Author Topic: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool  (Read 3835 times)

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Offline flyte

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Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« on: January 17, 2019, 05:48:31 pm »
Hi all,

As many of these great Tektronix TDS scopes are ageing, they will have their NVRAMs sooner or later wiped due to battery failure and because AFAIK the only way to safely dump the NVRAMs contents is via a GPIB interface, which not every scope owner has, I've decided to write a small script which simply dumps the NVRAM contents to a floppy disk. As most TDS scopes, and certainly the higher spec'd ones, have a floppy disk option, taking a backup this way would be a quick win for anyone looking to do so or worrying about imminent battery doom.

The script is based on the JRE installer script and reads 0xA0000 bytes from the base address 0x4000000 (contiguous 128K DS1486 and 512K DS1250Y), so it should work with the TDS700C/D and TDS600C series. It has been tested on TDS754D, TDS784D and TDS694C. Adapting it to TDS series with different NVRAM addresses should be easy.

Simply put the attachment's contents into an (old) FAT formatted floppy and start up the scope with the disk mounted. About 10s after boot, it will dump the NVRAMs to dump.bin on the floppy. Use an error-free floppy and preferably first format it on the scope itself using the normal file utilities for best compatibility.

Make sure you rename the dump.bin right away to include the scope model and serial number, as there is no way to derive that from the binary dump afterwards.

Have fun saving your equipment!   :)

flyte

-- EDIT/UPDATE:

If we can read this way, we can also write!   ;)

So I've made a second script which will load an NVRAM dump back into the scope via floppy. Works the same way as the dumper, but expects a file writedmp.bin on the disk. Tested on a TDS754D scope, works perfectly. Note that loading a dump from a different scope will mess up all calibration values, so please be honest when offering scopes "repaired" this way and mention it to your buyer.

BTW, if you are looking for a factory new genuine Dallas DS1486, I have some left from known distributor origins. It's likely to be one of the very last batches, as the production stopped years ago and worldwide stocks are now depleted, and what now remains are Ebay floods of Asian counterfeits with all sorts of issues.

-- EDIT/UPDATE 2:

Made a new set of scripts v3, the previous download's nvram restore/write script did not write correctly in some cases which lead to a corrupt nvram, even if the file was fine, as it appeared. Also, the backup/dump script seemed to hang on A-series scopes, a TDS524A in the case tested. Please delete your old downloads, replace them with the new scripts and check info.txt in the archive.

-- EDIT/UPDATE 3:

Added a checksum verification tool so everyone can verify the dump taken has valid checksums on critical calibration data. Even though it contains checksum locations for a range of firmware versions and models, you may encounter an unrecognized NVRAM firmware prototype. Also, there may be locations in the NVRAM with other checksums than what is supported by the tool, but those verified by it are the critical ones regarding calibration and proper startup. It's written in Java, you need to install a Java JRE on your computer in order to use it. Run command example:

Code: [Select]
java -cp TDSNvrCV_1_0.zip TDSNvramChecksumVerifier DUMP.BIN
-- EDIT/UPDATE 4:

Added scripts to backup the factory calibration constants in the EEPROMs on acquisition boards of -B, -C and -D series scopes, starting with firmware v4.x. Check info.txt inside the archive. The checksum verifier has been updated to allow verification of the acquisition EEPROM dumps, and the tool will attempt to detect based on file size whether the dump is an NVRAM or acquisition EEPROM.

Code: [Select]
java -cp TDSNvrCV_2_0.zip TDSNvramChecksumVerifier DUMP.BIN
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 10:55:15 am by flyte »
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 08:54:21 am »
Please leave your comment including scope model number and firmware revision for other users to know whether it worked ok.
 
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Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2019, 07:48:23 am »
To those following this thread: old release had several bugs and problems |O please update your download with the new and better release v3 available in first post  8)
 

Offline Treehouseman

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2019, 03:41:21 pm »
Would it be possible to make this dump the contents of the firmware off the flash, and would this be possibly be able to restore a bricked scope? I know that the flash is already too big to be dumped all at once, when I finally did get some output over gpib it was 3MB of data, so it would have to be done over multiple reads.
 

Offline tinhead

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2019, 10:59:20 pm »
thanks for the update @flyte
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I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 09:47:38 am »
In theory, yes. Pratically speaking no.

