[TUHS] Bringing up any 4.3BSD on a MicroVAX without tape....

robertdkeys at aol.com robertdkeys at aol.com
Wed Oct 19 13:00:34 AEST 2005

Hello to the list, from a lurker, supposedly retired, but....
having run across one last MVIII crate for a lowly buck,
in surplus..... you know the rest.   It just has to run some
form of ancient BSD again.....(:+}}.....

Anyway, it is sans tape, and all my TK50 cartridges have
decomposed to dusty oxide, so it will have be resurrected
from something other than tape.

As luck has it, it has a scsi controller, and I happened to
have a scsi floppy from a decishbox long since gone to
the great bit crusher in the sky.  So, with some prodding
it booted off a NetBSD 1.4.1 vax floppy and was made
to run NetBSD 1.4.3 as a starter, to get the rest of the
early BSD bits onto the machine.  After making fsck trip
all over itself, and pushing some Tahoe and Reno bits
onto it, it now RUNS Tahoe (q0c variety) or Reno (archive
variety) quite happily.

The problem is that it won't install boot blocks that work.
None of the raboot/rdboot/bootra/bootrd combos get
any farther than the cryptic "loading boot" message.
The machine locks up hard then.  Yet, I can boot and run
things fine off a NetBSD 1.1A VAX tk50 boot file ("stand")
dd'd to that lonely scsi floppy off the far end of the bus,
with the usual b/3 duaX.... followed by "ra0a" as the root
and ^D to multiuser baby.  Years ago, the first time around,
I had this working fine, but, when I backed up the then
running system, I forgot (like a dummy) to dd off a set of
working boot blocks or a working bootable root.  Ahh, stupid

The nearest that I can tell is that it is not writing (using the
disklabel executable) a correct set of block addresses to
find the real /boot and kernel.  Once, however done, the
kernel is actually loaded, it runs fine (like off NetBSD tape
boot "stand").

Any of you old timers got any thoughts as to where my suite
is going afoul of the real way?  It is probably something quite
simple, but, my greymatters just can't seem to get it figured
out.  Any insights are appreciated.


Bob Keys
Olde Pfarte with too many VAXentoyz.....(:+}}.....

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