Formatting MFM drives on uVAXen (was: Re: VAX 6400 booting saga: SUCCESS!

From: Gunther Schadow <>
Date: Sun Mar 17 21:49:54 2002

John Allain wrote:

>>Get a VAXstation 2000, also called RD MFM disk
>>formater. The VS2k has a MFM disk formater in ROM.
> Will that work with any MFM drive geometry or only the
> four RDxx types that mVAXes like?

I think it will, either with the built-in drive geometries or
if you specify the dozens of parameters for drives unknown to
the system.

BUT, the main point of this posting is that it's just too
easy to get another machine if there are other ways! Of
course I could have booted the VAX 6460 from an InfoServer,
but why spending the money for shipping that thing if there
are other ways? (Also, I'm not even sure it would have
worked, because DEC really screwed up this ULTRIX standalone

So, I now have the MDM tape on TK50. This is the DEC MicroVAX
Diagnostics Monitor tape. How? Well, I somehow got the MDM tape
generator for VMS, generated the tape on TK70 then used cptape
to rip the VMS tape filesystem off the tape under ULTRIX on
VAX6460 (the compressed tar file for it is just about 5.5 MB
in size.) A little sed and dd and all the 255 files were copied
onto TK50 on the NetBSD/uVAX. Now I can boot it on the uVAX and
am ready to format my MFM drive. ...

... if I hadn't screwed up the wiring, that is. It now barks at
me that I, the user, had DISABLED the drive. But I have done
nothing. I'll have to check the cables and plugs, or, may be
there is stuff to do with the jumpers on the drive? Did you ever
have to worry about jumpers on the drive?


PS: I don't think I will mess much with MFM drives. I just
bought another pair of RF72 DSSI drives off ePay along with
two KDA50 (I just *love* RA drives.) I would like to trade
one KDA50 set against a UDA50 set. I need that UDA50 set to
hook up RA drives to my VAX 11/785.

Gunther Schadow, M.D., Ph.D.          
Medical Information Scientist      Regenstrief Institute for Health Care
Adjunct Assistant Professor        Indiana University School of Medicine
Received on Sun Mar 17 2002 - 21:49:54 GMT

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