[rescue] VAXstation questions

Jochen Kunz jkunz at unixag-kl.fh-kl.de
Tue May 13 10:50:06 CDT 2003

On 2003.05.13 16:58 Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:

[VAXstation 2000]
> Does this thing support SCSI ?
Yes and no. It has a SCSI port, but DEC intended to use this for tape
drives (TK50Z) only. You can connect disks to this SCSI port and use
them once the OS is loaded. NetBSD supports this SCSI port out of the
box, you need special drivers for VMS. You can not boot from SCSI disks.
Normally. But there are ROM patches that make SCSI disks bootable in the
VS2k bootable. I have this patches installed. I saw the VS2k of a friend
booting VMS from a SCSI disk but NetBSD can't boot due to lack of
support in the bootblocks.

> There is a 50 pin connector on the
> mainboard (which I have removed).
That is the SCSI port.

> There is also a 60 pin and 20 pin connector
That is a MFM / floppy interface. You can connect a RDxx MFM disk and a
RX50/RX33 floppy internaly and a second RDxx externaly.

You can eg. mount a Seagate ST251, format it with the in ROM formater
for booting the NetBSD kernel and mount an additional SCSI disk with the
actual root file system.

Note that the VS2k is the only VAX which can format RDxx MFM drives from
its own ROM. All other VAX (and PDP-11) systems need special diag
software for this. Using a VS2k as RQDXx "format engine" is a common

> If this thing supports internal SCSI, would a VAXstation 2000 support
> a SCSI CDROM drive ?
With NetBSD it should support every CDROM drive that any other NetBSD
machine supports.

> Will this support the latest OpenVMS ?
Sorry, I am a UNIX only head. ;-)
But given the "poor" performance of 0.9 VUPs (== 0.9 MIPS) and only a
few MB RAM you should use a VMS from the same period as the machine.

> There seems to be room for an expansion card on the motherboard in the
> area above the drive bays... looks like it would take a decent size
> board.... any idea what this expansion slot is ????
You can connect the "GPX" 4 / 8 bit plane color graphics option or a 8
port (?) serial option. Do you have the Ethernet option?

> What are the memory options in these critters ?
It has 2 MB on the main board. There are several RAM options available
from 2 MB to 14 MB. The later one only from Clearpoint (?) together with
a ROM update.


Homepage: http://www.unixag-kl.fh-kl.de/~jkunz/

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