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Tape drive file size limitations

Having problems backing up files larger than 1 gigabyte (GB) to a tape drive, I have tried SQL and NT backup. I can backup the small files using both SQL and NT backup. I have an external tape drive, hooked up via SCSI drive. I have replaced the tape drive and all related hardware, but I'm still having the same issue.

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There are known file size limitations with older versions of Windows (i.e.: 2 GB with FAT). However, a 1 GB limit is well below that known limitation that very few people run into now days.

It might be a good idea to look at the tape device configuration parameters. Depending on the tape device utilities installed, it might be possible to look at and change some of the configuration parameters such as block size, maximum number of blocks and end of tape marker. An erroneous maximum number of blocks or end-of-tape configuration could very well limit the amount of data that can be written to tapes mounted in a particular device.

It would be advisable to contact the tape device vendor to determine how the device's configuration parameters can be changed if a utility is not available.

This was first published in July 2005

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