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Getting data off a UNIX tape drive


We have a Sony SDT-11000 SCSI tape drive and a tape that may or may
not be damaged. We are trying our best to get as much data off the
tape drive, which was recorded originally using tar. We were
unsuccessful by actually using linux so we decided to get windows +
cygwin a go.

Here's what we are able to do with the drive:
mt -f /dev/st0 status will give us accurate information on the drive
mt -f /dev/st0 rewind appears to work, it doesn't return errors

However, when we try tar xvf /dev/st0 we get no errors but we are
instantly returned to the prompt and nothing is extracted off of the
tape drive.

We have tried referencing the drive differently, \device\tape0,
//./tape0, \\.\tape0 without success. What could I be doing wrong? We
aren't even married to using cygwin for this but we definitely know
that the tape was made with tar so this seemed like a logical step.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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