Subject: installing from floppy
To: None <port-vax@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Kees Stravers <>
List: port-vax
Date: 03/21/1996 16:53:12
'allo All,
A while ago I was given a MicroVAX II with a empty RD53 hard disk.
I want to install NetBSD on it to use the machine for exchanging 
mail to the Internet, and maybe as an experimental local webserver 
for the school where I work.rk.
Because of a long list of reasons I won't bother you with, the only 
option I have for installing NetBSD is installing from floppy.
To do this, I had to find a way of getting Ragge's install floppy
images onto disks. This turned out to be a big problem, because I
only could use a PC to write the disks. I tried all RX50 PC tools
I could find, I even wrote a program myself, but all I got from the
MicroVAX was File Struct Err.
Then I asked on the DEC newsgroup on the net if someone could write
me the floppy's. Here I met Barry Kort, who had a great solution to
this problem: use Teledisk.
Teledisk is a "diskette fax" program for the PC, made by the shareware
software firm Sybex. It can write an image of a floppy to the hard disk. 
But the cinch is: this floppy does not have to be a PC format floppy! 
As long as the PC diskcontroller chip can handle the disk, Teledisk can
write an image of it. This is great for sending weird floppy formats
across the net. You could even use it to build a library of CP/M boot
disks, to name but one example. I already have used it to make backup
copies of important RX50 floppies.
Barry got Ragge's images off the net, wrote them to disk using his
Ultrix system, and then used Teledisk to write new images. He put them
in his ftp directory (,,
I downloaded the images and the program and they work great! The MicroVAX
booted immediately from the install disk, and the other floppy's were
o.k. too.
By the way, Barry also has VENIX, a nice little Unix clone for the 
DEC Pro 350, in his ftp directory. He of course used Teledisk to write
images of the original Venix install disks.
I then got stuck a bit further down the road installing NetBSD :-( 
Because the RD53 turned out to have bad sectors newfs started
complaining, so I had to stop until I got the disk formatted. Just
recently I got me a new disk so I want to try again. But now I read
that there is a new NetBSD version 1.1. That means I'm stuck again. 
I read in the FAQ (great piece of work) that it is better to use 
1.1, so I need new Teledisk images.
I hope some kind soul, maybe even Ragge himself, wil want to write
Teledisk images of the new floppy's and put them up for ftp on one of
the BSD VAX sites. This way, I think a lot more people will be able 
to install NetBSD! I think a lot of fussing around with tapes will 
not be nessecary anymore if one can use a PC to write the NetBSD 
install disk set! Imagine the possibilities...
Kees Stravers
The Antique Computer Eldorado
Geldop, The Netherlands