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dd hangs when attempting to access a tape drive

From: Curtis J Blank
Subject: dd hangs when attempting to access a tape drive
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 12:33:20 -0500 (CDT)

I've got a problem were dd hangs attempting to access a tape drive, this 
used to work fine. The only change is going to the 2.6 kernel, SuSE's 9.3 to be exact. The dd command is (this is all done as root):

dd if=file.name of=/dev/nst0 bs=32 count=1
dd if=/dev/nst0 bs=32 count=1

If it's done command line you cannot ^C out of it, and command line or in 
a cron job you cannot kill -9 the process, the only way to get rid of it 
is to reboot. mt can access the drive just fine, tar can read and write 
the drive just fine.

When using the dd command I see the tape drive active as noted on the LCD 
display of the tape library and it stays active until the reboot occurs, 
which is kind of unusual. I know there are 32 bytes of data to be read 
because that is the tape header previously written to the tape using dd in 
the form of "nnnnnn 2005-10-20T20:31:34-0500" where nnnnnn is the tape 
number. It is really there because if it weren't the backup script would 
refuse to use the tape if it can't confirm it and error out. I also wrote 
a perl script the opens the tape drive and reads the 32 bytes and it can 
and does read the label while dd can't.

Looking for any and all help, don't know where else to go, have done an 
extensive amount of searching, will try any suggestions and provide any 
additional information requested. This is a serious issue for me, if I 
can't write these labels which is part of the process of freeing up or 
adding tapes, I can't do backups.

The tape library is a Spectra Logic 10000 (Bullfrog) with 4 AIT Sony 
drives the SCSI card is a LSI Logic / Symbios Logic 53c875 MSI MB AMD AMD 
Athlon(tm) XP 1900+ 1G memory, but none of this has changed, the only 
change is going to the 2.6 kernel and coreutils-5.3.0-10.

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