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Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

 
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PackRatter
Occasional Contributor

Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

End user has a DEC 3000 M300X Alpha computer on VMS 7.x.  I have to do an image backup of the two internal hard drives.  It looks as though there was an internal CDROM drive once, but now there is a piece of duct tape over the opening.  The CDROM drive is external and its SCSI address 4. I did a 'show dev' and see ESA0, DKA100 and DKA300 (internal hard drives), and DKA400, the CDROM.  CDROM works fine as I was able to boot from CD and get to the boot menu.

The only DAT tape drive I have is a Quantum STD6401LW with two Micro DB68 male connectors on the back.  One connector has a terminator.

So I remove the terminator on the CDROM drive and connect the Centronics end there and the Micro 68 pin end to the rear of the DAT tape drive.  I leave the DAT drive terminator in place..  BTW, DAT drive is addressed as "5".

I then look at the screen and the mouse is frozen.  Can't do anything.  I dicsonnect everything and reconnect as original and am able to perform the Shutdown command.  Power down and unplug the computer and external drives.  Reconnect everything back up as in the previous paragraph and reboot.

At the SCSI line in the boot POST, I see "SCSI         ??  002  0004".

Then when I do a "sh dev" all I see is ESA0.

Maybe the vintage of this computer does not support the 68 pin cabling of the DAT drive I brought.  Perhaps I need a  50 pin cable instead of 68. 

Does anyone have any ideas?   Thanks you in advance...

 

8 REPLIES 8
Highlighted
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

> [...] DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

   That's older than any of my junk, so all I know is what I read on
this new Interweb thing, but...

> I have to do an image backup of the two internal hard drives.

   Why?  What, exactly, is the problem which you are trying to solve?
Can you attach an external SCSI disk, and back up to that?

> I did a 'show dev' and see ESA0, DKA100 and DKA300 (internal hard
> drives), and DKA400, the CDROM.

   ESA0 is the Ethernet, not a SCSI device.  What's the SCSI ID of the
adapter itself?  (6 or 7, perhaps?)  Sounds as if SCSI IDs 0 and 2 are
also free.

> [...] DAT drive is addressed as "5".

   With any luck, the adapter's not also at 5.  Does this thing have a
"show scsi" command?

> [...] connect the Centronics end there and the Micro 68 pin end [...]

   You're talking here about some cable?

> [...] Quantum STD6401LW [...]

   Seems to be a wide, Ultra2 SCSI drive.  I would not bet that you
could use it with an old, narrow, "fast" SCSI adapter.  (But I wouldn't
rule it out, either.)

> [...] mouse is frozen [...]

   That's why this sort of play is normally done after an OS shutdown
(and with the power off).

   There's almost no limit to the number of wrong ways to configure
random SCSI hardware.  You have an old, narrow adapter, mysterious
cabling, and mysterious termination, possibly worse.

> Maybe the vintage of this computer does not support the 68 pin cabling
> of the DAT drive I brought. [...]

   Likely.  You can't make sixteen data bits out of eight.  Perhaps the
drive will work with eight, if everything's terminated properly, but I
know too little to say.  And I have no idea what your terminator does,
or that cable, or how long your total cable length is, and so on.

   I'd probably start trying to attach different obsolete SCSI devices
with different characteristics to this thing, in the hope of determining
whether you can get any non-original device(s) to work with the
available cables and terminators.

> [...] VMS 7.x.

   Posting a pointer to this thread in the VMS forum might gather more
(possibly better) advice, too.

Highlighted
PackRatter
Occasional Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

Thanks for the quick reply...kind of a forum virgin here, so how do I point my post to the VMS forum?

Highlighted
PackRatter
Occasional Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

> [...] DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

   That's older than any of my junk, so all I know is what I read on
this new Interweb thing, but...

> I have to do an image backup of the two internal hard drives.

   Why?  What, exactly, is the problem which you are trying to solve?
Can you attach an external SCSI disk, and back up to that?

I am trying to image the hard drives to an external DAT drive, but cannot get that connected. It is not recognized when I do a 'sh dev'

> I did a 'show dev' and see ESA0, DKA100 and DKA300 (internal hard
> drives), and DKA400, the CDROM.

   ESA0 is the Ethernet, not a SCSI device.  What's the SCSI ID of the
adapter itself?  (6 or 7, perhaps?)  Sounds as if SCSI IDs 0 and 2 are
also free.

I may try SCSI address 0 and / or 2

 

> [...] DAT drive is addressed as "5".

