The Ftape-FAQ

v0.2, 07 december 1997

This is a very incomplete attempt to create a FAQ for the Ftape Floppy Tape Device Driver. Any suggestions, remarks … that could improve this FAQ are welcome indeed. The most recent version of this FAQ can be found at

1. A Word From The Maintainer Of Ftape.

2. « Compiling and installing Ftape » related questions !

3. « Using Ftape » related questions !

  • 3.1 How fast is Ftape ?
  • 3.2 When I write to some of my tapes, they seem to spend a lot of time « shoe-shining, » or repositioning instead of streaming. Is something wrong with my system?
  • 3.3 Do I have to reboot to the DOS world to format tapes?
  • 3.4 Is it possibly to format Ditto 2GB tapes with ftape?
  • 3.5 Is it possibly to format Ditto Max or Max Pro tapes with ftape?
  • 3.6 Ftape detects more bad sectors than DOS on QIC-3020 tapes
  • 3.7 Is it ok that I’m not hearing the tape move when I do a fsf or a bsf with mt?
  • 3.8 Why does my XYZ backup program complain about « Invalid argument » errors?
  • 3.9 I/O errors and FDC – some explanations.
  • 3.10 Why do I get « /dev/qft0: No such device » errors?
  • 3.11 I get « device busy » when I make multiple backups on a tape using some script.
  • 3.12 How do I « … » with tar?
  • 3.13 What block-size should I use with tar ?
  • 3.14 Where can I find the tar/mt/cpio/dd binaries – sources – manpages?
  • 3.15 If I use tapers compression, is it a bad idea to use the compression with zftape, or would it be better to not use tapers compression, and let zftape do it?
  • 3.16 How does zftape compression compare to say gzip -9?
  • 3.17 I don’t trust compression, but hear that the sftape interface is going away. What should I do?
  • 3.18 Ftape says « This tape has no ‘Linux raw format »
  • 3.19 Can I exchange tapes with someone using DOS?
  • 3.20 How does `mt eom’ work when you’ve started overwriting a tape in the middle?
  • 3.21 When I made backups before using taper, under the 2.0.29 ftape my drive didn’t support fsf, under the new zftape it does, why would this be, and what exactly is fsf ?
  • 3.22 What exactly is the difference between ftape, and zftape?
  • 3.23 What is the difference between a rewinding, and non rewinding drive?
  • 3.24 Can someone tell me how to use mt to rewind my TR-3 drive one record using zftape record, so I can verify it?
  • 3.25 By non-rewinding, they mean that it doesn’t automatically rewind, correct? It doesn’t mean that under no circumstances it will rewind, right? I tried using /dev/zqft0, and it instantly rewinds the tape.
  • 3.26 What is the difference between what mt considers a record and what it considers a file?
  • 3.27 Reusing tapes with zftape without reformatting the tape.
  • 3.28 This script implements a simple contents listing for the zftape package using the « MTIOCVOLINFO » ioctl.
READ  More 2 Cent Tips & Tricks LG #47

4. « Tape and Drivers » related questions !

5. Miscellaneous !