SUMMARY: NEC CDR-25 CD-ROM under 4.1.3

From: Anthony Yen (
Date: Fri Sep 03 1993 - 17:20:27 CDT

Original Message:

> Sun-Managers:
> I would like to hear of any experiences people have had with getting a
> NEC CDR-25 SCSI CD-ROM drive to work with a SPARC box running 4.1.3,
> and if you were successful, if you had to do anything to the kernel or
> whatever. Some place called Corporate Systems Center is offering these
> units for $159 (sounds like they're refurbished, so I would check to
> see if there is a manufacturer's warranty on it). I thought that one
> of these would be great for walking around the site I administer to
> load a new OS image, etc. I know the drive is slow as death, but I'm
> not looking for speed here, just the ability to walk around instead of
> schlepping machines back and forth to my server.
> Corporate Systems Center
> 1294 Hammerwood Avenue
> Sunnyvale, CA 94089
> (408) 734-DISK
> (408) 745-1816
> The mini-catalog I received from them says their prices are good for
> only 30 days. They also had some new Seagate ST1239N 207Mb 3.5" form
> factor drives for $219. Sounds like a fly-by-night outfit to me, but
> hey, if I can get a low-maintenance item like that CD-ROM drive for
> that cheap, it would be worth it (right now, I have to haul machines
> over to the server's CD-ROM---and no, I can't load the OS over the net,
> my users go bezerk if they can't use their machines for even a moment)
> As usual, I'll summarize back to the list.
> Anthony Yen - SPARC Sysadmin - Department of Economics - UT/Austin
> ECB 3.138, MS#63100 - 471-3211 ext 170 -


        Steve Jones <> (Birger A. Wathne) (Todd L. Kindig) (Mark Kosters)


As it turns out, CSC is extremely reputable. Very competitive pricing
(not rock bottom, but pricing is usually not #1 on my list, after many
painful years of experience), and highly knowledgeable staff. I was
slightly roasted for my flippant remark about them being a
"fly-by-night", so that gives you an idea of how loyal their customers
are :-).

As far as the NEC unit itself, I have not received any concrete
information. A couple people wrote that I should check that the CD-ROM
PROM is Sun-compatible (i.e., it would handle the weird Sun block size
for Sun-bootable discs), pointing out at the same time that modifying
the kernel is no help if I'm looking for a boot disc. I would be
pleasantly surprised if NEC still supported this dinosaur in these days
of multispins, and actually had a PROM that would take that batty block
size. I'm rather grim about this outcome however, and only hope that
the CSC staff can come up with something for me. If anyone has any
information regards this, please let me know and I'll resummarize.

One respondent suggested that I haul around a 207Mb Winchester
instead. This is a very attractive option (fast, no post-processing
for locally-applied patches, and easy to use), but for one problem:
price. But thanks for reminding me of that option; it goes into next
year's budget request :-).

One respondent was interested in the summary, so I would assume that
there are at least a fair number of people that are in the same
situation as I am.

Thanks to all who responded!

Anthony Yen - SPARC Sysadmin - Department of Economics - UT/Austin
ECB 3.138, MS#63100 - 471-3211 ext 170 -

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