide you with the details:

the data was written under OpenVMS 8.2 with the command "BACKUP",

I downloaded a tool from "linux.maruhn.com/sec/vmsbackup.html"

for solaris, which reads OpenVMS backups under UN*X. Following

errors accords regardless tape drivers I use (/dev/rmt/0***):



bash-2.05# vmsbackup -t -f /dev/rmt/0u

Volume: MON

Saveset name: MON-1.BCK number: 1

bad block read i = -1



bash-2.05# vmsbackup -t -f /dev/rmt/0ub

Volume: MON

Saveset name: MON-1.BCK number: 1

Snark: invalid record type

record type = 2



In some point I was able to read the save sets names on the tape, but not
the data included!

Help me if you are really as smart as you say...



Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

> Ok.. I will provide you with the details:

That's a little better.

> Help me if you are really as smart as you
> say...

Are you talking to me? I said nothing about
how smart I was. I have working VMS systems
with tape drives and network connections, so
I don't _need_ to be smart. I also don't
need to use that vmsbackup program, so I know
nothing about any messages it might put out.

> Snark: invalid record type
> record type = 2

Sounds as if vmsbackup needs some work.
mike wagner_4
Occasional Advisor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

Do you have enough disk space for the content of the tape? I would start with getting the data from the tape with dd or whatever suits. That eliminates any possible problem with the tape drive itself. Then try the backup tool, again. The -f switch indicates that you can pass in any file spec.

mw
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

As currently structured, this looks to be centrally a question of supporting a vmsbackup tool on a Solaris box.

I would encourage not using BACKUP as the basis of the data interchange here, unless you're willing and ready to wade into vmsbackup and its support.

From what I see of it, whatever version of vmsbackup is in use here looks broken.

The newest version of vmsbackup is apparently 4.2, but that's not widely available. I unpacked 4.2 locally, and had to make a few changes to the makefile and the code to get it to cleanly build.

Based on a quick look (and ignoring the code changes required to get that tool to build on a local UNIX box), the tool is certainly (far) older than various of the BACKUP saveset changes made over recent years. Above and beyond the potential for bugs and for errors and oddities around the tape media and the construction of the data onto the tape, this relative age of the tool can easily lead to record-type errors.

I see several errors that resemble the reported error text, but grep returns no matches for the cited error text. "Snark: bad label record", "Invalid record format = %d" and "Warning: unrecognized record type" all look similar. And whatever port you have may well have different errors. None I find here match the cited text.

As for supporting details, there have been versions of the backup data structures appearing within OpenVMS as include files, but AFAIK the tape-level data structures are not formally documented.

Are you up for tearing apart and updating vmsbackup? (I can probably dig up pointers to the VMS data structures around BACKUP and there are some undocumented BACKUP commands that let you peek into the saveset record structures, but (in general) this forum probably isn't the best source of Solaris coding experience.)

On a next step and a discussion and past the current vmsbackup question, what are the file structures of the files stored in the BACKUP savesets?

This question because many OpenVMS file formats are not interchangeable with UNIX; the internal data structures within the files (around the user data itself) are not something that UNIX boxes can interpret. If you transfer over an Indexed file or a VFC file for instance, there are additional steps required to use the data on UNIX.

Or might tar be feasible? That's available on both ends, and may well allow data interchange via tape.

--

A comment around one the (many) subtleties of English phrasing: "Help me if you are really as smart as you say" could easily be inferred to be an insult. I'll assume that an insult was not intended here.
maxeem
Occasional Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

Dear Hoff, I did not mean any insult and I apologies if my sentence gave that impression..
Regarding your reply..

I think we are getting closer to define the error source!
It may be actually an incompatibility between the versions,
I am using vmsbackup 3.0 for solaris 8 under solaris 9, now
that's what I found on the internet. Would you please advice
me where to get 4.2 (source or compiled) for solaris 9.

Since the error messages I had sent you are not part of the
new version, these issues may have been resolved in 4.2 and
we should be able to read the data.
Art Wiens
Respected Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..

"I need to Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Sun Solaris system"

Maybe if you could backup (no pun intended ;-) and explain what exactly this little project is about ... the data came from what application, what's it's native structure, what application is it destined for, what "great divide" seperates these two systems that makes network transfer impossible therefore requiring a tape drive? Even if the two are on disparate networks, a laptop could be a "handy" go between ... ftp VMS -> laptop, walk / drive / fly as far as you need to, ftp laptop -> Solaris? Anything to avoid a tape drive ... see my quote ;-)

Cheers,
Art
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Read from a tape written under open VMS into a Solaris system..