SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Kostis Economid » Thu, 20 Jul 1995 04:00:00



We have a SPARCstation 5 with SunOS4.1.4 and a Toshiba XM3501TA CD-ROM
originally used on a PC. According to Toshiba, a hardware/firmware
conversion has to be made so that our CD-ROM can be used with the Sun.

The necessary conversion has been performed by the local dealer, but
when we tried to install SunOS4.1.4 from the CD-ROM, we got the
following messages, as soon as the system tried to write on the hard
disk:
esp0:   data transfer overrun
esp0:   Target 6.0 reducing sync. transfer rate
sr0:    SCSI transport failed: reason 'data_ovr': retrying
esp0:   data transfer overrun
esp0:   Target 6.0 reverting to async. mode
esp0:   data transfer overrun

... and the last message keeps appearing after every try

What is a bit strange is that we tried our CD-ROM on a PC and it
worked without any problems. So, either the conversion does not affect
the CD-ROM's compatibility with the PC or the intended conversion was
never performed in the first place by mistake ! (we cannot check that
as the involved technician is away on vacation)

I apologize if the following questions have already been answered
before, but I have just subscribed to this newsgroup ...

1.      Has anyone tried this conversion?

AFTER the conversion:

1.      Are any drivers needed or is the CD-ROM supported directly by
SunOS4.1.4 ?
2.      Is it possible to boot (install the OS) from the CD-ROM ?
3.      Is it possible to connect the CD-ROM directly and use it on a
PC ?
4.      Is it possible to use it on a PC via NFS ?

FINALLY, would we be better off buying Sun's internal CD-ROM (2X) and
keeping our Toshiba (4X) for PC use ?

Thank you in advance,

Kostis Economides

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Rahul Ro » Mon, 31 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Yes, I think it would be best to keep the TOSHIBA CDROM for PC use and get a
Sun CDROM for your Sun Machine......

Rahul Roy
Systems & Networks Engineer
Mercantile Software Systems, Inc.
(908)-981-1290 (Voice)
(908)-981-1646 (Fax)

--------------------------------------------------------------------
"Relativity eliminated the Newtonian illusion of absolute space and
time; quantum theory eliminated the the Newtonian dream of a
controllable measurement process; and chaos eliminated the Laplacian
fantasy of deterministic predictability"
--------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Ronald F. Guilmett » Fri, 04 Aug 1995 04:00:00


[ This follow-up is being cross-posted to comp.periphs.scsi. ]


>Yes, I think it would be best to keep the TOSHIBA CDROM for PC use and get a
>Sun CDROM for your Sun Machine......

>Rahul Roy
>Systems & Networks Engineer
>Mercantile Software Systems, Inc.
>(908)-981-1290 (Voice)
>(908)-981-1646 (Fax)


<<< flame mode on >>>

Bullshit.  The Sun units are grossly overpriced and are essentially
identical to what you can get at any well stocked PC store for less
than half the price that Sun asks for their's.

At least this was certainly true in the case of the 3401's, when I
looked into it about a year ago.

This is/was a blatant scam on the part of both Sun and Toshiba, both of
whom are apparently in cahoots on the whole deal.  (I know this first-hand
because I investigated the whole thing myself about a year ago, and I
tried to get Toshiba people to tell me which two traces I had to cut on
the PC board for the 3401 to make it work with my Sun.  That's right!
The only difference between the off-the-shelf PC model of the 3401 and
the Sun one is that to make an off-the-shelf PC version of the drive
work on a Sun, you had to open it up and cut two of the tiny traces...
which were engineered into the drive expressely for this purpose...
so that the drive would power up with a 512 byte block size, rather
than with the _normal_ power up block size for the PC world, i.e.
2048 bytes.

Now get this... When I asked a PC components *dealer* if he would tell
me which two traces to cut, he told me that this was secret information,
and that the only reason that _he_ even knew which two traces to cut was
because he had been specially licensed by Toshiba to have the knowledge.

Secret information indeed!  They didn't want the public to know about how
their customer (Sun) was gouging people.

I asked people at SunExpress why they were selling the drive for around
$800 while the virtually identical PC model has a street price of about
$300.  They were unable to explain this.  More importantly however, I
asked them why, after PeeCee SCSI CD-ROM drives had been on the market
for so many years already and after the PeeCee industry had already settled

operating systems still could not cope with a CD-ROM drive which powered-up
with a 2048 byte block size.

Obviously, they were unable to answer this question also.

Anyway, this whole thing pissed me off so much that I was determined NOT
to let Sun gouge me for a CD-ROM drive so I kept asking about the drives
in comp.unix.solaris.  Eventually, some nice fellow in Germany wrote me
back and said that he would mail me a photocopy of an article which had
appeared in a German computer magazine which explained exactly how to
convert a PC version of the 3401 for use on a Sun (i.e. it told which
two traces to cut).  I had it translated to English by a friend of mine
who is a native German, and then, with all of the information in hand,
I had a local electronics repair shop wire up a small double-pole double-
throw switch on those two traces so that I could use the drive on _either_
my PeeCee or on my Sun (with a flip of the switch).  That cost me around
40 bucks.  (I could have done it myself, but my eyesight isn't as good
as it used to be, and the traces that needed to be fiddled were REALLY
tiny.)

I ended up saving myself a lot of money, and now I have a CD-ROM drive
that can work on either a PC or a Sun.

It still makes me mad that Sun hasn't managed to get their OSes and
their boot proms to accomodate 2048 byte-per-block CD-ROM drives...
or have they?  (I haven't been paying attention to this subject for about
10 months now.)  Anyway, this isn't rocket science we are talking about
here.  It was obvious to me at the time that the primary reason that
they hadn't yet adapted their software to 2kb blocksizes was that they
were far too pleased with the status quo... i.e. being able to charge
people 800 bucks for a $300 drive.

