Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

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Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:00 pm

I have a Cumana SCSI podule, I use it as a sort of portable podule for backing up Archimedes hard drives. It has a 2GB Seagate 50-pin SCSI drive connected to it.

I can't get more than one partition on the drive recognised. With !SCSIMgr, I have formatted the disc, partitioned it as 4 x 511MB parts and a 25MB fifth part and mapped drive 4 to partition 0, drive 5 to partition 1 etc.

However, all I get is a "Disc not understood-is it formatted?" and "Parameters not supported" errors for any partition other than SCSI drive 4. Is there a way to use more than one partition?

The SCSIFS on the ROM appears to be quite ancient, is has RISC-OS-2-type task window output for Free and Verify, is it possible to upgrade to a later version?
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:01 am

What version numbers does *help modules show for SCSIFS etc? What does *status entry for SCSIFSMap look like? Is it what you expect, including ,n entries for the partitions? I have a vague recollection that the UI tool did not create entries as reliably as using configure commands.

I don't recall seeing softloadable modules so think an update would require a ROM swap.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:18 pm

It seems I asked the same question in 2014, and at that time it was concluded that it was generally too ancient to support large drives. However what wasn't really explained at that time was why it will format a large drive and allow it to be partitioned up, but not mount any partition other than the "drive 4" one.

SCSIFSMap gives me the 4 = 00,0 5=00,1 type output. I'll check the module versions and report back.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:37 pm

Relevant bits of ROMMODULES:

Code: Select all

  1 Podule 1    SCSILog                 1.05    Active

  2 Podule 1    SCSIDriver              1.03    Active

  3 Podule 1    SCSIFS                  1.18    Active

  4 Podule 1    SCSIFiler               0.32    Active

  5 Podule 1    CDFSdriver              2.10    Dormant

  6 Podule 1    CDFS                    2.10    Dormant

  7 Podule 1    CDFSFiler               2.10    Dormant


Relevant bits of STATUS:

Code: Select all

SCSIFSDirCache 255K

SCSIFSdiscs 2

SCSIFSDrive 5

SCSIFSMap  4= 00,S  5= 00,1,S  H0= 7,P
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:13 pm

I've got a little bit further. I can make it recognise two partitions if the first one is small enough, currently 320MB is the biggest size I've got to. It won't let you mount a partition which starts beyond the first 512MB of the drive and whether anything in the second partition beyond the 512MB is useable is unknown, I wouldn't like to put it to the test.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:09 pm

I did test it, using the old *CREATE method to fill up the space, and then if the next file you create can be read back you know that part of the disc can be accessed, etc. until the space is used up.

With a bit of experimentation and luck I might able to get a first partition of about 450MB (480MB wouldn't work) and a second partition of the full 512MB so I'm getting nearly a GB of useable space from the disc.

Incidentally I can't get the start sector location of a file to be displayed by *INFO, *FILEINFO or *EX. Is that not something RISC OS allows? Do I have to read it from a RISC OS equivalent of OSFILE?
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby ajw99uk » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:54 pm

Hmmmm. Was about to query your "5=00,1,S" but then remembered *status reports mapping and other info such as P for processor for the Host ID. The manual does not tell me what S stands for

Thought I'd had a moment of inspiration - check Archive DVD for reviews/user comments from the mid-90s when the Cumana 16bit card was new, to see if this mapping problem was identified and discussed. I did find a promise of a review "next month" in Vol5 Issue 4 but it seems no review ever appeared. Occasional reports of problems and a comment from Paul Beverley that NCS found their Morley card more reliable.
I did find a comment from someone who was using the same HD on Oak and Cumana cards, initialised using Oak software, but I assume all as one rather than partitions. Very rare to find someone writing to/for Archive who had >512MB SCSI disks in those days! Not great to draw inference from silence, but if people were generally happy while using smaller disks it would be consistent with the flaw lying there.

