Summary addendum: Using Sun 3/160 SCSI board for real SCSI drive?

From: Rob Scott (zeke@mpl.UCSD.EDU)
Date: Wed Jan 13 1993 - 12:07:05 CST


After I posted my initial summary about using an embedded SCSI drive on
a Sun 3/160 with the internal SCSI board, I received an additional reply
from Stefan Mochnacki <> that probably
is the solution to at least my particular case. I felt it important
enough to post this addendum.

Briefly, my initial post:
>> After removing the factory installed ST-506 disks, tape drive, and their
>> controller boards from a very old Sun 3/160, I installed a Micropolis
>> 1578 SCSI drive attached to the internal SCSI cable.
>> When I try and access the drive, I can get to only parts of it successfully.
>> Accessing the drive always yields a large amount of message like:
>> "sd0: Excessive soft errors! Check drive."
>> Some partitions can only be partially accessed, and attempts to access
>> them meets with failure and the message:
>> "sd0h error: sense key(0x3): media error, error code(0x11): hard data error"
>> "sd0h: read retry, block 531937 (142912 relative)"
>> for various sectors.
My initial summary:
>> The general concensus was that I should have no problems using a standard
>> SCSI disk with the internal Sun SCSI interface card. There are several
>> caveats, however, and they are listed here in order of importance:
>> 1) most Sun-2/Sun-3 SCSI cards don't supply termination power to the
>> TRMPWR line on the SCSI bus. Only very late engineering rev
>> cards supply power (if your's does it will have a fuse on
>> the card). Make sure that your disk is supplying termination
>> power (most disks have a jumper to enable/disable this).
>> 2) Make sure that there isn't double termination if you leave the
>> tape drive in and working. The tape drive controller card
>> is usually where the termination is in these older systems.
>> 3) Sun/OS 3.5 probably won't work with a real SCSI drive attached
>> to the SCSI card. This wasn't a problem for me, since I'm
>> running 4.1.1.

Stefan sent me several suggestions (all but one covered above), but included
one that I had neglected in my troubleshooting:

    The ROM in the 3/160 may need to be upgraded (means a new motherboard
    is you are on a maintenance contract).

This is likely my particular problem, since I believe that my VME cage
serial number is #31, and to my knowledge the CPU card has never had to
be exchanged because of failure.

     Rob Scott, System Administrator for the Marine Physical Laboratory
            Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
    Internet: Cserve: 76176,637 Voice: (619)534-5503

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