Which Linux to use with a BusLogic BT-930 Flashpoint LT SCSI card?

roses2at

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Sep 26, 2013
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I've recently acquired very cheaply a BusLogic Flashpoint LT BT-930 which I would like to use to enable my PC to talk to a SCSI 1GB Iomega Jaz drive.

Unfortunately, the reason why it was so cheap (and I'd already guessed it) was that is is very old school and that there only exist Windows drivers for it from W95 to Win98SE. Not even XP is supported, and certainly not the 64-bit Vista & Win 7 systems I currently use.

However, further research has revealed that there ARE Linux drivers for it, but I'm not sure which distro to go for. All I basically want to do is run Linux from a 16GB USB stick or a small hard drive and be able to read/write to the Jaz and then copy those files onto my Windows HDD.

I've dabbled a little bit with Linux before and still have various CDs (Ubuntu, 64 Studio, Red Hat. SUSE, etc) but to be frank, I never really enjoyed the experience. Perhaps now is the time to be converted.

Please suggest a suitable distro that is compatible with this card and my system (ASRock ALiveXfire-eSATA2 MoBo with AMD Athlon 4200+ x64 dual core 2 x 2.20GHz, 4GB RAM) and that is also:

1) easy to install
2) easy to use with a GUI and that needs as little Command Line Interface as possible to get myself going with the SCSI host adapter

Some basic instructions and any special tips for using SCSI with Linux would also be well appreciated.

Thanx in advance.

 
If you have these Linux CDs lying around - why not boot them in Live mode (with your SCSI connected), and see whether it will be recognized?. If this will be one-off action (copy data from these Jazz-es, and forget about it), may be this is the way to go. Reading recent kernel documentation about BusLogic support, it seems that BT-930 is still supported (though you will probably have to compile kernel / modules if it is not enabled by default). Check http://www.mjmwired.net/kernel/Documentation/scsi/BusLogic.txt

On the other hand - SCSI to USB adapters are "dime a dozen"...
 

roses2at

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Sep 26, 2013
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I appreciate your effort, but sorry, this is not really the answer I was looking for.

I need someone who can direct me to a SPECIFIC Linux distro which they KNOW will work with this particular SCSI Host Adapter, along with clear and easy directions how and where to download the correct driver and also how to install it with the minimum of CLI fuss.



Well, I am a little ahead of your suggestion as I had already decided to try to install Ubuntu (it's version 11-10) into a VM using VMware for Windows and see if will 'see' the SCSI card. Unfortunately, as it was an old version, after installing it took a lot of time to update and I had no further opportunity today to go any further.

I also don't know what you mean by 'boot into Live mode'. AFAIK the CDs I have all need installing to a fixed or removable disk. I am aware that there are versions of Live Linux that don't need a drive and are solely 'installed' to RAM without any HDD connected but these are scaled-down versions of the full ones and therefore may not be 'powerful' enough to do what I need them to do.

I'm also not sure if Linux or indeed any OS in a VM will be able to recognise, use and communicate with a piece of hardware that doesn't work in the host system (in my case 64-bit Vista). I've already tried some experiments with VMs of Win95, Win98FE and Win98SE which SHOULD work with this card, but at the moment they see every other piece of hardware in my PC (cos it's installed and working correctly) except for the BusLogic.



I also saw that document in the link you gave (which was what originally inspired me to believe that Linux was the way to go with this card to make it work), but it's not recent as it was written in 1998. A few years after that, its author sadly lost his life in a helicopter crash and the Dandelion Digital web page still exists but only as a testament to the guy's life and work.

Having said all that, your casual statement about 'maybe having to compile kernels & modules' means absolutely nothing to me. I wouldn't have a clue how to do that, and I'll repeat what I said, without wanting to sound like a sissy: as little CLI as possible, just GUI.



Really?? I'll have to have another look around. All the ones I've seen have cost MEGA-bucks!!
If you can direct me to some cheap ones, that'd be great. How does their transfer speeds on USB2.0 compare with what a SCSI host adapter card can achieve? (Although speed is not really an issue........but for 1GB of data? Maybe it is an issue. I also have a 2GB Jaz but no cartridges to go with it yet - it's backward compatible with the 1GB ones so maybe 2gigs would take a l-o-n-g time to copy over.)
 
Booting Ubuntu into VM will not allow you to see the PCI controller - that's why it is called Virtual Machine. The key here is "Live CD". If you are afraid for your current set-up, disconnect the cable from your hard drive(s), leaving CD/DVD drive only (and of course, your SCSI controller), and boot directly from Ubuntu CD/DVD - no VMs involved. Chances someone will have EXACTLY your setup are slim, to say the least - SCSI controllers and their peripherals are old-school since a long time (unless we're talking about servers).

Drivers in Linux are not something you "install" with "setup.exe"-like command (ok, in most cases). They are distributed either in source code, or as object files, and in both cases some manual CLI work is done. As I said, some times it requires recompiling of the kernel and/or kernel modules, which is yet another story.

