Thanks for the replies to date. As a follow up. We are using i386 / 32 bit
I did try various ways to get around any filesystem issues, and have become
that our core issue in this case is a tar/OS/tapedrive incompatibility
issue, not a 2GB file size issue. (Although it has become painfully evident
that Linux cannot handle files > 2GB!).
I can dd the tape device directly just fine. I can start to tar from the
tape device, only tar quickly
gets confused and starts skipping files in the archive. I can dd the tape to
a raw partition and
tar from the raw partition - only to get the same result.
The vendor supplying the tapes for us is using IRIX. As a short term attempt
to resolve the issue
they are switching to GNU tar, rather than the stock IRIX tar. If that
doesn't work they will try to
switch to a Linux variant for tape creation.
Thanks again to those that replied.