[vcf-midatlantic] Recovery of RD53 image data

Ian Primus ian.primus.ccmp at gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 15:32:11 UTC 2022

The most common problem with the RD53 drives is the rubber bumper stop
that the heads rest against. It glues the head stack to the side and
it can never load. Symptom will be that the drive spins up and you
never hear the clunk of the heads loading, etc. This can be fixed by
carefully opening the HDA in as clean of an environment as you can
get, and manually freeing the heads, and removing/replacing/covering
that gooey rubber bumper and cleaning things enough so the heads don't
get stuck again. I've been able to recover several drives that way.
Which reminds me I have another one sitting here I need to do recovery
on as it is... From there you can use David Gesswein's wonderful MFM
emulator to image the disk.

TK50's are notoriously unreliable, some of them are starting to shed,
and many of the drives are broken or incredibly flakey. That said,
it's possible to recover them, I have a SCSI TK50 drive that I've used
for both recovery and for creating bootable tapes, although I haven't
used it in years. Been a while since I had to try to use TK50 tapes.


On Tue, Jan 25, 2022 at 8:49 AM Jeffrey Brace via vcf-midatlantic
<vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> Someone in northern Maryland near the PA state border is looking for the
> following:
> He has a DEC PDP-11/73 with a non-functional RD53 hard drive, and several
> RSX-11M installation and backup tapes on TK50 tape cartridges.
> He would like to migrate the RD53 image to modern media so that he can
> (initially) utilize it via simh, and (eventually) use it in his 11/73 via a
> hardware drive simulator.
> Failing recovery of the RD53 data, He'd like to migrate the data from one
> of the TK50 tapes to modern media.
> Anyone ready, willing and able to do this?
> =========================================
> Jeff Brace
> VCF National Board Member Chairman & Vice President
> Vintage Computer Festival East Show-runner
> Vintage Computer Federation is a 501c3 charity
> http://www.vcfed.org/
> jeffrey at vcfed.org

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