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Title: PA-RISC Frequently Asked Questions
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Last Updated: <<Date June 17, 1997>>

Hewlett Packard, HPPA, HP/PA, PA-RISC, HP-UX

....PA-RISC Supported Configurations
....CD-ROM Compatibility
....Hard Drive Compatibility
....SCSI Device Numbering
....Fast-Wide SCSI Support
....Video Support


Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for NEXTSTEP Releases 3.2 and 3.3 for PA-RISC. This document is updated regularly to reflect NeXT Technical Support's most commonly-asked technical questions about NEXTSTEP for PA-RISC. You can use this document as a quick reference guide for issues that may or may not be readily available in other documentation.

We update this document regularly, and we welcome comments and suggestions. You can contact Technical Support by phone at +1 (800) 955-NEXT or +1 (415) 780-2922, by fax at +1 (415) 780-2801, or by e-mail at Hewlett Packard hardware technical support can be reached at +1 (800) 633-3600.

PA-RISC Supported Configurations

Q: Which HP PA-RISC systems are supported by NEXTSTEP Release 3.3 for PA-RISC, and how should they be configured?

A: See NeXTanswers document 1844_3.3_HP_Compatibility_Guide.rtfd.


Q: Can I install HP-UX and NEXTSTEP onto separate partitions of the same hard disk?

A: HP-UX and NEXTSTEP use incompatible partitioning schemes and cannot be installed on the same disk. The only way to set up a dual-boot machine is by using separate hard disks for HP-UX and NEXTSTEP.

Q: Okay, I've set up a dual-boot machine using one disk for NEXTSTEP and another for HP-UX. Whenever I log in under NEXTSTEP, I get a panel which says "This disk is damaged: initialize?" with options to initialize, repair, or ignore. The default option is "Initialize." What should I do?

A: Under NEXTSTEP 3.2, this happens because NEXTSTEP attempts to mount the HP-UX disk but does not know how to read its filesystem. You should click "Ignore." Choosing either of the other options may result in irreparable data loss on the HP-UX disk.

This has been fixed in NEXTSTEP 3.3, you are able to add an entry in /etc/fstab that will force NEXTSTEP to ignore the HP-UX disk automatically. The disk type for the HP-UX disk should be 'ignore'. See the mntent(5) UNIX manual page for more information.

CD-ROM Compatibility

Q: What CD-ROM drives can be used to install NEXTSTEP?

A: Due to restrictions in the HP ROMs, only certain HP and Toshiba CD-ROM drives can be used to install NEXTSTEP. The recommended CD-ROM drive is the HP A2655A. The HP A1999A can be used with 7x5 systems but is incompatible with 712 systems.

The HP A2655A uses the same mechanism as the Toshiba XM-3401TA, while the HP A1999A uses the same mechanism as the Toshiba XM-3301TA. These drives may be used instead of the equivalent HP drives, but NeXT recommends contacting HP to be sure your firmware revision is compatible.

Q: Can a wider range of CD-ROM drives be used to read CD-ROMs once NEXTSTEP has been installed?

A: Yes.

Hard Drive Compatibility

Q: I've encountered some suspicious problems such as errors during installation, SCSI timeouts, and a wait of several minutes to log in to the Workspace. What's going on?

A: NeXT has discovered SCSI incompatibilities with one specific hard drive model, the Quantum LPS1080S with firmware revision 111B. The following tables summarize our findings to date.

