WINCHESTER:Can't Recal:Response = 1

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Jonathan Peart

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Oct 3, 2020, 8:57:43 PM10/3/20
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My 3B1 stopped booting from the hard disk. I booted from a diagnostic floppy and ran the hard disk test. I get the following:
Test : Hard disk test
Subtest : Recalibrate.
Error : WINCHESTER:Can't Recal:Response = 1
Enter y [Y] to Abort, Return to continue:

I tried return several times but keep getting the same error message. Does this mean my hard drive is completely toast?

Thanks,
Jonathan

DoN. Nichols

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Oct 4, 2020, 9:14:34 PM10/4/20
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What it means is that the drive's heads are stuck to the
platter, so the platter can't spin, and the heads can't read data.

Which is this -- the 40 MB drive (which I think was standard
with the 3B1)?

If so -- what *may* work is to unbolt it from the chassis,
replace the cables with longer cables, and after powering up the system
and booting the diagnostic floppy. Once it is booted, lift the hard
disk and give it a sudden rotation around the vertical axis -- which
*may* break the heads free of the disk platters. At this point, you can
likely to the test, and if that passes, reboot from the hard disk, and
(with a few boxes of floppies) do a full backup -- or at least backup
anything that *you* added to the system. (Are there any license
controlled programs on there? If so, I think that a full backup will be
needed to preserve those programs. (An example is "WordMark Composer",
a word processing program.)

Anyway -- this will not keep the disk running -- if it is
allowed to stop and cool down, it will likely be stuck again.

So -- now comes the trick of finding a disk old enough to match
the interface, and which still works.

There are two things which you can do to slightly increase the
number of possible drives you can use to build the system again. (You do
have the install floppies?)

The easiest one is to replace the disk controller chip (A
WD-1010) with the WD-2010. The difference is that the 1010 maxes out at
1024 cylinders, while the 2010 goes beyond any drives with that
interface.

The other one is to install the modification which adds a 4th
head select line, allowing a maximum of 16 heads instead of 8 heads.

With just the first mod above, there is a half-height drive
which gets 67 MB on the drive with only three head select lines. (Even
without the WD-2010, you can use it if you lie to the system when
formatting the drive as part of installation -- tell in that the drive
has 1023 cylinders, and 8 heads. This won't use all of the drive's
space, but it will allow it to be used.

Search in 3B1 software collections for HD_UPGRADE-2, which has
all the information need to modify the system board -- except for where
to put the chips. This varies depending on the board. Some boards have
three 20-pin blanks down in one back corner of the system board --
opposite side from the power supply. Using this, and the Technical
Reference Manual -- I was able to make the whole modification on the
system board, instead of using a daughter-board to build it. I was able
to get use of some spare sections of chips in the vicinity of the hard
disk interface part of the board, but this needs judicious cutting of
traces to un-ground some input pins which were grounded to keep it clear
of noise.

The original mod used a PAL to supply a number of the needed
logic elements.

There are four gif files of schematics, and text down in a
subdirectory "www.kloepfer.org".

> Thanks,
> Jonathan

Good Luck,
DoN.

--
Remove oil spill source from e-mail
Email: <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> | (KV4PH) Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
--- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

Jonathan Peart

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Oct 4, 2020, 11:04:01 PM10/4/20
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The front of the computer says 67MB on it so I am assuming the drive is a 67MB drive. Sounds like even if that rotation trick frees up the heads I'll need to replace the drive. Not sure where to find replacements but I'll look around for MFM drives. I'm betting if I do find any they will be expensive. I don't think I want to invest in the drive modification as it looks more involved than I want to tackle.

Thank you for the information Don.

DoN. Nichols

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Oct 5, 2020, 10:21:45 PM10/5/20
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On 2020-10-05, Jonathan Peart <jonath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 9:14:34 PM UTC-4, DoN. Nichols wrote:
>> On 2020-10-04, Jonathan Peart <jonath...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> > My 3B1 stopped booting from the hard disk. I booted from a diagnostic floppy and ran the hard disk test. I get the following:
>> > Test : Hard disk test
>> > Subtest : Recalibrate.
>> > Error : WINCHESTER:Can't Recal:Response = 1
>> > Enter y [Y] to Abort, Return to continue:
>>
>> > I tried return several times but keep getting the same error message.
>> > Does this mean my hard drive is completely toast?
>> What it means is that the drive's heads are stuck to the
>> platter, so the platter can't spin, and the heads can't read data.
>>
>> Which is this -- the 40 MB drive (which I think was standard
>> with the 3B1)?

