ot... at it again scsi tape drive in windows 95

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Mon Jan 21 09:34:38 2002

Frankly, I don't remember exactly what the reason was, why I rejected Ghost
for backup applications. However, the point I've been trying to get at is
that it's not so much that various tape drives, or the SCSI subsystem
interface, don't work properly, but, rather, that the OS doesn't seem to
support non-disk storage devices very well, and that ALL the backup
applications seem to suffer from the same set of problems. In one case, the
application's assessment of the target disk drive was several orders of
magnitude off the mark, while, in others, the task seems never to end, in some
cases. Getting the restore operation to work is another problem.

Under Win9x, tape backup applications, and not just in the context of SCSI
tape drives, seem to have difficulty in reading their own writing. I have no
idea why this might be, but I've observed it in case after case.

Win9x's predisposition to marking every disk drive it "sees" is sufficient
reason not to use disk devices for backup. While nothing prevents tape from
storing a virus that's recorded on the drive being backed up, it is protected
from infection by executable viruses by the fact that the tape content is
never executed as part of the backup/restore cycle. Likewise, recordable
DVD-R's hold out some promise, though they're too limited in capacity to serve
for full system backup on most modern systems.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Geoff Reed" <geoffr_at_zipcon.net>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2002 11:02 PM
Subject: Re: ot... at it again scsi tape drive in windows 95

> At 01:09 PM 1/20/02 -0700, you wrote:
> >IIRC, GHOST has the problem that it won't deal directly with large drives,
> >that it expects to deal with media essentially identical to what's being
> >backed up. I don't have a removable media disk drive with 100 GB capacity
> >yet, but since there are problems with disks for backup under WIndows
> >I'll have to wait for something for TAPE or DVD-R to come out.
> Um, Ghost works fine here on > 40 gig drives. if I want to make a safe
> backup, I image partitions/ discs to my server and then burn out a spanned
> CD set or a set of tapes. I backup under win2K Using a DLT 2000 drive and
> Veritas (formerly Seagate) backup. I have YET to have any problems reading
> backup media from one drive to another.
> >What I'm after, of course, is scheduled backup that doesn't require any
> >interaction at all, other than daily removal of the backup media from the
> >previous backup.
> Ghost isn't really designed for unattended use, and it's not a backup
> program as such, it is designed to image HD's for restoration to a new HD
> or to install one copy of an OS on one machine and blow copies out onto a
> boatload of other machines.
I seem to remember something along those lines. I think it expects to find a
target drive identical to the one being replicated, too, which limits its
usefulness for system backup.
> The biggest problems with the Dos/Win backup software that shipped with dos
> and win95 / 98 is that the compression method changed between dos 6.0 and
> 6.22 (can you say Stac, Inc. lawsuit) and then it changed again for the
> win95 and 98 versions... tape drive support was an afterthought on those
> also, it was designed to back up to floppy discs. for good tape support
> you needed to upgrade to backup express (the retail version from seagate,
> now veritas)
I've bought all the Seagate/Veritas backup software I'm going to buy until I
see a case of their stuff working properly. So far, I've yet to see a
Seagate/Veritas product that works beyond the GUI, and while they look good,
I've got to see function. I have a client with about 150 essentially
identical systems that have to be backed up every week, and that's shown me
that the majority of backup applications (100% of the ones I've tried) suffer
from the same set of weaknesses. I can't say with confidence that it's the OS
or that it's the simple incogruity between the terms "software" and
"engineering" but I think it lies somewhere between those.

It's probably well to keep in mind that the backup provided with Win98 is a
Seagate product that M$ bought from them. It looks suspiciously like the
early "Backup Executive" product, which didn't work particularly well, and,
quite stupidly, opened new files on the system drive, thereby rendering it
incapable of a successful backup of that drive.

There's clearly a weakness in the OS relating to the SCSI subsystem. One way
in which this shows up is that the OS recognizes and lists a drive it sees on
the SCSI chain, yet fails to make it available for the backup program. This
is really frustrating when one knows a drive to be fully functional and
routinely uses it under DOS and NT, yet can't use it with Win9x.


Received on Mon Jan 21 2002 - 09:34:38 GMT

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