This page tries to answer some of the commonly asked questions
about WinTAR. They are by no means complete.
Why is the total archive size shown in WinTAR much
less than that shown using "chkdsk" or "Properties" under
This is related to the way the file system under MSDOS (using FAT) and Windows 95
(using VFAT) partitions your hard disk. Under FAT or VFAT, each file size is a multiple of
a certain minimum block size depending on the size of the hard disk partition. For
example, a 1 GB hard disk partition has a block size of 32KB. Hence, a file which is only
one byte still takes up 32KB hard disk space. WinTAR counts the
archive size using the actual size of the file and NOT the size as allocated by FAT.
Hence, the total archive size can be considerably smaller.
Where can I find the latest version of WinTAR?
You can find the most up-to-date version of WinTAR in the software download page.
How can I back up the registry under Windows NT?
Windows NT comes with a disk recovery utility called rdisk that backs up
the complete NT registry. If you're relying on WinTAR
-Remote or WinTAR-SCSI to do full backup
of your system, you may consider to run this utility after backing up your NT workstation.
Please consult your NT manual for the usage of rdisk.
How can I back up the registry under Windows 2000/XP?
You can do that in two steps. First, backup the
system state using the Backup application that comes with
Windows 2000/XP to a file. Then, you can use WinTAR to
backup the back-up file.
What are the limitations of WinTAR-Remote Version 2.2.1 under Windows
If you have enabled the firewall feature in Windows
XP, please read on. Both RSH and REXEC protocols require
reverse connection from the host computer (the Unix
workstation) back to your PC. For the RSH protocol, it will
choose an unused TCP port between 513 and 1023. For the REXEC
protocol, it will choose any unused TCP port from 1024 and
65535. Hence, you must open up all these TCP ports in order to
successfully connect to your Unix host.
Why can't I find any options in accessing my tape drive situated on my PC?
WinTAR does not support local tape
drives, either QIC-type or SCSI, currently. If you need to
access your local SCSI tape drive on your PC, you should use
Can I use WinTAR to duplicate a directory tree from a PC to a
hard disk on a Unix workstation like what "rcp" does?
Yes. The trick is to change the remote write command in the Advanced options dialog
box to "tar xvBbf %d -" where %d is the blocking factor.
Is there any way to tell WinTAR -Remote to use a
blocking factor bigger than 63 blocks because my remote tape drive is optimized for 126
You can specify the blocking factor to be
63, but explicitly put your desired blocking factor to 126 in the remote commands. Please
make sure that the two blocking factors must be a multiple of each other to avoid some
byte misalignment problems. For example:
Write: dd of=%s ibs=%db obs=126b
Read: dd if=%s ibs=126b obs=%db
How can I speed up my backup time?
You can decrease your backup time by increasing the blocking factor. The default value
is 20 blocks, and a typical throughput using this value is 3 to 4 MB per minute. Change
this value to 63 blocks increases the throughput to 8 to 12 MB per minute. Note that this
corresponds to approximately 1.3 Mbps which is a typical effective throughput value under
a 10 Mbps ethernet. Hence, there is no point in increasing this blocking factor further
unless your remote backup device requires a larger blocking factor for optimum
I'm using SCO Unix Open Server 5. The tape operation buttons (rewind, etc.) do not
work at all.
The default settings in WinTAR assumes that your Unix workstation uses "mt"
to operate your tape drive. SCO Unix Open Server 5 uses a different command set. To change
the settings, do the following [Information source: Gavin Kelman (firstname.lastname@example.org)]:
- In the "Options" menu, select
- Click "Advanced...".
- Change the commands as follows:
||tape -s rewind %s
|End of Device Command:
||tape -s eod %s
||tape -s -a %d rfm %s
||tape -s status %s
||tape -s unload %s
- Click "OK"
How do I do incremental backups using WinTAR-Remote?
To do incremental backups, you must select both "Incremental backup" and
"Clear Archive bit after back-up" options. Both options can be found in the
Preferences dialog box under the Options menu. The backups should be done as follow:
- First time "Full backup": Only
select option "Clear Archive bit after back-up". This will
clear the archive bit of each file after backing the file
up. When you click the "Save Config" in the Create Archive
dialog box, the option is saved along with your backup
template to your specified template name.
- Future "Incremental backup": Select both option "Clear Archive bit after
back-up" and "Incremental backup". This will clear the archive bit of each
file after backing the file up while only backing up those files that have the archive bit
set. When you click the "Save Config" in the Create Archive dialog box, the
option is saved along with your backup template.
What are the limitations of WinTAR-SCSI Version 2.3.0 under Windows
Due to the tightened security model of Windows
2000 and XP, you must have Adminstrative privilege with your
login user account in order to access the your attached SCSI
tape drive. Moreover, the remote/removable storage manager
under Windows 2000/XP may interfere with the operations of
WinTAR-SCSI. To avoid this
interference, disable your scheduled remote storage manager
tasks if configured, and do not expand the Removable
Storage icon when you select Computer Management
under the Administrative Tools or when you right-click and
select Manage on the My Computer icon on the desktop.
My tape drive seems to work
flawlessly with another backup application or with another
tape using WinTAR-SCSI. However,
when I try to read or write to another tape using WinTAR-SCSI, WinTAR-SCSI pops up
a dialog box saying "ASPI error in XXXX, Type = 2, Return code
= 4", and I got stuck. What does this error message
This error message means the ASPI
manager has aborted the read or write operation on a
tape block because the SCSI tape drive does not respond in a
timely manner. This is a very complex issue, and it may
be caused by one of the following possible reasons (and the
list is growing from experience):
SCSI card settings for your tape
drive is invalid
If you are using an Adaptec SCSI
card with the SCSI Select configuration program, please
make sure that SCSI Disconnect is enabled,
Sync negotiation is disabled, and you may also
need to increase or decrease the transfer
SCSI card BIOS version is too
SCSI card driver or tape drive
firmware is too old
The logical block size and/or tar
tape blocking factor is not set up properly
Interactions among between
different SCSI devices and the SCSI card has caused
If you have some external SCSI
devices, try to remove them and properly terminate the
last SCSI device in the chain. SCSI CD-R/CD-RW and
ZIP drives can some cause problems.
Try to change the SCSI ID of your
tape drive to between 2 and 5.
SCSI chain is too long
Improper SCSI chain
Interference from another backup
application or service