Data General NOVA 4/C help

Bruce Ray Bruce at
Sat Oct 17 16:06:05 CDT 2015

I will reply off-list as usual...


On 10/17/2015 2:16 PM, Henk Gooijen wrote:
> 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?
> Thanks,
> - Henk

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