07-08-2013 12:17 PM
Can you MOUNT the tape? Is there a label? If so, try using DUMP to look at the first few records. This may give you an idea of what is there.
Also, Please supply OpenVMS version, hardware you are using etc. This may provide clues as well.
07-08-2013 03:21 PM
A tape is a device just like any other, with a file system on it (of sorts). Once it's mounted all the normal DCL commands like DIRECTORY and COPY work (within the limits of serial access).
Try to MOUNT the tape. If you don't know the label, try anyway with a random guess, usually the error message tells you the label. Once it's mounted try
$ DIRECTORY tape:
You may need to SET MAGTAPE/REWIND to get the tape back to the beginning in order to COPY files from the tape.
07-08-2013 07:46 PM
In this circumstance it would help more knowing on what type tape drive, system and O/S the tape was made. You can muddle through at first with $ MOUNT/OVER=ID tape: but if your tape was generated on another system you migth be out of luck. You'll ALSO want to try to use the same model DLT drive that was used to create the tape. You could fight differences in DLT format and getting false results for quite a while.
non-ANSI tapes? IF your tape was made on an IBM you might need to know record length, block size, etc. If it was generated on a Unix-y system you migth have to mount the tape /foreign and know what tool generated the tape.
But, if even if you know nothing about the tape John's suggestion about starting with just mounting it and trying a $ DIR tape: is a fine place to start. If it mounts and says that it recognizes a label you're probably not going to have much trouble. But I'd be real careful trying to make sure the tape and drive are compatible before starting.