> The front of the computer says 67MB on it so I am assuming the drive
> is a 67MB drive. Sounds like even if that rotation trick frees up the
> heads I'll need to replace the drive.

Yes. The rotation trick is to give you a chance to recover
information off the drive (if you have any which matters on there.)

> Not sure where to find
> replacements but I'll look around for MFM drives. I'm betting if I do
> find any they will be expensive.

Likely so -- if it is *known* to work.

With both mods to the system (The ICUS and the WD-2010) you can
go up to something like a 160 MB drive -- there were two -- the first
one I was not able to get back then, but there is a different brand
clone of it which I was able to get back then -- and ran the system with
a mix of the 67 MB one which I mentioned in the previous article, and
the 160 MB (or whatever it was) -- both in a 3B2 external disk drive
housing, also including the tape backup system. That system had a power
supply which could be turned on by a 5V signal, so the 5V which used to
power the internal disk drive was routed to the outside.

The MFM drives included two ribbon cables -- the control one
(like what was on floppys) and the data one. The data one uses less
than half the pins for data in and out -- so it was possible to put both
drive's data flows on the same ribbon cable -- starting from two ends in
mirror fashion.

> I don't think I want to invest in the
> drive modification as it looks more involved than I want to tackle.

O.K. I was using it as my serious computer for a while, so the
dual disk drives were a benefit back then. If you just want to make the
computer act as it was designed to, the original drive (or a duplicate)
is worth considering.

Another thing which I discovered was the system would not back
up the files which were installed from the "foundation set". This is
no serious problem, if you have the floppies for re-building -- unless
you do something like I did. The "mkdir" command did not have certain
additional features (such as the '-p' option, which if needed makes
intermediate directories).

Example:

mkdir /junque/whatever/what-matters

using the default mkdir would fail, unless /junque and /junque/whatever
were already present. Add the "-p" option, and it will. I had compiled
a program to do that, and after a new drive, a rebuild from the
foundation set, and then recovery from a backup -- the /bin/mkdir was
not backed up and recovered. Luckily, the source tree was still
present, so I could re-compile and re-install. :-)

Aha! I remember the brand for the largest 8-head one which
would fit even in a 7300 (half-height drive). It came from Miniscribe.

The Miniscribe 6085 gives you the same 67 MB as the full-height
drive which came in some 3B1s.

And the biggest full-height 16-head drive was Maxtor.

And the clone was made by Priam.

Hmm ... it looks like this might be a good way to go.

<https://www.datex-dsm.com/dtx300-mfm-emulator.html>

It lets you use CF cards to replace the ST506 disks. And it looks like
you can get it to emulate the Miniscribe 6085, so you get the 67 MB you
want/need. You might need to replace the WD-1010 with a WD-2010 to
access all the cylinders.

And -- apparently it can duplicate the Priam V519 (160 MB) drive, but
you would need the modification to the board to use all of it.

Can you find the disk drive number for your current 67 MB one?
Go to the "emulated hard disk's list" link, follow the link for the
brand, and look for a match for the model number. If it is there, you
should be able to use this to replace your disk. Check the number of
cylinders. If it is 1024 or smaller, you should be fine with no mods to
the system board.

I don't know what it costs -- it seems to be in the UK, not US
made, but it looks like a good solution for a replacement drive. It
should use a lot less power, so the system should last longer.

> Thank you for the information Don.

You're welcome.

Good luck,

Jonathan Peart

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Oct 6, 2020, 9:53:49 PM10/6/20
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I had not seen that datex website in my searching around for MFM drives. I clicked the Buy Now button but it brings up a page saying no products. Maybe they don't sell them anymore. I also found an emulator called the DREM https://www.drem.info/buy but they cost more than I want to spend, around $300.