I used to have a Cumana 16bit podule a few years ago (bought as I thought it had decent chance of being supported in ARMLinux). Sadly I cannot recall the module versions - SCSILog 1.05 rings a bell from the SCSI II card, but 1.03 for SCSIDriver might well have had a successor. The problems with trying to soft-load podule ROMs were aired in the 2014 thread (as well as the difficulty in using the modules meant for flashing onto a SCSI II card :-). You might consider PowerROM, if Gary Partis still has any to sell - the page at http://www.partis.org/shop/main.php?sub ... ia9fla3rh2 allowed me to "add to cart". Or getting an Oak or Morley card!

Do you have any other means of looking at the partition table? I have been trying over the last few days to compile a Linux kernel (i686) with more Acorn partition support than the stock Debian kernel (plus the UFS module, for mounting RISC iX partitions!). This was prompted by finding a couple of old Syquest cartridges with weird partition tables/maps when read under the other schemes (Filecore/Linux, Filecore/RISCiX, EESOX, PowerTec, ICEIDEFS, PC/BIOS) that acorn-fdisk provides. By tweaking kernel config before building, I should be able to add Cumana and "Acorn native" - but the resulting kernel either fails to boot or fills up the root partition with >1.8GB of modules (the stock kernel has 130MB of modules). Using a hex editor to look at the raw disk did not shed any light on my problem but might for you if you have a suitable host (e.g. PC with 50-pin SCSI and Linux or a Windows disk editor programme).
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby ajw99uk » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:13 am

BeebMaster wrote:I have a Cumana SCSI podule, I use it as a sort of portable podule for backing up Archimedes hard drives. It has a 2GB Seagate 50-pin SCSI drive connected to it.

Is this the same 2GB drive you mention using for Domesday recovery at http://www.beebmaster.co.uk/Domesday/DataRescueB3.html ?

I just noticed the 480MB limit for MDFS and 60MB partitions. You have also found that 480MB is the point at which SCSIFS decides to stop seeing the second partition. Probably coincidence, I know. But I have read of other cases where residual partition table data has confused a re-used drive, with people recommending a simple wipe-with-0s (dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX, in POSIX terms!) for the whole drive or first few sectors.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:44 am

It is the same disc that was formerly in the MDFS. It could be partition table confusion arising from that, although I haven't conclusively determined yet that 480MB is the maximum start point for a second partition in the Cumana podule. It's somewhere between 320MB and 480MB, I will narrow it down with more experimentation.

I don't have any non-Acorn way of reading data from a SCSI hard drive. I don't think a Beeb would do it either. I haven't got a SCSI card for any Linux box, I think I should get one really.

I'll also try a different disc, I have a few 2GB+ Seagate drives which are 8-bit ADFS formatted to 512MB.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:28 pm

I've got it up to 362MB for the first partition so far.

It looks to be very specific what you have to do in !SCSIMgr.

1. Dismount the disc or there is a reservation error
2. Adjust partitions as required
3. Do some other operation (such as verify) otherwise an error occurs at the next step
4. Execute
5. Wipe partition 1
6. Map partition 1 to drive 5 (even though it already is)

If you don't do 5 & 6, then drive 5 isn't recognised.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:20 am

With much experimentation the maximum first partition size I can get is 364.2MB, second is 290.1MB. I can't get a third partition mapped and recognised under any circumstances.

So at least I have 654.3MB available with two partitions rather than the 511MB I could get previously.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby ajw99uk » Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:30 am

BeebMaster wrote:With much experimentation the maximum first partition size I can get is 364.2MB, second is 290.1MB. I can't get a third partition mapped and recognised under any circumstances.

So at least I have 654.3MB available with two partitions rather than the 511MB I could get previously.

That's weird! I don't recall such problems, though did not use the 16bit card a lot so may well not have tried an equivalent setup. My smaller drives are ca. 1GB - maybe 2+ is too big, as for the Acorn card? Or maybe I was luckier with firmware version.

Re your earlier comment re SCSI card for Linux, if you have a spare 34way dual-drive control cable for ST506, would you like to swap/lend* for an Adaptec 2904? Not longer supported by Windows but a Debian stock kernel is fine. Internal 50pin and external HD50 socket.

