Using USB storage - VMS

This is a discussion on Using USB storage - VMS ; I'm trying to set myself up to use external USB storage for system backups. Maybe I'm expecting a bit much, but in any case I'm floundering a bit here, so a couple questions. I have the following: - RX2620, running ...

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Thread: Using USB storage

  1. Using USB storage

    I'm trying to set myself up to use external USB storage for system
    backups. Maybe I'm expecting a bit much, but in any case I'm
    floundering a bit here, so a couple questions.

    I have the following:

    - RX2620, running 8.3
    - USB thumb drive (PNY brand, 2GB) and a
    - I/O Magic USB disk enclosure holding a Western Digital WD400
    "Caviar" IDE drive.

    Question: To use the thumb drive, I seem to have to INITIALIZE it-
    correct?

    That part works. When I try to INIT the 40GB disk, it hangs; kill the
    process and it goes MWAIT; shortly after, the machine reboots. Nothing
    seems to get written to the HD- it's fine and works quite well from my
    PC. Should I remove the Windows partition first?


  2. Re: Using USB storage


    To use as a backup device you need to format them to
    VMS format. Trust me that will wipe out any FAT, GPT or other
    data put down Windows. The most likely problem with the
    init is the disk is not returning geometry data. Some disk
    need to be spun up to do that others do not. My bet is this
    is one that does. The existing USB disk driver does not spin
    up the disk by default.

    Here is a trick you can try. Do a mount/for this will
    probably fail in 20-30 seconds. Try it a couple of times in a
    row if the disk mounts, dismount it and then do the init and
    mount it again.

    In a future after V8.3-1h1 release the USB disk driver
    will address this problem.

    Understand that what you are doing is not supported and
    at the write speed you can get from USB 1.1 backing up a couple of
    giga-bytes of data takes a long time.


    Forrest
    Dean Woodward wrote:
    >
    > I'm trying to set myself up to use external USB storage for system
    > backups. Maybe I'm expecting a bit much, but in any case I'm
    > floundering a bit here, so a couple questions.
    >
    > I have the following:
    >
    > - RX2620, running 8.3
    > - USB thumb drive (PNY brand, 2GB) and a
    > - I/O Magic USB disk enclosure holding a Western Digital WD400
    > "Caviar" IDE drive.
    >
    > Question: To use the thumb drive, I seem to have to INITIALIZE it-
    > correct?
    >
    > That part works. When I try to INIT the 40GB disk, it hangs; kill the
    > process and it goes MWAIT; shortly after, the machine reboots. Nothing
    > seems to get written to the HD- it's fine and works quite well from my
    > PC. Should I remove the Windows partition first?


  3. Re: Using USB storage

    Somewhat related: What exactly is in the "partition table" when you
    $ INITIALIZE/GPT a disk? (used for Itanic system disks to fool the boot
    firmware that it's a partitioned disk, not an unpartitioned VMS disk)?
    I ask this because I have a VMS-formatted thumb drive, and I recently had
    a need for a thumb drive to transfer files from a PC. I was already using
    the thumb drive for VMS files for an Itanic and couldn't use it for the
    PC.

    Later I got to thinking "wouldn't it be cool" if the thumb drive was
    initted/GPT and tinkered with, so there was a VMS "partition" and a
    Windoze partition. You could mount a 2GB thumbdrive on VMS and use the
    1GB VMS area and Windoze would recognize its separate 1GB area if inserted
    into a Windoze system, for example. Each OS would know not to touch the
    other's area. (presumably the VMS part would appear to be in a separate
    partition to Windows, and the Windows stuff might be in a 1GB DONTTOUCH.DAT
    container file to VMS or something)

    I plugged the $INIT/GPT thumbdrive into a PC and looked at it with some
    partition software, and it didn't understand it. I know that VMS creates
    a [000000]GPT.SYS which occupies the first and last N blocks of the drive
    and the partition stuff is in there.

  4. Re: Using USB storage


    The code that builds the GPT's and sets up the parttition that
    is in V8.3 is just good enough to allow us to boot. There are a number
    of fixes in the pipeline that will improve that. I know that there are
    remedial kits in the work. But I do not know when they will ship.


