IBM PowerPC ThinkPad - Using Removable Disks

1999-08-05 It is tricky but possible to use removable cartridge SCSI drives on any RS/6000 including the PowerPC ThinkPads.  Such drives include SyQuests and Iomega drives.  Note, this only applies to SCSI drives.  It is doubtful parallel port drives will ever function under AIX without the device drivers.  It is also doubtful IDE drives will work, though it might be worth testing on the desktop Power Series models which have built-in IDE.

Below are 3 scripts which make it easier to use removable drives under AIX.  Please read all notes in all 4 files and make the appropriate changes before executing.  Failure to do so could result in a loss of data!  I am providing these scripts on an as-is basis with no warranty whatsoever.  I wrote them for myself and they work on my systems and should on yours, but I can't guarantee anything.

What the scripts mainly do is massage the LVM into accepting a disk that is inherently temporary.  Basically every cartridge becomes its own VG, with its own log LV.  When you switch carts, one of the scripts will unmount, export, varyoff and rmdev the disk.  Mounting a new disk just reverses the process.

The scripts were tested and worked wonderfully on both a desktop PowerSeries 850 and a ThinkPad PowerSeries 850 with both a SyQuest 88 and a SyQuest 230.  They should work for any other external removable SCSI drives.  Please email with any success of failure stories so I can update this page.

Download the scripts here - read the README and all the comments in the scripts!

Please e-mail if you have any comments!

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