*I don't plan to keep ST506 longterm - just want to see if a dual-20MB setup is enough to hold a RISC iX installation!
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:03 am

That would be nice, and I can certainly make you one if I don't have one made up already. However I don't have a desktop PC handy to take a SCSI card at the minute, although I could probably cobble something together.

I'm trying a different disc just now, although it was previously formatted as a BBC Micro ADFS disc, so I'm having trouble getting the podule to accept it as its full factory size, I must have hard coded it to 512MB with 256 bytes per sector in a fairly indelible way!

It occurs to me as well that this RISC PC SCSI setup would be an ideal candidate for SCSI2SD, I'll have a go with that next.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:56 am

Now then, here's a little cheat I discovered...

Using the "newer" version of Cumana SCSI manager (1.61), you can partition the drive into bigger slices. It warns you that >511MB isn't allowed, but lets you do it. Then when you execute and map it, the "disc not understood" error comes up.

After that, going back to the old version 1.54, allows you to execute and map with the existing partition table, and then it accepts it!

So far I've got a 1GB partition on the disc, I don't think I can go much bigger. A 1200MB partition just causes the computer to freeze after it first tries to access the disc. I can't get a second partition either, but I'm very happy with a single partition of 1GB.

Still testing though, anything can happen yet...
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:26 pm

Mmmm, a bit of a to-do.

Using my bigfile method to fill up the space to make sure it all really exists, I found that the last 128K or so doesn't actually exist. If have that much free space and then try to create a much smaller file the free space goes to zero, and any attempt to access that latest file results in address exception, internal error etc. messages and a hard reset is required to get things back to normal.

I've been as low as 950MB and this still happens, so on the basis that I am unlikely to fill up the disc to that extent anyway, I've gone back to 1024MB since I might as well maximise what I can get it to do.

Just doing a 100MB copy onto it now to make sure that works.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:11 pm

Nope, disaster. Died after exactly 269 files on two occasions, no error just froze up the RISC PC.

I think I will have to stick to the partitioning I did earlier and abandon attempts to bend the rules.

Could do with being able to try a later version of SCSIFS or SCSIFiler but I can't find anything online.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:07 pm

SCSI2SD is the answer to all my problems (again)!

The problem really is that this Cumana podule isn't much interested in slicing up single volumes into different partitions, but with SCSI2SD I can make different LUNs appear using the same memory card so the podule sees that there are up to 4 separate SCSI discs attached. Using the first 512MB partition on each LUN, I can have 4 SCSI drives. Works a treat.

A bit new fangled though.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby daveejhitchins » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:40 pm

BeebMaster wrote:A bit new fangled though.
:lol: =D>

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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:39 pm

Yes, and you're to blame for importing them!!!!!
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby daveejhitchins » Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:37 pm

Who, me . . . . :-

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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby ajw99uk » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:06 am

As you mentioned Arcs earlier, I'd assumed RO3.1 - if your tests are in a RiscPC ( >=3.6 ?) there are more chances of new filecore clashes and/or other incompatibility with an old podule - I am pretty sure the Morley card needed a ROM upgrade. I'll have a look through the RiscPC column in Archive.

I did find version 1.63 of !SCSIMgr mentioned here http://comp.sys.acorn.hardware.narkive. ... gr-queries along with recommendation for DiscInit, though not sure if that does partitions. It may also struggle with the Cumana map, which I gather may be unorthodox.

Will PM later re the PCI SCSI card. I would be interested to compare what acorn-fdisk makes of your Cumana-partitioned drive with one of my Syquest cartridges.
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Re: Cumana SCSI Podule Multiple Partitions

Postby BeebMaster » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:01 am

The RISC PC 700 has RISC OS 3.7. Version 1.63 of SCSIMgr would be good to try, but there is no link on that page, and the link to Discinit doesn't work.

I'm happy with SCSI2SD at the minute, although multiple partitions on a proper SCSI disc would be good. Thinking about it, Seagate drives probably support multiple LUNs on one drive somehow, I might have to try that at some point.
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