    Forrest

    Michael Moroney wrote:
    >
    > Somewhat related: What exactly is in the "partition table" when you
    > $ INITIALIZE/GPT a disk? (used for Itanic system disks to fool the boot
    > firmware that it's a partitioned disk, not an unpartitioned VMS disk)?
    > I ask this because I have a VMS-formatted thumb drive, and I recently had
    > a need for a thumb drive to transfer files from a PC. I was already using
    > the thumb drive for VMS files for an Itanic and couldn't use it for the
    > PC.
    >
    > Later I got to thinking "wouldn't it be cool" if the thumb drive was
    > initted/GPT and tinkered with, so there was a VMS "partition" and a
    > Windoze partition. You could mount a 2GB thumbdrive on VMS and use the
    > 1GB VMS area and Windoze would recognize its separate 1GB area if inserted
    > into a Windoze system, for example. Each OS would know not to touch the
    > other's area. (presumably the VMS part would appear to be in a separate
    > partition to Windows, and the Windows stuff might be in a 1GB DONTTOUCH.DAT
    > container file to VMS or something)
    >
    > I plugged the $INIT/GPT thumbdrive into a PC and looked at it with some
    > partition software, and it didn't understand it. I know that VMS creates
    > a [000000]GPT.SYS which occupies the first and last N blocks of the drive
    > and the partition stuff is in there.


  5. Re: Using USB storage

    On 2007-11-02 16:54, "Forrest Kenney" wrote:

    > [...]
    >
    > 3) Do a backup/image for a working system or installation
    > kit to the pen drive. Make sure the system you are running
    > backup on has the new EFI$CP and SETBOOT code.
    >
    > 4) REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS NOT SUPPORTED. If it works
    > great if not do not log a problem report or call the
    > support centers about it.


    I guess building a "standalone environment" on such a pen drive would be
    worth being "officially supported" -- kind of a "last resort".

    Michael

    --
    Real names enhance the probability of getting real answers.
    My e-mail account at DECUS Munich is no longer valid.

  6. Re: Using USB storage

    Michael Unger writes:
    > On 2007-11-02 16:54, "Forrest Kenney" wrote:


    >> 4) REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS NOT SUPPORTED. If it works
    >> great if not do not log a problem report or call the
    >> support centers about it.

    >
    > I guess building a "standalone environment" on such a pen drive would be
    > worth being "officially supported" -- kind of a "last resort".


    That's what the distribution DVD is for . . .

    --

    Rob Brooks MSL -- Nashua brooks!cuebid.zko.hp.com

  7. Re: Using USB storage


    Facinating question. In theory, you should be able to do it. But it takes
    more than just a INIT/GPT, because the partition table will tell Windows
    that there is a single partition that covers the entire volume and when it
    looks at the partition, it will not find a file system it understands.

    After the init, you need to use SYS$SYSTEM:EFI$CP to create
    sys$loadable_images:sys$efi.sys and optionally
    sys$maintenance:sys$diagnostics.sys

    The EFI$CP command would look something like:
    efi$cp> init/create/size=256000/contig/dev=a: /label=host
    sys$loadable_images:sys$efi.sys

    I believe there is a limit of 4gb for the partition (FAT16)

    The you need to run SYS$SYSTEM:SETBOOT to update the GPT.

    Now the GPT has a number of partitions, one (or two) of which point to FAT16
    formatted partitions. Windows "should" be able to see those partitions.




    "Michael Moroney" wrote in message
    news:fgdkkj$2ds$1@pcls6.std.com...
    > Somewhat related: What exactly is in the "partition table" when you
    > $ INITIALIZE/GPT a disk? (used for Itanic system disks to fool the boot
    > firmware that it's a partitioned disk, not an unpartitioned VMS disk)?
    > I ask this because I have a VMS-formatted thumb drive, and I recently had
    > a need for a thumb drive to transfer files from a PC. I was already using
    > the thumb drive for VMS files for an Itanic and couldn't use it for the
    > PC.
    >
    > Later I got to thinking "wouldn't it be cool" if the thumb drive was
    > initted/GPT and tinkered with, so there was a VMS "partition" and a
    > Windoze partition. You could mount a 2GB thumbdrive on VMS and use the
    > 1GB VMS area and Windoze would recognize its separate 1GB area if inserted
    > into a Windoze system, for example. Each OS would know not to touch the
    > other's area. (presumably the VMS part would appear to be in a separate
    > partition to Windows, and the Windows stuff might be in a 1GB
    > DONTTOUCH.DAT
    > container file to VMS or something)
    >
    > I plugged the $INIT/GPT thumbdrive into a PC and looked at it with some
    > partition software, and it didn't understand it. I know that VMS creates
    > a [000000]GPT.SYS which occupies the first and last N blocks of the drive
    > and the partition stuff is in there.




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