Reading RX01/02 disks on a PC

From: Ashley Carder <>
Date: Sun Jan 30 12:49:35 2005

> So I'm in the process of pulling a bunch of files off of some RX02 disks
> to get them onto a PC.
> So far (thanks to help from Howard Harte) I've got an 11/44 with an RX02
> drive running RSTS that has the DD module loaded. I'm running the serial
> tape drive simulator on a PC (I forget what it's called or who wrote it).
> So I can do:
> COPY DY1:*.* DD0:
> Which then copies all the files off of the disk into an image file on my
> PC. Works very nicely, albeit slowly (only 9600bps transfer rate).
> Is there a better way to do this? I've seen various postings of people
> getting RX02 drives connected to Linux boxen. How so? Has anyone done
> this?

Although still limited by the 9600 bps transfer rate, I use a program
called VTServer to get disk images from my PDP-11 to my PC. It runs on
my PC, sends an Ultrix image to the PDP-11 and boots in Ultrix. Then
you can use the Ultrix COPY command to copy images from any disk or tape
device on the PDP-11 to a file on the PC. You can also do the reverse,
copy disk image files from the PC to a physical disk on the PDP-11. I've
done both and it works fine as long as the disk on the PDP-11 doesn't
have bad blocks on it. I don't know all the inner workings of VTServer,
I just run it and it works for me. If I've made any mis-statements
about the way it works, someone with more detailed knowledge on its
innards can give a better explanation. I think basically it allows the
PC to function as "Virtual Tape" drive on the PDP-11.

I have recently copied 20+ RK05 disk images, 6 or 8 RL01 images, and
a few RL02 images from actual disks on the PDP-11 to image files on
my PC. These disk image files can be used on the simh simulator as
if they were the actual disks. I've also done the reverse. I SYSGENed
a RSTS/E v7.0 system on simh and copied it to RL02 packs on the
PDP-11. It's faster to SYSGEN a system on simh than it is to do it
on the real hardware.

Other folks have told me that a better way to get files from the -11
to a PC is to install a 9-track tape drive on the -11 and another
9-track drive on your PC. This is much faster. The problem is that
I don't have any 9-track tape drives right now, so that's not an option
for me.

Received on Sun Jan 30 2005 - 12:49:35 GMT

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