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LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

JCeja
Occasional Collector

LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

Hi there, Here is the current situation. 

I received several LTO Tapes with an unknown file type. i believe it to be a PAX ext file. i have been using Uranium pro backup to do my backups or retreive from a back up. i placed the LTO 5 tape into the tape drive and it does not recognize the file type, therefor it cannot open it.

 

my question is: How do i open a unknown file format ( specifically PAX  in this case, i think) using Uranium pro backup software. IF that is not a solution.. how can i work around this? what softwares/drivers/ ect would i need to crack open this sucker.

 

Thank you!  

9 REPLIES
Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

What OS version are you using?

To read a pax tape successfully, you have to have the right blocksize: -b blocksize

JCeja
Occasional Collector

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

Windows 7 64bit.

i am starting to notice that i may not be able to retreive data through a windows OS and would require a UNIX OS ? i had a server i can potentially use to install a virtual unix system. i would need to purchase a SAS controller to connect the LTO Tape drive to it. is there any other possible solution? 

 

also good to note: im not familiar with PAX commands or how to identiy the blocksize. 

I apprecaite your support.

Curtis_Ballard
Valued Contributor

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

There are a variety of tools that allow reading PAX and it's cousin tar archives from tape.  One option is the Microsoft Unix tools.  I haven't used them on Windows 7 but there is a version called "Subsystem for UNIX-based applications" that is supported on Windows 7 and should be pretty close to the server versions. It doesn't work with the home versions though:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2391

Here is a link to a Microsoft article about reading PAX archives with the Services for Unix tools that used to be offered for servers. The functionality in the newer tools is probably pretty similar.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb463200.aspx

It is likely that the Cygwin version of Pax could also read from tape.  http://cygwin.com

JCeja
Occasional Collector

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

Is there a GUI instead of CLI's? im not familiar with the commands with unix. 

im testing on Windows Server 2008. ive tried several options like LibArchive (wasnt sure as to what i needed to do once it installed. same with with CygWin..

 

any recommendaions or general directions in which i can allow the LTO Tape drive can be read / i can restore the files from this tape. 

 

edit: is there a website or maybe something you can provide to help me with the commands needed to view/restore from the tape?

Thanks! 

Curtis_Ballard
Valued Contributor

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

There may be some GUI tools but I haven't used any for reading archives like this from tape.  Command line tools aren't too bad.  If you search a bit there are probably a bunch of examples for pax command lines to read tapes.

I think Cygwin is a real pain to install but it usually works pretty well once it is installed.  If you install from the internet and just go with the defaults it doesn't put on pax.  The defaults are a pretty good start though.  Run the installer again and when it gets to the screen with all the available software just type 'pax' in the search box and wait for a second then it will show up with 'Archive - Default' and if you expand that it will show 'pax: Portable Archive Interchange', probably with the 'New' column set to 'Skip'. If you click on the 'Skip' it should change to 'New', press 'Next' and it will install pax.

Once you have pax installed if you only have 1 tape drive connected you should be able to load a tape into the drive, open the cygwin command terminal, and type 'pax -v -f /dev/nst0' to find out if the tape is a pax archive.  You can type 'man pax' for a manual page.

JCeja
Occasional Collector

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

Does it make a difference if i have a HPE LTO Tape drive? i  installed Cygwin, following your instructions. 

i ran 'pax -v -f /dev/snf0' and was returned pax: Failed open to read on /dev/snf0: No such file or directory

Attenttion! pax archive volume change required.

Ready for archive volume: 1

input archive name or "." to quit. - so i just quit. 

is there a way to identify 1. the format the tape is in, 2. the directory of the tape? 

uranium wont help me either. 

Curtis_Ballard
Valued Contributor

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

You say "i ran 'pax -v -f /dev/snf0'"

The value following "/dev/" is the device that you are trying to access.  Is there some reason you picked the device "snf0" instead of the "nst0" device I recommended?

Pax is reporting that there is no such file as /dev/snf0.  If there is a tape drive with a driver installed the /dev/nst0 should always be there and should correspond to the Windows device TAPE0.

The command format I suggested should report what is on the tape if it detects that the tape is pax format once you direct that command to the right device.

JCeja
Occasional Collector

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

Apologies, that was a misread on my end..

here is the result for the command:

cejaj.admin@USABACKUP01 ~

$ pax -v -f /dev/nst0
pax: Failed read on archive volume 1: Input/output error
pax: Unable to recover from an archive read failure.
pax: Waiting for tape drive close to complete...done.

ATTENTION! pax archive volume change required.
/dev/nst0 ready for archive tape volume: 1
Load the NEXT TAPE on the tape drive
Type "y" to continue, "." to quit pax, or "s" to switch to new device.
If you cannot change storage media, type "s"
Is the device ready and online? >

 

starting to think its not PAX. 

Curtis_Ballard
Valued Contributor

Re: LTO - ultrium 5 - PAX

I agree - looks like it isn't pax but you are making progress.

Here is another command you can try with cygwin:

dd if=/dev/nst0 of=junk.bin bs=1M count=1

>>  Be Careful << this command can write to tape if you get it wrong.  The command line above is asking the 'dd' command to read from infile "if" names /dev/nst0 and send to outfile named "junk.bin" with a blocksize of 1MB and read a count of 1 record.  As long as the outfile option "of" points to somewhere in your filesystem where you want the file created you are safe.

If the command reports informatin including "0+1 records in" then it means it successfully read the first block off of the tape into the file which in this case I named "junk.bin" - if you load that into a binary file viewer it may have information about waht application wrote the tape. Many applications write ASCII text into that first block identifying the application that wrote the tape.