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C++/Operating Systems Booting through USB Tape Device

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QUESTION: Dear Vijayan

Every Operating System has different File Systems Format.

As we know Tape Devices, a secondary memory device is used primarily as a data storage backup medium. In Hard Drive data is stored in scattered memory locations while on tapes data is stored in contiguous memory locations.

Comparison
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http://www.ehow.com/about_5371775_hard-storage...

can we also use tapes as a bootable media for Booting Operating Systems ?

i.e Operating System Files stored on Magnetic Tapes (Unix OS variants viz Linux, HP-UX, IBM-AIX, DEC-ULTRIX, SCO Unix, Windows OS viz Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Ce etc) and BIOS Program (stored on ROM/EEPROM) will give a option to Boot from USB Tape Device similar to Hard Drive, CD ROM, DVD ROM Booting Device media.


Are there any specific advantages/disadvantages if booted through Tapes (if feasible) over Hard Drive, CD ROM, DVD ROM, USB Pen/Thumb Drive Booting ?

References :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_Tape_File_System

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: > can we also use tapes as a bootable media for Booting Operating Systems ?

Yes, provided the bios supports it.

Booting from tape is available on traditional Unix machines - eg. Hp UX, IBM AIX etc.
See: http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/aix/v6r1/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.aix.c
http://ods.com.ua/win/eng/unix/usail/man/hpux/hpux.1.html

On x86 / amd64 Pcs, booting from SCSI and IDE devices is supported, and most PC tape drives are SCSI or IDE  devices. You would need a device driver (typically from the tape drive manufacturer) and modify boot.ini to boot from tape.


> Are there any specific advantages/disadvantages if booted through Tapes (if feasible) over Hard Drive, CD ROM, DVD ROM, USB Pen/Thumb Drive Booting ?

Booting from a backup tape is almost always done only as a disaster recovery mechanism (for very large disk volumes) after a hard drive crash. It is not the normal practice as a. it is excruciatingly slow b. a large number of files from the tape need to be copied to a hard-disk or other random access storage on every tape boot.      

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Vijayan

Thank you.

As you mention, For Tape Devices (Internal / External) we require a Device Driver from the manufacturer i.e Similar to SCSI AND IDE Devices, we have to also get a USB Tape Device Driver from the manufacturer for Booting, modify boot.ini and the BIOS also should support for USB Tape Device Booting Device.

what is the reason that we see CD ROM , DVD ROM, Hard Drives, USB Pen / Thumb Drives being used as Distributable Media for Operating Systems rather than on Tapes media ?

i.e

Unix OS variants viz Linux, HP-UX, IBM-AIX, DEC-ULTRIX, SCO Unix, Windows OS viz Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008,
Windows 7, Windows Ce etc

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: > what is the reason that we see CD ROM , DVD ROM, Hard Drives, USB Pen / Thumb Drives being used as Distributable Media for Operating Systems rather than on Tapes media ?

Well, one obvious reason is that tape devices are not available on the machines which are most commonly used.

Another is that Operating systems support a very large variety of devices; they scan the hardware at boot up to decide which components are to be loaded. As such, booting from a tape (serial device where winding/rewinding to seek to specific locations is hundreds of times slower than random access devices) would take a very very long time.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Vijayan

Thank you.

i.e We can also Distribute Microsoft's OS viz Windows Xp, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows CE also in Magnetic Tapes provided

1.We get a USB Tape Device Driver from the manufacturer for Booting.
2.Modify boot.ini and the BIOS also should support for USB Tape Device Booting Device.

So if Programmed (BIOS programming) and Writing a Device Driver under Windows Os maybe in C or C++ Systems Programming Languages for the Specific USB Tape Device, we can also achieve this functionality for Windows OS.

So if Programmed (BIOS programming) and Writing a Device Driver under Unix Os and Unix Os variants maybe in C or C++ Systems Programming Languages for the Specific USB Tape Device, we can also achieve this functionality as you gave me the web links for IBM/Aix and Hp/Ux Os.

Isn't it ?

But for the reasons as you mention the OS Distribution is on CD ROM, DVD ROM, USB Pen Drive and not on Tapes because of

1. tape devices are not available on the machines which are most commonly used.

Maybe except Servers Machines - Super Computers, Mainframes, Minicomputers Machines (Probably coming Internal SCSI/IDE Tape Device with Purchase from the specific vendor viz IBM, Sun, Dell, Hp, Compaq etc by default) and not on Workstations, Desktops, Palmtops, Hand Held Devices though we can connect a External USB Tape Device.

2.Another is that Operating systems support a very large variety of devices; they scan the hardware at boot up to decide which components are to be loaded. As such, booting from a tape (serial device where winding/rewinding to seek to specific locations is hundreds of times slower than random access devices) would take a very very long time.

I totally agree on this point. OS Booting Time would be more if booted through Tape Device rather than a Hard Disk Drive, Pen Drive, CD ROM, DVD ROM.  

Thank you.

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
> So if Programmed (BIOS programming) and Writing a Device Driver under Windows Os maybe in C or C++ Systems Programming Languages for the Specific USB Tape Device, we can also achieve this functionality for Windows OS.

So if Programmed (BIOS programming) and Writing a Device Driver under Unix Os and Unix Os variants maybe in C or C++ Systems Programming Languages for the Specific USB Tape Device, we can also achieve this functionality as you gave me the web links for IBM/Aix and Hp/Ux Os.

Isn't it ?


Yes. Usually one wouldn't even have to write a device driver; most tape drive manufacturers also provide the driver and the software to backup the complete system (including boot images) on to tape, and then in case of disaster recovery, boot from the tape and restore the system to a previously backed up state.  

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vijayan

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my primary areas of interest are generic and template metaprogramming, STL, algorithms, design patterns and c++11. i would not answer questions about gui and web programming.

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about 15 years or so

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