SUMMARY: tape/scsi error - <device>: write protected or reserved.

From: Tony van Lingen <>
Date: Wed Feb 18 2004 - 20:26:21 EST
G'day All.

Thanks go to Darren Dunham, Eric Falen and Mark A. Bialik for their 

Eric suggested that the error occurs when one tries to use a DDS3 tape 
in a DDS4 drive, but no such mismatch occurred here. Darren gave a way 
to distinguish between the tape being write-protected (it wasn't) and 
the drive being reserved:
    write protected: 'mt erase' gives the error while 'mt status' does not
    drive reserved: both 'mt erase' and 'mt status' give the error

Mark suggested to start out fresh, which I must admit I did not have a 
lot of confidence in, since the drive had been replaced and worked fine 
for a number of days before the problem started. But it worked. The 
    - touch /reconfigure
    - stop the machine
    - switch off the drive and disconnect it from the box (was easily 
done as the drive is external)
    - start the machine and boot
    - after reboot remove the tape device links that are no longer in 
use (verbose shows changes being made):
       # devfsadm -C -c tape -v
    - touch /reconfigure
    - stop the machine
    - switch on the drive and reconnect
    - start the machine and boot
    - check that tape device has been picked up (/dev/rmt has the links 
removed previously once again)

If the tape device links don't show up after the last reboot, the scsi 
port may not work (cable etc.).

Don't ask me why, but the error disappeared after executing this 
procedure. Maybe anyone can explain it? On the face of it, no real 
change in the configuration took place... we started out with a set of 
devices configured on the st driver, removed them and then added them 
again. The symbolic names in /devices were the same before and after.


Tony van Lingen
Technical Consultant


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