Data General NOVA 4/C help

Henk Gooijen henk.gooijen at
Sat Oct 17 15:16:11 CDT 2015

I picked up the NOVA 4 last Thursday. I had help carrying all the stuff
(disassembled) downstairs from the attic. At home I had to unload the van
single-handed. Went well, although I felt my back that evening ...

Today, I cleaned the rack, as all boxes were still on the floor. There
was little dust, the machine was well taken care of.
After the cleaning I mounted the hard disk drive on the slides. The hard
drive is a model 6101-S2 (12.5 MB fixed disk). On the top plate of the
hard disk is an 8" Qume floppy disk drive mounted. The hard disk and
the floppy disk form one unit, never seen this construction before!
The colored twisted-pair flatcable from the floppy drive goes to the
hard disk and another colored twisted-pair flat cable goes to the
NOVA 4/C computer, connecting on a paddle board using an edge connector.

See my website: 

After everything was connected I applied mains. The fans start to run,
so far so good. Then I switch on the NOVA and then the hard disk unit.
The POWER LED on the NOVA and on the hard disk is lit. I can hear the
hard disk "hum", and when the humming sound stops after a few seconds
the READY LED is lit.
However, when I press RESET on the NOVA and then PR.LOAD, the READY LED
on the disk flashes momentarily (brief), but nothing further happens.

On the disk drive are (behind the panel) two small switches. One has
the text "NORM" and "PROT", the other has several texts (forgotten),
but with that switch you can set the hard disk as device 0 and the
floppy drive device 1, or the hard disk as device 1 and the floppy
disk as device 0. Basically you can set the boot device, as the machine
starts from device 0. I have this from the accompanying documentation.

When I put that switch in the other position and press RESET and then
PR.LOAD on the NOVA, the floppy disk LED is lit for a few seconds,
but I do not hear a head load ("clunk"), nor head stepping sounds.
Of course, the floppy drive is loaded with a floppy disk. The label
on the floppy says "opstart" (Dutch for start up). As the floppy disk
access LED turn on, I guess that I can say that the NOVA itself is OK.

As far as I know, I have the BERG connector put back on the pins
where it was before I did the disassembly. That cable connects to the
terminal. The question might be whether it was on the correct pins
for starters. I do not get any character(s) on the Dasher D200 terminal
that came with the system. For that reason, I assume that the terminal
settings match the settings for the NOVA.

One more remark. On the hard disk is a red label glued. The text on
it says "remove 2 shipping brackets before operating unit unlock
pivot arm (see over)". On the rear side of the label is a drawing
that shows the "front left corner". At the side is a screw (???) to
lock/unlock the head(s). However, I just don't understand the drawing
and cannot localize that screw.
I mailed the previous owner whether he remembers something ...

Anybody has info on the 6101-S2 disk drive? A drawing of those
shipping rackets, and more info about head locks?

- Henk

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