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help: tar hangs system; reboot required


I've  been finding that tar (to a tape) is hanging the system.  "tar" to

a file works fine.

The hang always comes at the start of the process before the anything is

written to the tape.  It's a hard hang ^C doesn't work and a system
reboot is required.  Even "init 0" from a console hangs after announcing

"unmounting foreign files".

There also seems to be some correlation with the size of files in the
first tape block.  Things freeze up if a large file (size > 1 tape
is encountered at the start of the process..  There is no apparent
device activity, so I don't think this first block is even being sent
to the device.

My configuration is:
kernel: 2.4.18-benh0
debian:  sid (and yes, I know what "unstable" means)
platform:  Mac 8500 (old world firmware)
tape: Tecmar Travan NS20 on external SCSI

Things work find when running MacOS.

Has anyone else encountered similar problems?
Does anyone have any debugging advice?


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