tar: write error unexpected end of file


I have attempted to backup some database files on my company's Solaris machine about 3 times now. Each time that I attempt the backup, about 6 files are evident on the dat tape when I do read of the media and then I see the dreaded "tar: write error unexpected EOF" message. Each time that I have attempted the backup I have used a new tape and have cleaned the drive. None of which have resolved the problem. I am still seeing the tar error. Can someone tell me what this error indicates - bad media, corrupt files, etc?

Thanks very much.

Are there any errors reported when you create the backup?
How big are the database files you are trying to backup? some versions of tar have problems with very large files. Its possible that you could have a bad drive, or that it needs to be thoroughly cleaned. You said that you cleaned it, but I have been in the situation many times of being stuck using an old cleaning tape that was no longer effective. Just some possible suggestions...

Thanks for responding :). The files that I am trying to backup are not very big. The VXA tape drive that I am using seems okay for the moment. Your theory about the cleaning tape not being in good shape seems likely. New cleaning tapes arrived the other day so I will take one of these (at your suggestion) and see if this makes a difference. If it doesn't, do you think that a corrupt file in the directory in which I am trying to backup may be the cause?