View Full Version : IBM RT AOS / SAUTIL disk image

November 26th, 2014, 11:37 PM
Hey guys,

Desperately after the SAUTIL disk image - part of AOS 4.3 for the IBM RT.

AIX 2.2.1 VRM installer - FORMAT doesn't like drives that have been formatted on something that wasn't an RT
IBM PC RT Diagnostics - FORMAT doesn't like drives that don't have an IBM configuration record on them
IDE Prep Tool - needs a graphics card (not sure why, but MDA not supported)
SAUTIL for AOS - apparently does a blind format and can fix all the things (allowing the VRM and AIX to go back on after)

So if I want to use my spare Miniscribe 9380E ESDI (which is responding and configured correctly) in the machine - I badly need a copy of that AOS disk.

So pretty pretty please, anyone got disk images for AOS? I only need the SAUTIL disk, but if provided with a full set I'll host them for others. It seems AOS 4.3 (the BSD port) was very popular with RT's owned by enthusiasts - so I'm really really hoping somebody has something.


November 27th, 2014, 08:34 PM
Found one.

But it still wont write the configuration record - bright side is the messages are more detailed - so I know the drive is sending back the right stuff (DRIVE READY, SEEK DONE) etc it's just supposed to be either blank or have valid data.

Anyone have any "top tips" on how to zero the first 100 sectors?

November 28th, 2014, 01:25 PM
The drive needs the correct low-level format on it before the controller can even find one sector. Don't just try to write the configuration record, go all the way through the full initialization process. Since it was (apparently) not installed last in another RT, you need to LLF.

Al Kossow
November 28th, 2014, 02:53 PM
The drive needs the correct low-level format on it before the controller can even find one sector. Don't just try to write the configuration record, go all the way through the full initialization process. Since it was (apparently) not installed last in another RT, you need to LLF.

Is the low-level format the same between all of the models of RT ESDI adapters?

November 28th, 2014, 05:28 PM
Yeah unfortunately I don't have an option to blindly format the drive, I have to use IBM's tools. From what I gathered, the system is able to find the sectors as the drive is running in hard sector mode. In soft sector mode I had the errors you'd expect from a non-LLF'd drive (error reading sector 0 head 0 cylinder 0 etc).

The procedure for installation of a non-IBM formatted ESDI drive (from what I've read) is:

SAUTIL or VRM - Maintenance -> Format Hard Disk -> Enter Parameters -> writes config record/LLF
RT Diagnostics - Disk Utilities -> Format Hard Disk -> Select Drive -> performs another LLF and looks for bad sectors/marks them

The "gotya" from IBM appears to be that their prep tools for the first step can get confused by junk that's already on the drive returning IO errors.

Yesterday I did find one post from the 90's that suggested a user, in my situation, move the IBM EESDI controller and drive over to a PC - boot it off floppy, and then use SpinRite to force the machine blank out the drive. I'll give that a try when I've got a little more time.

Was just crossing my fingers someone had an easier way - like a short debug program or special boot disk to fix it.

Edit: this is just my understanding from digging through posts, the manuals are of no help because they assume your IBM engineer sold you a pre-configured IBM drive of the correct model E114 H310 etc.

Edit2: Although I just realised you sent me a message about the RT on CCTalk - so you probably know this and I sound like an idiot - let me know if I've got something wrong in the above.

November 28th, 2014, 07:15 PM
Is the low-level format the same between all of the models of RT ESDI adapters?

Good question, I'm not sure on that myself.
But the chip used did change between the ESDI, EESDI, and Ported EESDI models.

November 28th, 2014, 11:31 PM
No luck with EESDI on a PC. Just keep getting "HDD Controller Error" - I guess that's somewhat to be expected.

Not completely sure what 'path' to go down next.

November 28th, 2014, 11:55 PM
Is the low-level format the same between all of the models of RT ESDI adapters?

No. The Extended ESDI controller has a different LLF. According to the docs, the 70 MB drive (Type 0667) is the only one that is supported by both controllers, and it needs to be reformatted if the controller is swapped.

I am surprised to hear the EESDI controller works at all in a PC. Spinrite's not going to do you any good even if it does, because without an LLF, the controller won't find any sectors.

November 30th, 2014, 06:51 PM
Just for the sake of keeping this thread updated:

- Ported EESDI adaptor does not work in an IBM PC, but the original ESDI might (its a WD part) minus the boot ROM

- I was trying to SAUTIL FORMAT "hd(0,0)" and I've learned it should be "hd(0,2)" (so I'll try again soon). Thanks to bear for point this out :)

November 30th, 2014, 08:49 PM
For installing a 9380E in your IBM RT

- remove jumpers J12 J13 and J19 - drive must be set to hard sector mode with 35 sectors per track
- set DS jumper to the 2nd position (Drive Select 2)
- boot SAUTIL and make it format "hd(0,2)" - ignore errors / follow prompts


I am soooo happy right now!

