|> Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2005 16:00:53 -0500 (EST)
|> From: Dan Lanciani
|> To: info-pdp11@village.org
|> Subject: Re: Need help with formatting RD53 and installing Micro RSX
|> |Nope. The RQDX3 "normally" requires some basic information already on the
|> |disk before it's usable.
|> I've formatted an RD54 that was previously used on a PC (with an incompatible
|> format) on an RQDX3 so I'm not sure this is true. I think I was able to do
|> this with just the customer diagnostic (as opposed to the maintenance one).
|What hardware/software platform?

The hardware was certainly a MVII, but the software is the question. The
reason I think it was the customer diagnostic is that I remember being
surprised that it worked. I also tried to format a generic XT2190 and
that did not work, failing after grinding for a very long time. But I
tried to format that disk with the maintenance diagnostic and that failed
as well. So I figured either the disk was bad or I was answering the
formatter's questions incorrectly.

|The customer diagnostic tape for the
|MicroVAX II definitely was not capable of formatting raw disk drives on
|an RQDX3. I spent many half-hours waiting for that TK50 tape to load,
|and then being told that it couldn't format the disk. Why did I do it
|more than once? I was trying to find the secret formula that would
|change the tape so as to unlock the maintenance diagnostics.

I didn't realize that there was such a formula. Happily a DEC field
service guy left the maintenance diagnostic tape lying around one time
and we archived it. There were a few different versions of the customer
diagnostic. I wonder if some of them were more friendly about this than
others? It's getting difficult for me to test any of these theories since
most of my TK50 drives have become unusable and I don't have any other
MSCP tape drives to boot from.

Dan Lanciani
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