Vendor Model Capacity FW rev. Verification status
HP C2247 1.0GB 0BQ3 NeXT-tested
Micropolis 2112 1.0GB 4024 NeXT-tested
Seagate ST11200N 1.0GB 8104 NeXT-tested
Digital DSP3107L 1.0GB 441I HP-tested
Digital DSP3210 2.0GB 441G HP-tested *
Quantum LPS525S 0.5GB 9656 HP-tested
Seagate ST12400N 2.0GB 8712 HP-tested *
Seagate ST31200N 1.0GB 8714 HP-tested
Seagate ST12550N 2.0GB 0013 customer report *

Not Compatible:
Vendor Model Capacity FW rev. Verification status
Quantum LPS1080S 1001MB 111B HP-tested
Seagate ST3600N 0.5GB 9686 customer report
Seagate ST3600N 0.5GB 4686 customer report

* subject to limitations affecting hard drives of 2GB or greater--see below

NeXT has received conflicting information about the compatibility of the Seagate ST3600N. If you are encountering problems with the Quantum LPS1080S, please contact your HP Sales Representative for a replacement drive. In addition, if you have any additional information related to these tables, please contact NeXT Technical Support by the means listed in the Introduction.

Q: I couldn't install on my hard drive which is two gigabytes or larger. Why not?

A: There was a bug in NEXTSTEP Release3.2 in which the UNIX File System imposes a 2GB limit for disk partitions, the UNIX newfs command fails when attempting to create a filesystem on these drives. (Note that "two-gigabyte" drives are actually slightly larger than 2GB, so that they are susceptible to this problem.) Consequently these drives may be used by partitioning with the UNIX disk command, but they cannot be used as boot devices. See NeXTanswer 1533_initializing_and_partitioning_big_disks for more information.

This has been fixed in NEXTSTEP Release 3.3.

SCSI Device Numbering

Q: How are SCSI device numbers assigned on HP hardware?

A: Unlike NEXTSTEP on NeXT and Intel-based hardware, NEXTSTEP for PA-RISC assigns SCSI device numbers in order of decreasing SCSI ID numbers. In other words, NEXTSTEP scans down by SCSI ID, assigning device number 0 to the first device encountered, device number 1 to the second, etc.

For example, a typical HP SCSI setup consists of a hard disk at SCSI ID 6 and a CD-ROM drive at SCSI ID 2. In this example, the hard disk is assigned SCSI device number 0, while the CD-ROM drive is assigned device number 1. A second hard disk added at ID 1 would then be assigned device number 2.

Fast-Wide SCSI Support

Q: Is the fast-wide SCSI interface supported on the higher-end HPPA workstations?

A: No, fast-wide is not supported by NEXTSTEP. There are no announced plans to support it at this time.

Video Support

Q: What video cards can I use with my HP workstation and what modes will it work in?

A: The following are the HP PA-RISC workstations and video systems supported by NEXTSTEP 3.3:

HP 712(/60 or /80)

Built-in (Artist)
RGB:888/32 using HP's Color Recovery technology
Add on card for two headed system
RGB:888/32 using HP's Color Recovery technology
HP 715(/33, /50, or /75) and HP 725/50
Built-in (TimberC)
CRX-24 graphics adaptor card
CRX graphics adaptor card
HP 715(/64, /80, or /100) and HP 725/100
Built-in (Artist)
RGB:888/32 using HP's Color Recovery technology
NOTE: The HCRX cards are not currently supported in NEXTSTEP 3.3. A driver is currently being written for the HCRX 8 and 24 bit graphic adaptors.
HP 735 and HP 755
CRX-24 graphics adaptor card
CRX graphics adaptor card
NOTE: the CRX card for the 735 and 755 is a different card than is used in 715's.

Resolution and Refresh Rate

All the HP's support the following resolution and refresh rate in
1280x1024 72Hz
However, on the machines with the Artist graphics system, 712(/60 or /80) and 715(/64, /80, or /100), it is possible to choose different resolutions and refresh rates during the HP boot process. The following are supported by the hardware:
1280x1024 72Hz
1024x768 75Hz
1024x768 70Hz
1024x768 75Hz Flat Panel
1280x1024 60Hz
1024x768 60Hz
640x480 60Hz
1280x1024 75Hz
1024x768 75Hz
800x600 75Hz
640x480 75Hz
Of course, you would also need a monitor that supports one on these.
NOTE: a video memory upgrade is required for for an HP model 712 to have a resolution of 1280x1024.

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