   With any luck, the adapter's not also at 5.  Does this thing have a
"show scsi" command?

I will try a 'show scsi' command and see what it produces

> [...] connect the Centronics end there and the Micro 68 pin end [...]

   You're talking here about some cable?

Yes, the cable I brought on site to connect the external CDROM to the DAT tape drive I brought along also. 

> [...] Quantum STD6401LW [...]

   Seems to be a wide, Ultra2 SCSI drive.  I would not bet that you
could use it with an old, narrow, "fast" SCSI adapter.  (But I wouldn't
rule it out, either.)

Hopefully that is the easy answer and I will look for a compatible DAT drive...with an old narrow "fast" SCSI adapter port.

> [...] mouse is frozen [...]

   That's why this sort of play is normally done after an OS shutdown
(and with the power off).

   There's almost no limit to the number of wrong ways to configure
random SCSI hardware.  You have an old, narrow adapter, mysterious
cabling, and mysterious termination, possibly worse.

> Maybe the vintage of this computer does not support the 68 pin cabling
> of the DAT drive I brought. [...]

   Likely.  You can't make sixteen data bits out of eight.  Perhaps the
drive will work with eight, if everything's terminated properly, but I
know too little to say.  And I have no idea what your terminator does,
or that cable, or how long your total cable length is, and so on.

Is there a way to send pics to this site?  I have pics.

   I'd probably start trying to attach different obsolete SCSI devices
with different characteristics to this thing, in the hope of determining
whether you can get any non-original device(s) to work with the
available cables and terminators.

> [...] VMS 7.x.

   Posting a pointer to this thread in the VMS forum might gather more
(possibly better) advice, too.

How do I point this thread to a VMS forum?  Kind of a newbie here!

Highlighted
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

    I don't know.  In principle, a moderator could move it, but I don't
know how to request that.  This _is_ an appropriate forum for your
problem, so it doesn't cry out to be moved, it's only that the audience
may be larger in the VMS forums.  I'd probably just post a brief summary
in a VMS forum, and provide the URL for this thread.  Perhaps "Hardware":
       http://community.hpe.com/t5/Hardware/bd-p/itrc-292

Highlighted
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

> I am trying to image the hard drives to an external DAT drive, [...]

   That says _what_ you're doing, not _why_.  You might have better luck
with an (old) external disk than with this tape drive.  Why tape?  Why
DAT?  Why anything?

   I believe that I've used wide disks (typically SCA 80-pin with
SCA-to-50-pin adapters) on narrow and/or slow SCSI buses, but any of my
wide tape drives have been connected to wide buses, so I can't say
what's likely that way.

> Is there a way to send pics to this site? I have pics.

   You should be able to attach files when you post.  Look for a
"Browse..." button (which is not labeled "attachment", or anything
suggestive of a good forum interface design) below the "Body" box.
Apparently, only a small number of filename extentions is allowed, but
they're things like ".jpg", so you're probably ok there.  (You can
attach anything; you only need to _name_ it like a picture. Duh.)

Highlighted
Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

Did you connect / disconnect the devices and open the bus while the system was up and running?

A glitch may destroy several components ... don't do this.


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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Highlighted
PackRatter
Occasional Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

Perhaps I was lucky.  I was able to reconnect all cabling as found (after removing power), and the Alpha rebooted OK and I was able to start my program.

Thanks for the heads up.

Highlighted
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting DAT tape drive locks up DEC 3000 M300X ALPHA

   The product literature which I found on the Web:

http://www.quantum.com/products/tapedrives/dat-dds/dds-4/index.aspx
http://downloads.quantum.com/Certance/manuals/userguides/user_guide_cd72lwx_stdx401lw_en.pdf

which might apply to your drive model, suggests that it's an Ultra2 LVD
drive, which should at least be harmless on an old single-ended SCSI
bus, and, with appropriate cables/adapters/termination might actually
work with this old system.

   If I really wanted to make this tape drive work on this system, then
I might start by opening the tape drive enclosure, and disconnecting the
internal (ribbon?) cable from the drive.  Then, I'd attach the new
cable, the (effectively) empty drive box, and the new terminator to the
computer, and see if it can still see the other SCSI devices on the bus.
If that arrangement fails, then I'd worry about the
cable/enclosure/termination more than about the drive itself.

   Is this a (fancy) active terminator?  Does it have an LED which
indicates that it's getting power?  Does any of this hardware say
"differential" (HVD, not LVD) on it anywhere?  (HVD = plain-old
differential would be bad, assuming that the adapter and the disks are
all single-ended.)