10 June 1997. SMS. Configuring RZ Disk Drives using VAXstation 3100 Firmware. As supplied, DEC RZ-series disk drives do not spin up when power is applied. They wait for a SCSI start unit command. This allows the system to start multiple disks sequentially, to reduce the transient load on the system power supply. Some other systems (Macintosh, for example) do not issue the necessary command, so these disks always appear unready to such systems. The firmware on a VAXstation 3100 can change this setting of these disk drives. On a VAXstation 3100, plug a special hardware key into the Communications Port MMJ (denoted by the arrows). The key is a DEC H3103 loopback plug, which connects pin 1 to pin 6, pin 2 to pin 5, and pin 3 to pin 4: +--------------+ | +--------+ | | | +--+ | | | | | | | | 1 2 3 4 5 6 At the console (">>>") prompt, enter "TEST 73". Answer the questions about the SCSI port (if you have the SCSI/SCSI controller) and the SCSI ID of the target disk drive. When asked "...rusure (1/0) ?", answer "42000001" to enable prompt spin-up, or "41000001" to disable prompt spin-up. Interesting messages appear, and the change should be made. RZ23 and RZ24 disks respond correctly even when not ready (spun-up), but an RZ56 does not. (The "TEST 73" command loops, waiting for the RZ56 to become ready.) The console mode command "SHOW DEVICES" should start an RZ56, and after it becomes ready, the "TEST 73" command should work. The normal use for the "TEST 73" command is to make a special TK50 tape (using a TK50Z or TZ30 tape drive). The particular data written on this special tape are recognized by the firmware for the tape drive diagnostic, allowing it to do write testing on this tape. The tape drive diagnostic normally avoids write testing, to avoid accidental data loss. If you answer "0" or "1" to the "...rusure (1/0) ?" question, the program will attempt to make this special tape.
For those unfortunates who lack a VAXstation 3100 but are burdened by a suitable Intel-compatible system, here is the original DEC RZSPINUP utility program kit for DOS and Windows 3.x.
SG00000R.EXE - RZSPINUP kit (self-extracting ZIP file), which comprises the following files:
Note that while the file in the kit is named "rzspinup.doc", it is a plain text document. This copy is named "rzspinup.txt" to avoid confusing over-clever Web browsers.
This kit was acquired from http://h18000.www1.hp.com/legacysupport/digital/zips/SG00000R.EXE.
Details like getting the program onto a DOS floppy and figuring out which one is "the ADAPTEC SCSI controller" [emphasis added] are left as exercises for the unfortunate.
Follow this link to more VAXstation 3100 material.