Imaging DEC uVAX MFM drives

Douglas Taylor dj.taylor at
Tue Aug 29 20:11:15 CDT 2006

At 04:11 PM 8/29/2006, you wrote:
>For the DEC uVAX gurus out there...
>[And, first, let me apologize up front for the length of this post, but as 
>mostly a list skulker (of about 9 months), and a digest reader, I figured 
>I'd toss in as many relevent details as I could.]
>Being the fortunate recipient of a nice collection of DEC gear, I've now 
>turned my attention to a handful of uVAXen of various flavors.
>As I did with the PDP-11 RL cartridges, I'm first trying to image these 
>uVAXen disks[1] before I do something stupid.  Please be aware that I'm a 
>complete VAX newbie and I consider this imaging a vital CYA insurance step 
>to my eventual VAX/VMS/ULTRIX/BSD education.

Here is what I did in a similar situation.

I had a Fujitsu ESDI disk that was connected to an Emulex QD21 controller 
and had a RSX-11M system on it, I too wanted to save the contents of the 
drive.  The format is such that only the QD21 could read it.

The disk was 'imaged' on a Vax 4000 by plugging the QD21 into the Qbus 
backplane and mounting it as FOREIGN.  Under VMS you can copy an image - 
block for block - of the disk to a file.  This I did and actually could 
boot the 'file' under simh,  neat!

The only downside is that you get every block, zeros and all.  The Fujitsu 
drive was about 100Mb.

My advice is to hook up with someone who has a Vax with a Qbus backplane 
and plug in the RQDX3 and your disk and make the image copy there.  If 
there is already a DUnn: device on the Vax would have to move your 
controller to an alternate address.  Most modern Vax consoles can tell you 
what that address should be by performing a configuration.


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