Subject: RE: largest disk in a vs4000/90
To: None <>
From: Carl Lowenstein <>
List: port-vax
Date: 07/26/2003 20:27:03
> From: "Gregg C Levine" <>
> To: <>, <>
> Subject: RE: largest disk in a vs4000/90
> Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 21:57:15 -0400
> Hello from Gregg C Levine
> Antonio, how do you prepare your disk drives for your operating
> system? I seem to recall, and just had it proven for the operating
> systems for the Evil Empire, that the drive needs to be formatted
> before it can be used. Normally the hardware manufacturer provides the
> media for that purpose. Sometimes it's floppy, and a CD, sometimes two
> floppies. 

There may be a language disconnect here.  What the
Microsoft/Intel/MSDOS users call "Format" is equivalent to the
Unix "mkfs" or "newfs".  There is probably a VMS term for it too.
Meaning:  "build an empty file system".

Actual hardware formatting of SCSI drives is something that is usually
done once per lifetime of the drive, at the factory.  If it is done in
the field, the formatting is performed by the drive's own firmware.
All that the controlling computer does is start the format process
and then wait for it to finish.

> That being stated, can an IDE/ATA type drive be attached to a VAX, via
> the appropriate after-market board? Or even a non-DEC specified, SCSI
> disk drive, again via an after-market board? Remember, I am normally a
> lurker who typically uses the Intel family of neurotic hardware.

Any reasonable non-DEC SCSI drive can be used with the SCSI host
adapter of a VAX.  As for using aftermarket controllers, they would
have to work with some bus in the VAX.  This pretty much limits you
to Qbus controllers on older MicroVAXes.  I don't think there were
any VAXes built with PCI buses.  There are some AlphaStations with PCI.

    carl lowenstein         marine physical lab     u.c. san diego