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technoid

Old tape backup drives

7 posts in this topic

Hey, I have a couple of tape backup drives from the early 1990's, namely a 40MB drive by Mountain and a Jumbo 120MB by Colorado Memory Systems. I do not have the exact model numbers onhand atm. I am talking about for DC-2000, DC-2120 highspeed streaming mini data cartridges. So do these work in 98SE? I am trying to get them to work in a new install of 98SE, in a computer of about the same era (early 90's). It's slow, but it works. Took like 2-3 hours to install it, due to an external parallel port CD drive to do the install, not to mention only a 428MB boot drive to install it to ( a slave drive is also 428mb). Anyway, the Colorado 120MB was originally installed in it and for some reason, 98SE will recognize it during one session, but in a next session (after reboots), it doesn't, then in another session, it does. Quite random. This is seen in Device Manager and senses the device as "Colorado QIC-40". As far as I recall I was able to run this Jumbo 120 in Win 95.

However having said that I discovered a few tidbits:

1. QIC-40 not supported in 98SE: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/124730 ( It looks like the Mountain device is not supported, I'm ok with that )

2. The Backup program (msbackup.exe) in 98SE is now supported/written by Seagate, as opposed to written by Colorado in the 95 version. How ironic since I have a Colorado device.

3. Looking in Device Manager Properties of the "Colorado QIC-40", I cannot assign a drive letter, whether or not point #1 applies.

4. And due to points #2 and #3, I have found that this Seagate MSBackup version requires something called Seagate Direct Tape Access (DTA) inorder to do such mundane tasks as assigning a drive letter. And doing some googling, I found this was a commercial (purchased) software. WTF? Why wasn't Colorado's version good enough to port over to 98SE? Did Colorado go defunct by then?

So my questions are now:

1. Can I copy Win95's MSBackup to 98SE and see if that works?

2. Where do I find this DTA? At the moment I don't care if it's legal or not. I've read somewhere that the last version is 4.01 (unless there's later ones).

3. Any 3rd party backup software I can use instead?

I did not find a list of tape software in that "Last software for 98SE" sticky thread. Any comments / info appreciated, thanks.

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1. QIC-40 not supported in 98SE: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/124730 ( It looks like the Mountain device is not supported, I'm ok with that )

I don't get it. :unsure:

That article says that the QIC 40 is supported in Windows 95 (no more, no less).

AFAICR the actual Colorado tapes were supported by both Win95 and 98 BUT the actual issue is specific to the QIC 40 model, see here:

http://www.cwdixon.com/support/win98_support/backup.htm

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/182624/en-us

(right info, wrong reference ;))

in their usual simplicity the good MS guys made the .qic format change a bit between different versions of MSbackup:

http://www.fpns.net/willy/msbackup.htm

and later the 2K/XP version was completely different.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305381/en-us

So, your best option IMHO is to install a real Windows 95.

OR try with a DOS program instead. (I presume some can still be found around)

3. Any 3rd party backup software I can use instead?

Some ideas may probably be got from this only seemingly unrelated document:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/lpg28247/lpg28247.pdf

AFAIK the Linux FTAPE program is compatible.

http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Ftape-HOWTO-6.html

At the time "real" professional tape drives were SCSI, and for them we do still have an excellent proggy:

http://www.datman.com/

is your SCSI or the "poorman's" floppy connected one?

If this is the case you can try with a DOS program instead. (some can still be found around), like:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=US&swItem=co156en&prodTypeId=12169&prodSeriesId=63951

jaclaz

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Oops, yeah, Article ID: 182624 is what I meant to link. Great info you found though, thanks. Haven't read everything yet, just here to drop you a line. So oh well, it was worth a try if the Jumbo is not going to work in 98se, supposedly. I will still try to copy 95's Backup to 98se and see what happens, haven't had a chance yet. These were great archival drives for their time, I used them to backup office data stuff. But 40 and 120mb are pretty slim nowadays anyway, it is just an experiment in curiousness. Yes, unfortunately these were the floppy attachment type, not scsi, but I suppose their inexpensive was their attraction to potential buyers vs the relatively more expensive scsi. If nothing else I can always transfer it to my 95 box(s). Yes, I also have the original dos apps for them, though I wonder if those had any release updates. Oh, just remembered my uncle also gave me his old tape backup, heh, can't recall the brand/model, but it is a parallel port model. I will return here if I have anything new to report / comment. :)