November 30th, 2014, 09:05 PM
Good effort Jonno!

December 2nd, 2014, 12:02 AM
Cheers :)

All is well now, the RT just thinks it's an IBM H310. SAUTIL's format utility also found my bad blocks - 8 of them - which meant I didn't have to do the double format with RT Diagnostics - just booted the VRM installer, installed that, then inserted AIX INST - booted up - and installed the 8 base disks. Was quite nice getting to use the original media - without a single bad sector.

Sill have more disk sets (like Extended Services) etc to install, as well as install/configure my Stallion 16 port serial card and setup the async terminals, and then (the fun continues) get the TCP/IP pack installed with ftp etc and get the ethernet card working on my local ethernet.

But first I'll probably reconnect the old boot drive as hd2 - and 'see what happens'. I'm hoping I can just add it with 'devices' then mount the partitions - and that AIX doesn't give me any trouble with it. It's got lots of neat stuff on it, and I want to steal from it.

December 2nd, 2014, 12:35 PM

December 8th, 2014, 07:16 PM
The VRM is being difficult with the secondary hard drive - but I can manage - it has let me mount the old /hd7 (because it's name and Minidisk ID don't conflict with my new replacement C drive) and I've found a few interesting bits I'll attempt to get off:

- Cobol
- C++ 3.0 for AIX
- Korn Shell ('internal IBM use only' hah)
- Matrox RB-1281 VGA drivers (notes indicate that in 1992 the owner planned to pair this with an IBM 5081 for 1280x1024 colour)
- Lots of neat newsgroup/email discussions saved in text format about RT support
- Format tool for formatting 1.44MB floppies on the RT (I think)

Also only just realised, AIX does not utilize the entire hard drive when installing - I had over 200 megabytes of unused space on the drive after it'd completely installed (using 6 partitions). Extended Services pack also filled in my /usr/games folder.

Current concern is the Baseband adapter, but I'll post more details on that once I actually know more about what's going on with it.

December 9th, 2014, 10:21 AM
I'm not sure that Matrox PRPQ has been saved anywhere. I'd love to get a copy of that. There may be more pieces than just in one folder, so if you can, do a full dump to tape (or file on an nfs volume) of the entire filesystem before you erase it.

December 9th, 2014, 10:44 AM
Yeah I was surprised to find it (especially since mine runs MDA) - I'm archiving the original installation - but it's proving difficult due to the duplicated MDIODN's. All of that content was on the "hd7" partition (with a user MDIODN of 20002 - so no conflicts). Using "mdrc" and "minidisks" I was able to access that partition and get the contents duplicated on to my other drive. This partition seems to be the engineer/technicians work partition - but I want to grab the others as well.

If there is someway I could change those 163xx MDIODN numbers / names I'd love to know because it'd save me a lot of time.
But I do have a 6157-002 tape unit, and 3 'new' tapes. So my current plan is to go via the backup/restore with tape option.

The partition containing the Matrox driver has been duplicated on my 9380E for temporary safe keeping.

As for getting data off the machine:
Progress has been slow because yesterday I realized some of my partitions were too small - /tmp/ and / - so I ended up re-installing AIX from scratch. I'm hoping once I finish the VRMDD/TCP-IP installs that the Baseband Adapter decides to play ball as it has been giving me trouble.

When the OS talks to it, it corrupts my screen output. To fix this I moved it to a different address (it was at 98000 (card 4) now at 80000 (card 1) but the old setup used to work fine without corrupting screen output. RT Diagnostics detects it, but I get an error when running checkout, so there is a chance I might not have the network connection for FTP or NFS - in which case I'll need to find someway to transfer data over serial.

I have 16 RS232 ports, just need to get the ATA card running, but of course that wasn't installed at default settings and I need to remove it to configure the switches...... so much to do :/ (Anvil Stallion 16 port ATA- I have the RT "installp" disk for this as well)

But vrmconfig.out (before re-install) just shows something like "+device added net0" and "+device added ethdlc" - no errors. So maybe it is fine? Or maybe the card is fine but it has a memory fault. Not sure.

December 11th, 2014, 03:17 PM
jumper settings and installation instructions for those cards (and others) are at http://typewritten.org/Articles/IBM/sa23-2609-0.pdf