Slightly OT: Help? Apple CD 300 and VAX 4000 VLC

From: Mark Tapley <>
Date: Wed Jun 27 12:29:51 2001

        Multiple apologies in advance: The peripherals are generally
on-topic (and I think that's where my problem is), but the primary unit
under investigation, the VAX, isn't until next year. Also, please forgive
the long post. Finally, I'm in digest mode, so I'll respond slowly unless
you cc me at .
        I'm trying to load OpenVMS Hobbyist (at last!) onto a VaxStation
4000 VLC. A lot is working, but something isn't. Here's what I have:

VaxStation 4000 VLC
        16 M Ram
        RZ26-L (1Gig) hard drive, no jumpers on terminator block, SCSI ID 1.
        S3 in up position
Rainbow 100A, running Kermit on MS-DOS 3.11b, 9600/8/n/1
Offset-snap RJ11 DEC serial console cable, from VAX console connector to
        adaptor to DB25 at Rainbow COMM port
50pin M-M Centronics-type (off-brand) SCSI cable
AppleCD 300 external (caddy-load) (can you see trouble coming right here?)
        SCSI ID = 2
        External SCSI terminator.

The SCSI is, if I'm correctly reading what RZ26 docs I have, terminated at
the RZ26 and at the CD drive. (I know, this is not both "ends" of the
cable. The RZ-26 is within about 10 cm. of the computer end of the cable.)
I've tried the terminator-block jumper in all three positions (off, on one
pair, on the other pair) on the RZ26, same results. I've also tried with
and without the external terminator on the CD, same results.

When I turn everything else on, load the CD caddy with the DEC Hobbyist VMS
CD in place, then turn on the VAX, I see on the Rainbow (edited from the
Kermit session log, esc/other special characters dealt with harshly by my
text editor and me):

KA48-A V1.3-343-V4.0
?? 010 2 LCG 0086
?? 001 9 NI 0172
?? 121 10 SCSI 0034

uh-oh. I'm *hoping* the LCG line means no monitor attached to the VAX
graphics board (true, also no keyboard or mouse - yet), and the NI line
means I'm not connected to a network (also true, so far). Anybody with a
4000 VLC owners' manual? The SCSI line worries me. (When I boot without the
CD drive attached, or with the CD drive turned off, it does not appear.) If
I then do SHOW CONFIG I see:

KA48-A V1.3-343-V4.0

------ -------- --------------------------
     1 NVR OK
     2 LCG ?? 010 0086
                       HR - 8 PLN FB - V1.2
     3 DZ OK
     4 CACHE OK
     5 MEM OK
                      16MB = S0/1=8MB, S2/3=8MB, S4/5=0MB
     6 FPU OK
     7 IT OK
     8 SYS OK
     9 NI ?? 001 0172
    10 SCSI ?? 121 0034
                      1-RZ26L 2-CD-ROM 6-INITR
    11 AUD OK


The SCSI system has correctly identified the addresses and types of the two
drives on it - but still shows ??'s. (I can change the address at which
INITR appears, using the SET SCSI command. No effect that I've noticed.
Things were wierd when the CD-ROM SCSI ID and INITR were both set to 6.)
If I then do SHOW DEV, the RZ26 spins up, starts clicking and clacking, and
I see:

  ------- ---- ------- -------- ----- -- ------ ---
  ESA0 08-00-2B-2A-D7-1A

010 00000002 041F0000

and the system seems to stop there. I can <BREAK> out back to the >>>
prompt, but never get the info for either the RZ26 or the CD drive. (With
no CD drive, I do see info (correct, as far as I can tell) for the RZ26.) I
can repeat SHOW DEV and SHOW CONFIG with the same results. If I then enter
BOOT DKA200 I see:

  PC= 2004ACA4 PSL= 041F0000

and that's about as far as it goes. I can still <BREAK> back to the prompt.

*However*, if I shut down the VAX, Start back up, and at the first prompt,
enter boot dka200 , the CD active light goes on and flickers as though
it were being accessed, and the Rainbow shows:

%SYSBOOT-I-SYSBOOT Mapping the SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
%SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
%SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map PAGEFILE.SYS on the System Disk
OpenVMS (TM) VAX Version X72T Major version id = 1 Minor version id = 0

I enter 26-JUN-2001 and see:

Configuring devices . . .

Available device DKA100: device type RZ26L
Available device DKA200: device type SONY CD-ROM
%BACKUP-I-IDENT, Stand-alone BACKUP T7.2; the date is 26-JUN-2001 00:00:56.16

Up to here it matches pretty well with what the docs for the Hobbyist CD
indicate. I enter BACKUP/IMAGE DKA200:VMS072.B/SAVE DKA100: and see:

%SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, SABKUP$DKA200: is offline. Mount verification in progress.

and that's all I see, at least for as long as I've had patience to watch.
The CD active light is off from then on. When my patience runs out, I hit
<Break> on the Rainbow, get a >>> prompt, and do SHOW DEV (same result as
above), <Break>, SHOW CONFIG (same as above), and then SHOW DEV and I see:

  ------- ---- ------- -------- ----- -- ------ ---
  ESA0 08-00-2B-2A-D7-1A
  DKA100 A/1/0 DISK 1.05GB FX RZ26L
  DKA200 A/2/0 RODISK 681.57MB RM WP CD-ROM
 ..HostID.. A/6 INITR

Now the SCSI system has identified the CD drive as a SONY and correctly
read data from the CD (else how did it know that it was trying to load
OpenVMS 7.2?)! Yet something is still, to quote the bard, "rotten in
Denmark". I can't get (haven't gotten?) through the install sequence any
farther than the accursed %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER.

Out of decorum, I suppose I should say WITW? (What in the World?) but
stronger language is what I have in mind.

Clues would be well appreciated.

I have not tried disassembling the SCSI drive - it seems to work OK with
the NeXT, and with Macs (PB3400, Plus). I could do that, though.

Help? In the absence of any clues, I'll probably take apart the CD300 to
see if I can spot anything obviously misjumpered, then start hunting for a
real DEC external CD drive.
                                                                - Mark
Received on Wed Jun 27 2001 - 12:29:51 BST

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