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Re: Newbie

Dear Andrew

There are several things to say about those DAC960 cards. It seems there are
different versions around, on one side the original Mylex cards and an OEM
version from DEC. To identify your card as a DEC card, you may find a sticker on
it labelling the card as "KZPSC" or "KZPSA". I have read somewhere the OEM and
original versions have a different firmware on it, which isn't compatible. I
didn't try to load an original Mylex firmware to my DEC DAC960. Has anyone done so?

The thing with the DEC card is: The latest firmware from Compaq has version
number 2.70. The Linux driver, which comes with the kernel must have 2.73
though. There is a patch around from Jay Estabrook [1] to correct this problem.
Unfortunately, I couldn't compile the patched kernel with it (I don't rember
why, sorry). To solve this, either you can upgrade your card to a firmware >=
2.73 or you manage to compile a kernel with the mentioned patch (You need a gcc
>= 3, else the kernel won't boot and you might need to patch xor.h if you use
gcc >= 3.3 [2]).

Quoting Nathan Poznick <poznick@conwaycorp.net>:

> Thus spake Rodolfo:
> > | 2.73 and my question is, how do I go about doing this?  The firmware
> > | upgrade file that I found was an .EXE file, so I'm assuming that this
Speaking for the custom DEC card: You need to download the right executables and
firmware image from the HP site [3] (it took me a long time to find it, so I put
it on my server, too [4]). The upgrade utility is called ra200fl.exe, the
Firmware image is called swxcrfwp.270. Put both on a DOS formatted diskette and
start the Alphabios. To do this, execute from the srm console the command 
    P00 FIN_D>>> alphabios graphics console
(You might not need the options graphics and console, but it tells the AlphaBios
to output to your monitor, input from keyboard and certainly not to or form 
your serial port.) Once in in AlphaBios go to "Run a program..." in the Options
(?) menu. Load the ra200fl.exe executable and follow the instructions on the
screen. This procedure is described in Appendix A.1.2 of the "RAID Array
230/Plus Subsystem RAID Configuration Utility User's Guide" [5].
Prepare your disks by running the ra200RCU.exe utility from AlphaBios. This
utility you can find at [6] or [7].

Installing Debian:
According to my experience you can't boot from a Debian Install-CD or -Floppy,
if you leave your DAC960 plugged in your machine. You need to take it out and
install on a disk on a different controller. There is a builtin Symbios
Controller, where the CDROM is connected aswell. You can add a SCSI-2 disk there
and use it as your boot drive. (There is a free 50pin plug on the internal
cable, use SCSI-Id 0 for that disk. You can mount it on the roast of the middle
powersupply, if you have just 2 powersupplies. If you have a pedestal system,
you may find an empty slot. You need to prolongue the power cable with the
unused plug, which you find behind the powersupply.)
Follow the instructions from alphalinux.org for the 4100 [8]. Note this guide
uses a RedHat Distribution, for Debian the following is different:
- "[...] Now, boot the box from the linux kernel (compressed) on the floppy
   boot dva0 -file vmlinux.gz [...]" 
   must be: boot dva0 -file linux.bin 
- If I remember right, you don't need to install aboot explicitely, it's done by
  the Debian installer. But you might need to adjust /etc/aboot.conf
- If you want to boot from CD use "show dev" to determine your CD drive. It
  probably is dka500.
After you have a running system you can put back your DAC960 and move your
system over to it. You can use a command like
     find / -xdev | cpio -p /mnt/dac960raid
to do this (please read the manpages first and adjust to your needs!)

I hope this helps. Could someone please correct any mistakes, add alternative
ways and critizise the way I suggested? Thank you!

Regards, Adrian.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-alpha/2003/debian-alpha-200302/msg00154.html
[2] http://lists.debian.org/debian-alpha/2003/debian-alpha-200307/msg00104.html
[3] ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/products/alphaserver/storage/controllers/kzpac/
[4] ftp://ente.limmat.ch/pub/alpha/dac960/
[7] ftp://ente.limmat.ch/pub/alpha/dac960/conf/
[8] http://www.alphalinux.org/docs/rawhide/4100_install.shtml

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