So much for open industry-standard interfaces!  Humph!

<<< flame mode off >>>

P.S.  I'm not a Sun hater.  Sun sells many very fine software and hardware
products.  My primary development machine is a Sun.  They have been real
pioneers in this industry and I thank God for companies like Sun, SGI,
HP, and IBM for their valiant resistance to the Evil Empire in Redmond.
But giving people good value on every part of your product line is
something that _everyone_ in this business ought to be doing.  (I'm
also pissed off at HP for charging me 35 bucks for two measly 4mm DAT
cleaning tapes.  Now try to tell me that 90% of _that_ isn't profit!)
--

-- Ron Guilmette, Roseville, CA ---------- RG Consulting -------------------

-------------------------------------------- Suites and Bullet-Proof Shoes -

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Arne Schirmach » Fri, 11 Aug 1995 04:00:00



: [ This follow-up is being cross-posted to comp.periphs.scsi. ]


...

: <<< flame mode on >>>

...

: The only difference between the off-the-shelf PC model of the 3401 and
: the Sun one is that to make an off-the-shelf PC version of the drive
: work on a Sun, you had to open it up and cut two of the tiny traces...
: which were engineered into the drive expressely for this purpose...

...

: I ended up saving myself a lot of money, and now I have a CD-ROM drive
: that can work on either a PC or a Sun.

I have bought a Plextor CDROM drive about a year ago. It came with a dip
switch and can be switched to either Sun mode or PC/Mac mode.

If Sun is unable to provide proper CDROM drivers, a dip switch on the CDROM
drive is the correct approach.

I am going to buy a Plextor drive again.

--
                                |  Pix Software GmbH
Arne Schirmacher                |  Apple Macintosh and Sun Solaris
                                |  software development and consulting

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Toerless Ecke » Sat, 12 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Ronald: I can understand your anger quite well. I've gone through the
same kind of experience myself. Simply stated: Product marketing
based on "need to know" kinda obfuscation is sick and i try to avoid
products whenever possible where these kind of user unfriendly
handling is applied to.

Some facts: The doublespeed CD-ROM 3401, 4401 are as to my knowledge
the last Toshiba CD-ROM drive where a universal firmware is deployed
which can be changed between 2048/512 byte blocksize by mean of the
solders. Be aware that even though these solders are also on the 3501 and
3601 motherboards they do not have any function there.

I don't think that sun ever sold the 3401 nor sun express. They previously
sold the Sony CDU561 double speed drive and now they sell the 4401.

Openboot v2.0 (available since sun4c) can correclty boot with a 2048 byte
blocksize cd-rom. The sr cdrom driver in sunos 4.1.x can be compiled for
2048 byte blocksize and will work correctly with hsfs cd-roms then.
I think it does not work with ufs cdroms though. never bothered to look
into this. I havn't seen an option for 2048 byte blocksize in the solaris
sd driver which the cdrom uses there. On solaris x86 it's only 2048 bytes
so i'm not sure where sun broke it in solaris. At least when using a
2048 byte cdrom /kernel/unix boots fine but then it gets block
overruns.

As for cd-roms to buy: Buy plextor, they do have an officially documented
jumper for 2048/512.

Toerless
---

    /C=de/A=d400/P=uni-erlangen/OU=informatik/S=Eckert/G=Toerless/
                   ATM - Another Terrible Mistake

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by JCarr378 » Sun, 13 Aug 1995 04:00:00


sun tells me they sell a driver for $7500 that will run any cdrom on
solaris 2.4. no kiddding $7500. at some email address in canada.
powerstar inc.
gaithersburg maryland
800-209-5556
fax 301-948-0715
 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Juergen Ke » Sun, 13 Aug 1995 04:00:00



> sun tells me they sell a driver for $7500 that will run any cdrom on
> solaris 2.4. no kiddding $7500. at some email address in canada.
> powerstar inc.

Hmm, we sell such a driver for under $50.  Have a look at
http://www.tools.de/Work/CDXA/index.html or send an email to

--

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Joerg Schilli » Mon, 14 Aug 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>Openboot v2.0 (available since sun4c) can correclty boot with a 2048 byte
>blocksize cd-rom. The sr cdrom driver in sunos 4.1.x can be compiled for
>2048 byte blocksize and will work correctly with hsfs cd-roms then.

That's wrong :-(

1)      The SunOS sr driver has a bug when you compile it with the
        2048 byte option!! It returns the wrong device size
        - you will only be able to access 1/4 of the total size of the media.

2)      The hfs filesystem code will (at least on sun4m systems) try to read
        less than 2048 bytes if you try to read files that have a remainder
        of 1536 or less when the size of those files is divided by 2048.
        This will result in I/O error whan reading the end of those files.

--
Private:J?rg Schilling Seestr. 110 D-13353 Berlin      (030)452 55 85


If you don't have iso-8859-1 chars my name is           J"org Schilling

 
 
 

SunOS4.1.4 Compatibility with TOSHIBA XM3501TA CD-ROM

Post by Juergen Ke » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00




> Openboot v2.0 (available since sun4c) can correclty boot with a 2048 byte
> blocksize cd-rom.

Our old SS2 machines with a boot prom rev 2.0 can definitely *not*
load the bootcode and kernel from a 2048 bytes / scsi block cd-rom.

The lowest boot prom rev. we have that can load a kernel from such a
cdrom drive has rev 2.4.
--

 
 
 

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