Options for resurrecting VAX 4000/400 and Vaxstation 3200

Dr. Roland Schregle roland.schregle at gmail.com
Wed Mar 9 14:38:56 CST 2016

On Wed, 09 Mar 2016 20:29:56 +0100, Robert Jarratt  
<robert.jarratt at ntlworld.com> wrote:

> You could run the 3200 by netbooting it from a SIMH instance of VMS. If  
> the RD54 was formatted (and working!) then you could transfer VMS onto  
> the disk from the boot node.

G'day Rob, thanks for the quick reply.

I've contemplated the SIMH/netboot option (was made aware of it a while  
ago), but I'm not even sure the 3200 can netboot; at least it does have a  
DELQA, so correct me if I'm wrong. In any case, I'd have to set up DECnet  
under Linux first.

> To format the RD54 you would need to find a 2000 though, or at least  
> borrow one. You should tell the list where you live as there might be  
> someone close by who could help out.

The VS is located in Germany, but I'm currently working in Switzerland and  
won't get at the thing until my next vacation, probably sometime after  

I know that Bernd Ulmann (alias VAXMAN!) has a VS2000 and is --more or  
less-- close by, but I haven't managed to schedule a visit (yet).

> It might be though that the RD54 is formatted, worth trying once you  
> netboot.

I checked out the RD54 on an old ST506/412 controller a few years back,  
and it did seek. Of course I couldn't read the format, so I can't tell  
what's on it. It definitely doesn't boot on the VS. Any other way to check  
for a format from the console?

> As for the KA675, I don't know really, I suspect you would be into  
> surface mount work, but with two boards you might be able to swap bits  
> around to get a working board. Perhaps if you got a KFQSA or a KZQSA you  
> could get this to work?

Yep, it's SMT, but replacing a 22 pin DIP shouldn't be a big deal with the  
right tools and a bit of practice. But the console diags don't indicate  
the faulty chip! :^(

The 4000 does have a KZQSA, and it boots from CD -- until it bails out  
with the async write error, which I assume has to do with the failed  

Thanks for the hints,


"END OF LINE" [MCP, 1982]
"... nowhere in the standards is it specified that 'programs that use a  
lot of memory may randomly crash at any time for no apparent reason'"  
[Stackoverflow forum, 2012]

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