1. 99% of the time, this error is related to hardware issues. Please read through the Solution steps carefully when
trying to resolve an ERROR 5 backup issue.
1. An Error 5 generated from LONE-TAR usually means some type of hardware problem. The corrective measure is something you can probably touch with
your hand, including: Tape, Heads on the tape drive, the Tape drive itself, the Ribbon cable connecting the tape drive to the controller, or the
controller. You must get into a "Process Of Elimination" mode in your mind... otherwise you will get nowhere fast, and become frustrated quickly.
Start off with the obvious:
1. Make sure the tape in the tape drive is NOT write-protected.
2. Make sure the tape drive is turned ON.
3. Clean the heads on the tape drive.
4. Try a brand new tape.
5. Be logged in as user "root".
6. Check tape termination on SCSI 4mm/8mm/DLT and make sure it is ACTIVE TERMINATION.
Each step we take below, will assume the previous section did not solve the problem.
How much data gets written to the tape before you get the error?
If you only see a few files on the screen just before the error, then it's possible nothing was written to the tape...
and the files you saw on the screen were simply in memory.
If you can write (lets say) 100Mb to the tape before an error, then we must see if the problem is the file or directory
that displays at around 100Mb or not. This is also assuming the error is CONSISTENT at bombing out at around 100Mb.
7. Do a Selective Backup of _just_ the directory where the error occurs. If this is successful, then the file where
the error occurred is NOT the problem. If it does fail on this same file or directory, then lets take the Tape Drive
out of the loop, and lets try to backup this file to another file_name on the hard drive. In other words, instead of
writing to the tape drive, we will write data to a file on the hard drive. Here's an example:
Here's the file that seems to fail:
Lets back it up to a file name.
# tar cvfb /u/trash.tar 20 /usr/data/GL
- Notice we took LONE-TAR out of the loop. This way in the event you need to contact a hardware vendor, they won't be
able to pass the buck to "lone-tar".
- Notice that we selected "/u" to backup to. It's a 2nd hard drive... and forces data to flow across that same ribbon
cable (if you have SCSI).
- Notice we backed up the entire directory "/usr/data/GL" and not just the single file "accounting.dat".
If this is successful, then lets use LONE-TAR to bit-level verify the backup:
# lone-tar TTvfb /u/trash.tar 20
If this is successful, then the problem points back to the chain of hardware related to the tape drive.
Don't forget to remove the file "/u/trash.tar". If this fails, then your problem is not specific to the
tape drive, and points more to the controller or cable.
8. If number 6 above is successful, and the tape consistently dies at around (lets say) 100Mb, then the error points more
toward the heads on your tape drive, or the ribbon cable.
9. Replace the ribbon cable first. It\'s the least expensive piece of hardware that is the most over-looked.
10. Replace the tape drive.
11. Replace the controller.
Notes: Be patient. Try to find a series of events that result in a failure. Consistency is the hardest thing to track down.