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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author Have I lost a disk?

Posts: 15
Joined: 11.08.10
Posted on August 26 2010 16:58
Howdy all,

An AlphaStation 255/233 recently found it's way to my doorstep. The previous owner claims it has been off since 2007.

It took several trys reseating all the components and cables but it finally lit up an LCD monitor.

At first '>>>sh dev d' listed DKA0, DKA100 and DKA400 as drives where the last device is the SCSI CDROM.

I booted my OpenVMS 8.3 install media and tried setting DKA0 as the system drive. That effort failed and now the device no longer shows up during install or from the ROM monitor.

I know at one point I reset the DIP switches on the main board which should have reset the NVRAM and RTC.

Could this have made the drive dissapear?

...or is it more likely that the reason it was turned off in 2007 was that the system drive had failed?

Are there any diagnostics that I can run?

Is there any chance that a commodity SCSI drive will work or do I need to look for something special?

best regards,
- dan
Author RE: Have I lost a disk?

User Avatar

Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on August 27 2010 01:18
Standard SCSI drives work, generally. Remember that there are multiple SCSI interfaces now, though. It will be easiest if you determine what the failed drive was and the type of interface it used, and match that.

You do not have to pay high prices for original DEC drives, though. I'm using Seagate drives from Ebay on my PWS 433au and they work fine.
Author RE: Have I lost a disk?

Posts: 15
Joined: 11.08.10
Posted on August 27 2010 03:26
Thanks for the info...

DKA0 was a Barracuda.

How is OpenVMS going to feel about a rediculously huge 15,000 RPM 75 GB drive with a buffer bigger than the RAM in some VMS machines!

Author RE: Have I lost a disk?

User Avatar

Posts: 86
Location: Illinois
Joined: 26.05.07
Posted on August 27 2010 11:10
There may be a drive size limitation, but I don't know what it is.

With SCSI, I don't think the RPM matters, but older software may not take enough advantage of the extra capabilities of the drive to make it worthwhile.
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