SUMMARY: Toshiba CDROM booting SunOS

From: Mark Baranowski (
Date: Fri May 28 1993 - 23:41:16 CDT

Several months ago, I posted the following query:
>I am trying to get a Toshiba CD-ROM to work on my Sun, and I get the
>following message at boot time:
>Feb 1 16:39:21 icarus vmunix: sr0: Unrecongized Vendor 'TOSHIBA ',
> product 'CD\-ROM XM-3301TA'sr0 at spc0 target 6 lun 0
>Later when I try to access the CD-ROM, my Sun hangs while trying to
>perform a SCSI reset.
>If anyone has had any luck with this drive, I would appreciate hearing
>from you. I hope that the solution is as simple as an EPROM change?

Here is my belated summary:

Several respondents correctly pointed out that Sun expects 512 bytes,
whereas the default format of the CD1 spec (mode 1, with ECC) is 2048
bytes per 'block'. (Thad P Floryan) mentioned that he was able to get
his toshiba to be a bootable device by purchasing an EPROM from Parity
Systems in Los Gatos, CA. They provide a ROM in the CD-ROM which will
boot SunOS from CD-ROM just fine, however the OS still bitches that
the Toshiba is an unrecongized(sic) vendor.

I also received a copy of what I believe is a program originally
written by (Ralph Kling) that uses Sun's
user-scsi-driver to rectify the 512 block-size problem on-the-fly.
The only problem with this solution is that the system must already be
operational to perform this mod and once the machine and drive are
powered down it reverts back. Ralph Kling also goes on to mention
that if you want to use the CD-audio capabilities you'll have to write
your own driver (also via Sun's user-scsi-driver).

However, since my desire was to have a fully functional cdrom, HERE IS

The name of the distributer from whom I purchased my CDROM is NCA
(408)739-4110. They were very helpful and promised to make my Toshiba
work with my Sun system at their expense. Since NCA were backing the
warranty I felt that I had nothing to lose. NCA stated that they were
authorized by Toshiba to perform the necessary modifications. When I got
my Toshiba CDROM back from NCA I was able to boot SunOS from CDROM without
any problems! (other than the OS still bitches about Toshiba being an
unrecongized(sic) vendor). The modified Toshiba is also able to play
audio CDs via WorkMan, et al.

NCA did not go into specifics as to what modifications they performed other
than it was simply a matter of modifying the PC card. The only
modifications I can see are that they cut two solder-blobs on the PC card:
these two blobs are located 1/2 an inch above the SCSI-ID jumpers and are
inside two boxes numbered 0 and 1. Each of these two boxes themselves are
1/4 inch on their sides and each box has a solder-blob inside. What NCA
did was to cut all the way through both blobs (although I think a
solder-sucker might also have worked).

Anyway, I am mostly happy with my Toshiba, except that the Toshiba seems
not as sturdy as the Sony (the Toshiba cannot withstand freezing
temperatures, for example). What surprises me is how difficult it is to
buy a Sun-compatible CDROM from anyone other than Sun. For example, even
though Sony makes Sun-compatible CDROMs, Sony will not sell one to Joe
Average. Something smells fishy here.

Thanks to: (Wei-Te Chueh)
tlhouns@srv.PacBell.COM (Lee Hounshell)
Bob Hayes <> (Ralph Kling) (Armin Liebchen) (Thad P Floryan)

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