Jonathan

Aharon Robbins

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Oct 7, 2020, 10:21:17 AM10/7/20
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In article <c176f04a-c198-43c6...@googlegroups.com>,
Jonathan Peart <jonath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>I had not seen that datex website in my searching around for MFM drives.
>I clicked the Buy Now button but it brings up a page saying no products.
>Maybe they don't sell them anymore. I also found an emulator called the
>DREM https://www.drem.info/buy but they cost more than I want to spend,
>around $300.
>
>Jonathan

Maybe you can just buy another 3B1 on ebay or something?
--
Aharon (Arnold) Robbins arnold AT skeeve DOT com

DoN. Nichols

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Oct 8, 2020, 11:27:40 PM10/8/20
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On 2020-10-07, Aharon Robbins <arn...@skeeve.com> wrote:
> In article <c176f04a-c198-43c6...@googlegroups.com>,
> Jonathan Peart <jonath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>I had not seen that datex website in my searching around for MFM drives.
>>I clicked the Buy Now button but it brings up a page saying no products.
>>Maybe they don't sell them anymore. I also found an emulator called the
>>DREM https://www.drem.info/buy but they cost more than I want to spend,
>>around $300.

Hmm ... probable price range for a known working drive of
reasonable size.

>>Jonathan
>
> Maybe you can just buy another 3B1 on ebay or something?

Likely to have a very short life left in the disk. And a
standalone disk is easier to pack in a shock-resistant way. These disks
are old enough so they need to be parked before being subjected to
shocks -- and the person selling them is unlikely to know this, let
alone to know how to do so.

I note that the DREM-2 has a socket for the same size coin cell
you will need to replace in the 3B1 to have your clock work between
reboots. The original was a version of the CR-2032 cell with solder
tabs soldered into the system board. However, a clip-in holder like
that on the DREM-2 can be purchased and soldered to the system board in
place of the original (and by now certainly dead) clock battery.
(Unless someone has already replaced the cell with the clip-in holder.

Good Luck,

DoN. Nichols

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Oct 9, 2020, 10:42:21 PM10/9/20
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On 2020-10-09, DoN. Nichols <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> wrote:

For the formatting of various floppies and hard disks, look in
/usr/lib/iv. You will find a number of files named after various disks,
and a few other things like s4load.silent and s4load.verbose which are
loader options, along with "loader" put into the disk when it is formatted.

Everything else in there is a format descriptor for a different
disk. Below is an example (The Maxtor 2190 -- the biggest drive the
system will accept.) There is a Priam (519?) which is an identical
clone.

======================================================================
#sccs "@(#)iv/lib:maxtor2190 1.1"
# Maxtor 2190
type HD
name mx2190
cylinders 1224
heads 15
sectors 17
steprate 0
$
badblocktable 1
loader /usr/lib/iv/s4load.silent
$
$
0
15
515
$
$
======================================================================

The important things to check are entries like "cylinders" (have
to be 1024 or fewer for an unmodified 3B1) and "heads" (has to be 8 or
fewer in an unmodified 3B1).

The number only lines between the lines containing only '$' are
starting points for different slices (partitions). The numbers there
are reasonable for installing the foundation set on the part from 15 to
515 cylinders, and you can then edit the mount tables to use the part
after 515 (to the 1224 cylinders for your own uses -- program source,
database storage, etc.)

The Seagate 4051 fits nicely in an unmodified system. It is a
42.5 MB drive with fewer than 1024 cylinders, and fewer than 8 heads.

Look through all of the files in there (excluding the
s4load.silent, s4load.verbose and loader, which are compiled files, not
text which you can read.

Here's the full list, including the three compiled files in
/usr/lib/iv:

======================================================================
atasi3046 FD18nl fujitsu85 micropolis1325 necd5146 seagate4051
atasi3051 FD19nl hitachidk511-5 microsci1050 rodime412 seagate4085
cdc85 FD28nl hitachidk511-8 miniscribe3212 rodime423 tandontm755
cdcwren2 FD29nl loader miniscribe3425 s4load.silent tulin452
FD10nl FDnl maxtor1085 miniscribe6053 s4load.verbose vertex85
FD10sl FDsl maxtor1140 miniscribe6085 seagate225
FD10vl FDvl maxtor2190 mitsumr535 seagate251
======================================================================

Looking into the files, you can find the full names of drives to
look for, skipping those over 1024 cylinders. To find the total size,
multiply cylinders, heads, sectors, and the 512 byte size of the
sectors.

For floppies, here is an example of the larger format for a
standard 5-1/4" 40 track floppy.

