[Gllug] freeing a "busy" tape drive without rebooting

Ryan Cartwright ryan at crimperman.org
Wed Jun 20 14:34:26 UTC 2007

Hi all,

More a discussion question than an urgent cry for help ( mind you... :o) )

We use AIT-2 tape drives for backup on some servers here and recently
either the device or the media failed on one of them during a write
process (tar).

This failure left the device ( /dev/tape ) in a state of busy. There was
little I could find that I could do except reboot the machine to get it
to free up the tape drive. There were (according to ps -eaf and fuser )
no processes and/or tasks using that device so I had nothing I could
kill to free up the supposedly busy tape.

In this instance, rebooting was not a major headache but wondering what
I would have done if it was preferable not to reboot. Anyone have any
alternatives to rebooting in order to free a busy device/tape drive?

Ryan Cartwright
Gllug mailing list  -  Gllug at gllug.org.uk

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