Minor VAX peripheral woes ...

From: Jim McCarthy <slwmbox2_at_pacbell.net>
Date: Sun Dec 5 11:59:09 1999

Hi --

I'm the original owner of a VAXstation 4000 model 60 which is still
going strong with OpenVMS 7.2 (thanks to the DECUS hobbyist program)
... but I'm having a little trouble keeping up with the trailing edge
of technology on two fronts:

* I'd really like to add a 3.5-inch diskette drive (RX26? RX33 ?)
  to this system. I recently discovered both the GNU "MTOOLS" and
  Madgoat "PCX" software pacakges for VMS (which read/write MS-DOS
  disk formats ... MTOOLS will also read/write DOS files from an
  external SCSI 100Mb ZIP-drive connected to a VAX), but usually it
  would be much more convenient to use 3.5-inch diskettes (which
  is a common demonator among almost all PCs) rather than ZIP-100s.
  I've not had any luck searching for used RX?? drives on the net
  (plus I'd need the bezel, mounting bracket, etc). Suggestions
  on where I should be looking instead ??? <Thanks !->

* I bought a 3rd party SCSI CD-ROM (Pioneer DR-506S 32x) and have
  it in an external enclosure. I have the 2048/512-byte per block
  jumper on the drive "off" for 512-bytes per block. The drive is
  visible and reported properly from the console firmware, before
  booting to VMS, there are no SCSI-id conflicts, and my SCSI cable
  lengths are short. But when I attempt to mount a disk under VMS
  7.2, a "medium offline" error message is returned.

  Curiously, if I attach the same drive & cable to an Alpha 600au
  workstation running OpenVMS 7.1-h2, the drive works fine. Hence
  I suspect that the OpenVMS 7.2 SCSI driver on the VAX is somehow
  to blame ... anyone know of any patches(?), or SCSI CD-ROM drivers
  from earlier VMS/VAX versions which might work ? Or what about
  exchanging the Pioneer DR-506S CD-ROM for some other 3rd party
  (i.e., affordable) SCSI drive which folks have used successfully
  with OpenVMS/VAX 7.2 ? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  A few months back I'd put this question to the folks at "Accorn
  Software" who'd written a software utility/driver "MODISK" to
  enable older versions of OpenVMS/VAX to operate 3rd party CD-ROM
  drives ... but their product isn't supported (doesn't run) under
  OpenVMS versions 7.0 and beyond ... they didn't think it needed,
  as this functionality "should" now be part of the baseline OS.

Anyway, I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with ideas on these items.

                                     Thanks much,

                                         -- Jim McCarthy
Received on Sun Dec 05 1999 - 11:59:09 GMT

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