As for USB-to-SCSI: The last cable I bought off Amazon was something like $20, but this was couple of years ago, and see these days they are really "megabucks - obviously a sign of "popularity" of SCSI. Your other option is to look on eBay / Amazon for SCSI adapter supported by your OS, and having right-shape connector for your Jazz drive.

And don't bother about l-o-n-g copy time - you're doing this once, don't you? ;)
 

roses2at

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Well, I beg to differ. I thought that was the whole point of a VM, that the 'guest OS within the host OS' could see and use ALL the hardware and peripherals of the host computer. That's one of the main reasons it was developed I believe, to allow people to use legacy hardware and software without having to switch hard drives or have dual-boot systems.

I also disagree that no-one is using SCSI controllers any longer. Plenty of musicians and studio engineers I know still need them in a recording environment. And just the fact that there are so many host adapter cards on eBay and other auction sites and that they get snapped up very quickly gives credence to this.

Most of what you say is not hitting the nail on the head and answering directly my query from the first post as far as I am concerned. However, one of the things you mentioned did give me an idea and I only got so far with it today before I ran out of time. Will probably devote more time to it at the weekend.....................................

But I do accept your point that someone having EXACTLY my setup is unlikely. That's not what I'm expecting. I'm simply hoping that someone out there who has a lot of experience with all the myriad of Linux systems AND of using SCSI host adapters with them (if it's a BusLogic one, all the better) can point me in the right direction.
 
OK, you have your VM installed - do you see the SCSI controller inside? Open terminal window, and execute "lspci" (or "sudo lspci") to verify that.

Nowhere I have said that "no one is using SCSI". Musicians used to use SCSI for the same reason SCSI was invented - it allowed them to connect external hard / tape drivers to their sequencers. I doubt that any modern equipment supports this standard anymore - may be I am wrong, I am not pro in this area, but I know pretty well the market for external consumer storage.

Why you will not find a distro which has GUI for setting up SCSI - for the same reason SCSI is here. This stuff goes into servers, and you won't find GUI on a Unix/Linux server.

And instead of arguing about that, why not boot that Linux distro and start experimenting?
- Disconnect your hard drive (so that you don't damage it while in Linux).
- Plug that BusLogic inside, connect and power-up your Jazz, boot from that Live CD.
- Open terminal, and execute "dmesg > dmesg.txt".
- Post dmesg.txt here using that Linux' browser, or copy is to a USB stick (you can use GUI for that, it will be in your home folder), and post it here.

From now on, we can pick up and see whether you need drivers, and what kind of them. Or, for God sake, buy this USB-to-SCSI, copy your disks, and return it back for refund.
 
"Well, I beg to differ. I thought that was the whole point of a VM, that the 'guest OS within the host OS' could see and use ALL the hardware and peripherals of the host computer. That's one of the main reasons it was developed I believe, to allow people to use legacy hardware and software without having to switch hard drives or have dual-boot systems."

Unfortunately, you are mistaken.
 

Worth a try but, TBH, I would be surprised if any modern Linux distro supported such an ancient card out of the box. It can certainly be done, but will require compiling a custom kernel, or at least the appropriate modules. This is work for a Linux guru not someone who has played with Linux and didn't really get on with it. And forget GUIs; we are talking command-line configuration and compiling plus, no doubt, a lot more hard work.

To the OP - forget this SCSI card. There is a good reason that it was so cheap. Look on eBay for a suitable card from someone like Adaptec with drivers for your OS and the correct connector for your drive. SCSI is very much a specialist bus nowadays.
 

roses2at

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Please explain further.

Those 4 words of yours do little to enhance this thread IMHO. In fact, they just muddy the waters even further.

 
You are mistaken to suppose that a virtual machine lets you see all the hardware attached to the host system. It allows you to see emulated hardware only. That emulation may, or may not, expose the underlying physical hardware. But if the host OS doesn't see it there is no possible way that the guest OS can.

Unless you can find a driver for this card in the host OS (good luck with a card from the last millennium) you will not see it in the VM. And if you had such a driver you wouldn't need a VM. Unless you are prepared to delve pretty deeply into Linux there is no way to achieve what you want to with this particular SCSI card. And no-one can provide you with a step-by-step guide of how to do that.

Cut your losses now and seek an alternative solution. The waters are already muddied beyond redemption.
 

stillblue

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OP what Alabacho is referring to in a live cd is one that runs the system from the the CD/DVD and yes, it is the full OS not a watered down one. It is slower than an installed version but will get the job done.

You can download Ubuntu releases all the way back to the original, in 2004, @ http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/ One of the older ones will have the drivers included I should think.

I'm not sure exactly when the built in ability to install to a flash USB was created but from your original post it sounds like a cd or dvd would serve you.

FYI If you don't click on update during the install it goes much faster.
 

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