Subject: RE: Re: KFQSA Resolution - at last
To: Chuck McManis <>
From: Douglas Meade <>
List: port-vax
Date: 02/16/2000 11:15:49
Hi Chuck,

Well, again, nothing quite as optimistic as this old subject
line suggests, but I think I'm almost there.  Your posting
with the above title has proved a godsend to me, perhaps
we should team up and make a mini-FAQ of it.  

I've been trying to get an "Industrial Vax 630" converted to 
a MicroVax III (3500?).  The Industrial Vax was a MicroVax II
in a BA213 chassis, with 3 RD54 drives and a TK50.

I've removed the RQDX3 and RD54 drives, and put in KFQSA, 
replaced the KA630 with a 1990ish KA650, and got it up to 
16 Mb of memory so far.

I've got one RF72 drive installed, with KFQSA and operator
control panel.  I had a few stumpers caused by not understanding
the layout of the vax and the BA213 well enough.  The first was 
due to the 10-pin connector that goes to the top of the control
panel.  (This is the cable that runs to a connector behind the 
right hand side power supply.)

For some reason, at first I neglected it, and the disk
would always show up as offline in the boot messages.  Then
when I went to plug it in, I noticed that one of the holes 
was filled with a little plastic plug (like the cable from the 
KA630 to the patch panel), and I thought I couldn't connect it.

I made my own cable with IDC connectors and ribbon cable from
the local electronics store, but I think they gave the wrong
size cable (it's narrower than the connector) and that didn't
work.  In fact, with this other cable inserted in the back,
the machine wouldn't even turn on.  No fan, nothing.  "Help!"
I thought.

Then someone told me that you could remove the little
plastic plug with a sewing needle.  I did this, plugged the original
cable back in, and last night I got the drive to be recognized in the boot
sequence.  The message is something like this:

ra0 at mscpbus 1   drive 8:  RF72

(I'm curious why it's drive 8)

I can do "disklabel /dev/ra0" and get a listing to the screen.
I can also do "disklabel -W /dev/ra0" and "disklabel -B /dev/ra0"

But when I actually edit a file of the disk structure (called "ra0")
and try to do "disklabel -R -r /dev/ra0 ra0" I get the messages
"write error", and "wtfs undefined".

I've got two other disks I can try, but I didn't get around to it
last night.

My question is, is there any low-level formatting that needs to 
be done with these RF72 drives, or should they work "out of the 
box"?  Also, just out of curiousity, what does that cable that 
connects to the plug behind the power supply do exactly?  It's
also in my other BA213, connected to the SDI operator control
panel, presumably serving the same function.  Did removing
the plug with the needle give me a good cable, or should 
I go after a proper replacement?

One other interesting observation.  Since I was only trying
to get one drive working for the moment, I only had one
plugged in.  But the computer will not get past 'F' in the
patch panel LED without at least two drives plugged in. 
(This indicates power OK).  Needless to say, it took a 
few minutes to figure that out.