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

From: Chuck McManis <>
Date: Wed Jun 27 15:14:21 2001

At 12:29 PM 6/27/01 -0500, Mark Tapley wrote:
> 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:

We're having some fun now, eh?

>VaxStation 4000 VLC
> 16 M Ram
> RZ26-L (1Gig) hard drive, no jumpers on terminator block, SCSI ID 1.
> S3 in up position

My favorite little VAX at the moment.

>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.

Don't think the AppleCD will work some of the 300's were Toshibas and they
should work but most were Sony if IIRC and they definitely wouldn't work.

>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.

Should be: RZ26 not terminated, SCSI to CD-ROM, CD-ROM terminated.
If you do a SHOW DEV the ../HostID A/6 will indicate that the VLC has its
host adapter set to SCSI ID 6.

>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),

Possible, but I've not seen a fatal 86 error on my VLCs. Did you set switch
S3 (on the side with the mouse/keyboard connectors and between them) to the
'up' position to tell it you were going to run headless?

>and the NI line
>means I'm not connected to a network (also true, so far).


>Anybody with a
>4000 VLC owners' manual?

Yup, its open on my lap right now.

>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:

[elided, but note that you have the high-res 8 plane color board (nice) and
that the internal SCSI address is 6 on the VLC, and your firmware is
slightly down rev (4.0 vs 4.3)]

> 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.

Don't bother changing the internal SCSI address, leave it at 6 it will be
more standard that way.

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

As in, we're fscked toto. What's happening (I think) is that your CD300 is
telling the VLC things it doesn't want to hear (like extended sense data)
and the VLC is going about trying to interpret it and failing. If you open
your AppleCD and can strap it for 512 byte sectors (force 512 byte reads)
it might help, but I'm guessing you're in the market for a different drive.

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

been there done that :-)

>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.

You want to change to 512 byte sectors. The AppleCD _might_ be doing 544
instead of 512. A DEC CD-ROM drive will help a lot.

Received on Wed Jun 27 2001 - 15:14:21 BST

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