Copying DEC VAX set up disks rx50, help
ajp166 at bellatlantic.net
Sun Mar 4 17:28:31 CST 2007
>Subject: Re: Copying DEC VAX set up disks rx50, help
> From: "Dave Dunfield" <dave06a at dunfield.com>
> Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 07:00:53 -0500
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
>> Image Disk reads it with out errors
>> 0/0: 300k DD 10 sectors of 512 bytes - G1:9 G2:17
>> 0/1: Single sided
>> 0/0: Single Step
>> 800 sectors (800 data, 0 compressed, 0 unaval)
>> Read complete
>> Trying to write and it has errors from the get go.
>> 0/0: 300k 10 sectors of 512 bytes
>> :format error <0> overun
>> :write error <2> no sector
>> and on .............................
>> written on a PC with 1.2 HD drive
>> Tried on another 1.2 and on a 360k drive
>> all capable of SD .
>> I tried both HD and DD disks . all bulk erased first.
>Don't use HD disks - as ImageDisk noted in it's initial
>report, all sectors in the image are double-density.
To affirm this, as exDEC RX50 is DD (250kbs).
>You didn't show all the information, but since it's
>single-sided, 10 sectors per track, and there are 800
>sectors, this tells me it's an 80 track disk.
>So - don't use a 360K drive (they are only 40 tracks).
>You shouldn't need to worry about SD capability - there
>are no SD sectors in the image.
Correct The RX50 drive is a dual spindle single head
positioner 80 track (96tpi) drive.
>The 300k data rate tells me that you recorded this on a
>1.2M HD drive - I'm assuming you did not specify a 300-250k
>data rate translation when you recorded it (?)
It's not 300 data rate it's 250!
>Assuming all that, it should write back to a 1.2M HD drive
>with ImageDisk. It should also write back to a 80 track DD
>drive such as TEAC-55F or SA-460 or TM-100-4. You would need
>to set a 250->300k data rate translation to write on a DD drive.
>I don't have any VAX disks to try, however I have read and
>written Rainbow disks, which are also RX50 and use 80 tracks
>by 10x512byte sectors, so I know ImageDisk works with this
VAX, Rainbow and otehr DEC RX50 media are all the same save for
the filesystems. The only other DEC 5.25 formats are RX180 (Robin
aka VT180 which is 40 track single sided DD 180k) and Vaxmate
(286 PC like) that used the RX33 drive for standard PC 1.2mb
There is a VAX RX33 format that was found in microVAX2000 or
RQDX3 controller for QBUS systems [must be late firmware on
the MSCP sontroller]. That format was a flavor of 1.2mb PC
format and also did RX50 using FD55GFR (aka RX33 drive). Older
firmware RQDX-1/2/3 controller only did RX50 format.
>10x512byte sectors can be twitchy on some PC setups. It
>pushes the limits of the drive and formatting more than
>the standard PC formats do. Most systems which use 10x512
>have a more flexible FDC than the PC does.
>- Clean the heads and make sure the drive is working OK.
> Format a floppy on your PC, then read it with ImageDisk
> and see if all sectors can be written.
>** Don't bother looking at any other suggestions until your
>** drive is verified to be operating 100%
>- Make sure you are using a recent copy of ImageDisk (you
> can get the latest from my site). Some of the older
> versions had trouble with gap calculations, especially
> on "tighter" disks.
>- Try another PC (not just a different drive).
Important as PC controler vary in implmentation at the subtle level.
>- Try making one of the Rainbow images from my site - this
> is the same format.
> NOTE: My images reflect the true data rate of the target
> system (250k), so you will need to set a 250->300k
> data rate translation to write them on an HD drive.
> If this works, then there may be a problem with the
> imaes you have created - send me one to look at.
>- Check your drive speed. If it's high, try slowing it to
> exactly 360 rpm - if it's "bang on", you might try slowing
> it by 5-10 rpm - this can help if your PC is marginal at
> the gaps required for 10x512.
This works and can help greatly.
Also make sure the PC is trying to run the 1.2mb drive at 300rpm
and NOT 360 or switching to 300kbs while using the nominal 360rpm
as NEITHER WILL WORK. RX50 is NOT 1.2mb mode its a 80track flavor
of DD (400k per disk single sided). This is a foreign format
and requires forcing the PC hardware in many cases. I cheat
I use a FD55E (96tpi, single sided 360rpm only) as then the PC
cannot force 300 rpm.
>- Look at the calculated gap sizes, and try reducing them
> slightly. You shouldn't need to, but it's worth a try - PCs
> are "highly variable".
;) you got that one nailed.
>I don't have VAX disks to try, but I've just successfully made
>one of my Rainbow images using ImageDisk 1.14 and a HD drive.
>The speed test shows my drive at 359 rpm.
Rainbow RX50 and VAX RX50 are same on disk low level format.
The filesystems are very different but if your reading sectors
(raw) then they are identical. I may add that XXDP(x11 diags)
on RX50 and RT-11 on RX50 also share that common media level
In DEC parlance RX50 refers to 80tracks, 96tpi, single sided
with 10 sectors per track and 512bytes persector formatted
at a data rate of 250kbs @360 rpm. It also refers to the drive
known as RX50.
Hole this clears up some misconceptions.
More information about the cctech