======================================================================
#sccs "@(#)iv/lib:FD10nl 1.1"
# iv description file for 48 TPI Floppy file system disk.
type FD
name Floppy
cylinders 40
heads 2
sectors 10
steprate 0
singledensity
$
$
$
0
1
$
$
======================================================================

The main thing to change in this (other than the name) is the
"cylinders", which can be expanded to 80 with a low density 3-1/2"
drive, or a 5-1/4" drive which happens to have 80 tracks (quite
uncommon, other than the dual density ones, which have to be jumpered to
stick with low density for the 3B1).

"iv" appears to stand for "Initialize Volume", and IIRC is
hidden in the diagnostic when you create the bootable hard disk.
(Ideally, BTW, if you modify the system, you want to make a newer
diagnostic disk -- starting with the diagnostic disk -- to add any
needed file to /usr/iv/lib for whatever disk you have, if it does not
match any in the list above. (That list is from the foundation set
image in the "foundation.cpio" -- which does not include the diagnostic
disk. The diagnostic image needs to go into an 8 sector/track floppy
(less than 360K) instead of the 10 sector/track (about 400K) used for
the rest of the foundation set.

Good Luck with a new drive.

DoN. Nichols

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Oct 12, 2020, 6:11:31 PM10/12/20
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On 2020-10-10, DoN. Nichols <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> wrote:
> On 2020-10-09, DoN. Nichols <BPdnic...@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
> For the formatting of various floppies and hard disks, look in
> /usr/lib/iv. You will find a number of files named after various disks,
> and a few other things like s4load.silent and s4load.verbose which are
> loader options, along with "loader" put into the disk when it is formatted.

O.K. I've downloaded the manual for the DREM-2 hard disk
emulator. Reading through it, shows that it can emulate two hard disks
at a time (if you have the mods in your 3B1 to allow access to the
second hard disk), and up to four floppy disks.

If you get it with the mounting bracket, you can mount it where
the floppy drive currently lives, and plug in a VGA monitor and a
keyboard to configure it, including creating spare "disks" on the 8 GB
SD card which plugs in from the front panel.

It will take a while, but you can put all the install floppies
onto the SD card, and one (or two -- if the 3B1 is modified) hard disks,
which you create on the SD card. You can create snapshots of the disks
for backup -- or even better, move the SD card to some other computer
which can read SD cards and copy the image from one to another.

All in all -- it looks rather attractive for a 3B1 to make a
system which is not vulnerable to the hard disk(s) getting "head
stiction" and becoming unreadable. Somewhere over $300.00 -- if you can
use two hard disks -- finding two working hard disks is likely to be
similarly expensive. And finding 5-1/4" floppies and still working
drives, may be similarly expensive -- this replaces them all. :-)

Good Luck,

David Gesswein

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Jan 8, 2021, 7:59:57 PM1/8/21
to
In article <c176f04a-c198-43c6...@googlegroups.com>,
Jonathan Peart <jonath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>I had not seen that datex website in my searching around for MFM drives.
>I clicked the Buy Now button but it brings up a page saying no products.
>Maybe they don't sell them anymore. I also found an emulator called the
>DREM https://www.drem.info/buy but they cost more than I want to spend,
>around $300.
>

Looks like I haven't been by this newsgroup for longer than I thought so
may be OBE.

Somewhat cheaper is my unit at $175 or cheaper if you want to assemble it
yourself. I can provide a 6085 image that you can use with the 3b1.

Can also use it to try to read the drive if you can get it to temporarily
work.

http://www.pdp8online.com/mfm/

Jonathan Peart

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Feb 27, 2021, 9:58:11 PM2/27/21
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Just wanted to give an update on my borked hard drive. I ended up donating the whole computer to a youtuber who runs the channel called Adrian's Digital Basement. He has some MFM drives and I was hoping he could get one of them working with the 3B1. If he makes a video about the process I will try to remember to come back here and provide a link. Thank you to everyone who responded to my queries for help and information.

Jonathan

Jonathan Peart

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May 5, 2021, 9:30:42 PM5/5/21
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Adrian made an unboxing video of the 3B1 I donated to him if you want to check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQ5Ao_pN1s&t=3s

Jonathan

J Booth

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May 7, 2021, 1:05:54 AM5/7/21
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A ton of comments on the video, seems like people are into it! Great to see the exposure. Yesterday AJ graciously hooked me up with a UNIX PC running David Gesswein's MFM emulator so now I'm on cloud nine!
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