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Search the forum for "msbackup". There might be some assistance there, including a reference to removing "TapeDetection" which could possibly be used to copy the associated Win95 files to Win98 (?)...

edit - You may need drivers (?) for the Jumbo. Google for "Colorado Backup II" (provided by HP) - DriverGuide has it. And FWIW, here's one specifically for the Jumbo 250 (apparently DOS Mode?) and here for Win95.

Some HP info.

Also, CBW95.EXE is Backup for Win95 (dunno if drivers are included)...

Also, it might be an IRQ/DMA conflict (have found possibly using IRQ=6/DMA=2 works).

AHA!!!!!

This looks extremely promising (Colorado v9 with drivers)!

Errr, never mind - Win2K...

ARGGG!!! "Jumbo 120" - well, anyway, search DriverGuide (free signup)

Edited by submix8c
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Haven't had much time on this, but I did copy Win95's Backup version (with accompanying files, not just the .exe) to 98SE's and ran it. It was partially successful, I was able to read some tapes, but it was hit and miss. Sometimes it was able to find the directory and files on the tape, and the next time (or after a tape redetect) it would not. But at least it was better than 98SE's Backup. In the 98SE version, it can't even find the tape drive. I was also able to run the DOS Tape program (Colorado Jumbo v3.03), but this can also be random, because somehow it requires a version of DOS in the era the Tape.exe was written in (in the era of Windows 3.x). I was able to make it work by exiting 98SE and going into DOS afterward, but not the DOS before Windows boots (i.e. F8 command line only). Weird. But once I run Tape in DOS, I am able to view files and directories already written on the tapes, which in my case were recorded in the early 90's.

And Submix8c is correct, using the tape drive auto-configure, it will use IRQ=6/DMA=2. At the I/O of 370. Anyway, more testing to go through before I decide to move this drive to my 95 box. I still don't have a hold of the original manuals and floppies, they're at another house at the moment.

Side note: There is one particular tape cartridge I may never be able to read again, not because of corrupt magnetics, but because the tape won't wind properly anymore. Because these are high speed streaming tapes, just a little bit of kink at some places or maybe a little bit of static electricity, the tape will stick to the rubber runner band that makes the tapes spin. This will cause the tape to stick to it and at that high a speed, the tape will go out of whack and get pulled around. It's similar to when the old audiocassettes start streaming tape all over the place, heh. I tried rewindind the tape, careful to have it at the right tension, but because it has so many kinks in the tape, it won't stay straight anymore as it goes from one wheel to the other. The only way it may probably work is if it the drives spins it at 10 times slower, which would be impossible unless you know how to modify the hardware (and software) to do that.

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Side note: There is one particular tape cartridge I may never be able to read again, not because of corrupt magnetics, but because the tape won't wind properly anymore. Because these are high speed streaming tapes, just a little bit of kink at some places or maybe a little bit of static electricity, the tape will stick to the rubber runner band that makes the tapes spin. This will cause the tape to stick to it and at that high a speed, the tape will go out of whack and get pulled around. It's similar to when the old audiocassettes start streaming tape all over the place, heh. I tried rewindind the tape, careful to have it at the right tension, but because it has so many kinks in the tape, it won't stay straight anymore as it goes from one wheel to the other. The only way it may probably work is if it the drives spins it at 10 times slower, which would be impossible unless you know how to modify the hardware (and software) to do that.

Traditionally you use graphite powder to lubricate the tape cartridge innards.

It can be bought as graphite powder, but all you need is one of those large mechanicl pencil leads, and a piece of fine sandpaper.

(it is sub-otimal as there is clay in them together with graphite, but it is usually good enough)

jaclaz

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