SUMMARY : Sparc IPC and SCSI disk

From: Stephane Legrand (
Date: Mon Dec 02 1996 - 09:31:43 CST


Thanks to all managers who have answered to my question :

        "Cooper,Chris" <>
        john benjamins <johnb@Soliton.COM>
        "Paul J. Bogdan" <>
        Alex Finkel <>
        Rich Kulawiec <> (Bismark Espinoza)
        Rudy Yu <>
        Rachel Polanskis <>
        Greg Price <> (Gary W. Cook, Consultant)

The original question was :

>I have to install a new external SCSI disk on my Sparc IPC with Sun OS 4.1.1
>I read the FAQ so i will apply the patch 100343-06 to be able to have a 2
>Go disk.
>My question is :
> Can i really buy any kind of disk or have i to prefer some makers
>(like Conner, Quantum or an other) and/or some models of disks to have no
>problem ? And are the SCSI connections of the IPC are standard ?

A brief summary is :

        - No Fast/Wide/Differential SCSI
        - Good quality and short SCSI cables
        - Mini D-50 connector
        - Tell to the vendor that's for an IPC


From: "Cooper,Chris" <>
To: stephane <>
Subject: RE: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 10:28:00 PST
Encoding: 38 TEXT

I would check the Sun hardware FAQ. It have always answered all of my
Sun hardware questions.

Chris Cooper


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 13:04:14 -0500
From: john benjamins <johnb@Soliton.COM>
X-Sender: johnb@hydra
To: Stephane Legrand <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Mime-Version: 1.0

any of the big name scsi devices should be okay. just make sure your
vendor knows it's for an IPC. the IPC doesn't do fast and/or wide and/or
differential scsi. but your vendor should be telling you this:-) if your
vendor doesn't deal with Sun workstations (ie. doesn't know anything about
them), i'd recommend going to a vendor that DOES know what a sun IPC is.

hope this helps, -john


From: "Paul J. Bogdan" <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 13:23:48 -0500
To: (Stephane Legrand)
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Mime-Version: 1.0

People will disagree with me, but I would choose Sun disks. Inside, they may
actually be Seagate or other manufacturers, but you know they will work.
I support mission critical applications and had my system crash a few
weeks ago when I tried to write to a new Seagate disk I had just attached to
the system. I sent them back and ordered disks from Sun. Your choice depends
upon your needs- how important is your data? How much downtime do you have to
configure thedisks? How much expertise do you have to troubleshoot if the disk
does not work? How much money do you have to spend? Good Luck!


Mime-Version: 1.0
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 14:41:25 -0500
To: (Stephane Legrand)
From: Alex Finkel <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk

You should have no problem with any external disk, reliability issues
notwithstanding. I think their are limitations when using internal disk,
but that has more to do with the power and heat requirements of the IPC.

Make sure you get good quality SCSI cables as the cables can make a big
difference in reliability.


From: Rich Kulawiec <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 16:31:43 -0500 (EST)
Organization: GSP
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There are a large number of disks that are compatible with your IPC.
I've used Seagate, Micropolis, Quantum, Conner, Fujitsu, and other brands.
If you buy an external disk, i.e. one in its own enclosure, then you'll
need to make sure that it's compatible with your SCSI bus controller --
in other words, don't buy a differential SCSI disk because you bus
controller is single-ended. You'll also want to try to get one with
the appropriate Sun-style SCSI connector on it, tho' that's not as big
a deal -- there are hybrid cables that you can buy that will connect
your IPC to a box with Centronics or DB-50 SCSI connectors.

I haven't tried to use 4.1.1 with a large disk -- I would *strongly*
recommend that you upgrade to 4.1.4 promptly, because it has better
performance, supports large drives without patches, and includes bug
fixes too numerous to mention. 4.1.1 has been obsolete for nearly 6
years now; you may find that trying to make it work with drives purchased
today is more trouble than it's worth.

Rich Kulawiec


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 96 15:09:43 PST
From: (Bismark Espinoza)
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk

Any SCSI-2 (5 Megabyte transfer speed) with
a Mini D-50 connector will work.

Be careful with newer Fast SCSI (10MB transfer) disks (spurious
error messages), 7200 rpm disks (heat problems),
or disks larger that 1GB (heat problems).

You will need to get the disk parameters in the
/etc/format.dat file .


Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 16:26:16 -0800
From: Rudy Yu <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Stephane Legrand <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk

You can use ANY SCSI-2 hard drive as long as you know the drive
geometry. Sun OS 4.1.x has 2GB/partition limitation. You need to modify
the "/etc/format.dat" file and create the new drive entry (e.g. ncyl;
pcyl; nhead; nsect; bpt). After you add the new entry, you need to
create file system by "newfs" then mount the new drive.

Hope this help !


From: Rachel Polanskis <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 12:08:01 +1100 (EST)
MIME-Version: 1.0

I use Quantum disks in my IPC, and I did not have to buy them from Sun.
You can use any disk you like provided it is SCSI, and the connections are
standard if you mean it has the 50 pin connector on the rea of the drive,
rather than the Sun zero force style plugin connector.

I would not put in a drive faster than 5400 rpm in an IPC due to heat
constraints, however...



From: Greg Price <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 96 12:50:47 EST

Get a SCSI2 disk, 50pin single ended narrow interface (unless you are using
an expansion SBUS SCSI card). If you get a big one (eg 9GB) you will have to
do fiddles to format it otherwise it should be ok.. The brands differ in
quality a little... Anything should work, but I would be inclined to stick
with Quantum, seagate or conner... Go over the spec sheets for the ones you're
interested in and them ask people/the net on good or bad experiences with the
specific models.



From: (Gary W. Cook, Consultant)
To: "Stephane Legrand" <>
Subject: Re: Sparc IPC and SCSI disk
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:11:18 -0800
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
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MIME-Version: 1.0


In my experiences most drives work. If it is external, keep the cable to
the drive as short as possible, especially if your IPC is very old. Early
versions of the IPC had some problems with noise on some of
the SCSI signals. It was fixed by an engineering change. The suspect
boards were 501-1689. Revision
06 and above were ok as were all the other part numbers. This has nothing
to do with the patch to the

Gary W. Cook
Systems Consultant

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