Options for resurrecting VAX 4000/400 and Vaxstation 3200

Dennis Boone drb at msu.edu
Wed Mar 9 16:22:04 CST 2016

 > Box #1 is a VAX4000 model 400 with no working CPU (KA-675) and 2x
 > 32Mb RAM, an RF72 (wiped), plus a KZQSA QBUS controller. PSU is good,
 > fans squeal on startup but run silently once spun up. Have VMS
 > installation media in CD.

If you can sort out the CPU issue, you probably have enough here to
achieve this in several different ways.

The KZQSA doesn't usually work well with hard drives, but I'm pretty
sure I installed my /600 from CD using its KZQSA and an older SCSI
CD-ROM drive (probably an older Toshiba).

The RF72 disk is a 1GB DSSI drive, and I think it's supported by the
base /400 machine.  Once you have a working CPU, you can actually do
some testing on this disk drive with just the VAX console firmware,
because it's intelligent, and you can connect to it via a maintenance
protocol and give it commands.

Alternative to CD installation would be to install VMS in SimH and use
the virtual VAX to netboot and install the hardware VAX.

 > Box #2 is a VAXstation 3200 with TK50, and an RD54. PSU and fans ok
 > (and very quiet), ditto CPU. The RD54 is unformatted; I understand
 > this can only be formatted in the field with a VS2000 or with some
 > obscure field diagnostics. There's no SCSI controller, so I can't
 > install from CD. I haven't been able to track down VMS installation
 > media on TK50, and I doubt they'd still be readable anyway. On top of
 > that I have no idea what condition the drive is in, as I have no
 > blank tapes to test with. I've found tape images online but see no
 > way to dump these to TK50 (assuming the drive is ok), unless I get a
 > TZ30.

After formatting the RD54 using the nearby VS2000, the way to get this
one online is probably to netboot it from the SimH VMS instance
described above.  However, is the RD54 unformatted, or just empty of
data?  It's _in_ a VS3200, after all.


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