Grabbing a dump in multiple files wouldn't be a big problem, but would that be useful in any way? That flash is not going to die anytime soon, the NVRAMs will. Meanwhile you can find the latest firmwares for the respective series in several places.

In order to flash, multiple problems exist. The floppy is too small, so you'd have to chop it up and make a small tool to do so automatically. Next you'd need to write a small piece of 68k flash code (similar to target.bin in tekfwtool) and somehow reboot the CPU into that instead of the VxWorks OS, or write some VxWorks compatible flash program and then hope during flashing the OS does not access it.

I think the trade-off effort vs. benefit would no longer be okay here. If you want to flash, get a GPIB interface.

The reason for making these small scripts was to allow people to easily safeguard and eventually replace their NVRAMs without buying a GPIB interface, or, worse, start opening up the scope and desolder the whole thing or even destroying it in the process of attempting to do so.
 

Offline OH2LIY

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 06:14:22 pm »
Here is my dump from 754C fw:5.3e modified to 784C plus added options via GPIB...

TNX!
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2019, 08:53:36 am »
An update regarding the tool:

In order for the writing script to work on several older models like the TDS524A, you should flip the calibration/write protection switch. Most firmwares refuse to boot when flipping the switch and thus the floppy disk script can't start, so you may have to flip the switch the exact moment the floppy disk light comes on for the first time, after boot. This is because part of the calibration in the NVRAM is hardware write-protected. Later models like the TDS754D have that part of the calibration stored in EEPROMs on the acquisition board, and have no NVRAM write protection.

I can confirm replacing the old DS1650Y of a TDS524 by a regular DS1250Y does work without faults. The DS1650Y only has the extra functionality to write protect certain partitions of the NVRAM. As the script does not perform any unlocking, replacing the DS1650Y with a DS1650Y (in case you'd ever manage to get an original one) might not work, if Tektronix decided to also use that partition locking feature.

In case you'd need a genuine DS1486 or DS1250Y and not the Asian counterfeits from Ebay, please P.M. me, I have some more left.
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 04:41:47 pm »
Hi Flyte,
Thanks a lot for developing this excellent tool. It will help many TDS owners like me.
I have a TDS540C with firmware v5.0e, with 1F, 1M, 2F option. Tried this tool which use buffer when dumping, the floppy lights 2 times during startup, but didn't start to dump when start the scope. Tried a few times, still doesn't work.
Then I tried the minimal floppy dumper, it works, and got the dump.bin on the disk. But I didn't try to use it to write back as minimal writer does not use a buffer and may cause writing problem as stated in the info.txt.
The disk quality is good as it works when using minimal dumper. So, do you think where is the problem? Maybe my scope setting need some change? Or what procedure I should follow when using the bufferred dumper?

Thanks again.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 01:02:07 pm by Galen »
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 05:16:26 pm »
Upload the NVRAM dump of my TDS540C (firmware 5.0e) dump image here. Only the minimal dumper works. So don't know if this  dump.bin is correct or not.
My TDS540C NVRAM chips are  DS1486 and DS1650Y.
 

Offline Rollin Hand

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 12:59:40 pm »
Hello
How you separete from the dump the contents for the ds1486 and the ds1250 for use to program the chips with a burner.Thanks
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 02:24:49 pm »
You can make change to the address in the startup.bat,  then you can get the dump for each chip seperately. I didn't try this, but look into the startup.bat, this should work.
 

Offline Ice-Tea

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 02:50:46 pm »
You must be the most thanked 11-post poster in the history of the EEVBLOG!

Well done!
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Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2019, 09:24:41 am »
Update the progress. After I got the 640K NVRAM dump (used a few disks to dump a few times, to make sure dump quality), I decided to have a try to write it back to the NVRAM. Inserted the disk into the scope and push the on button. After 2 times floppy drive lighting on, the scope restarted. Withdraw the disk immediately. The scope continued the startup process, a little different with normal startup. Finally, the familiar screen appeared, all options still there. No other different, just the time display changed to the time when this dump was made. This indicated the writing was successful. Great! I have been worrying about the NVRAM battery after I got this old TDS540C. Now, no worry!
Thanks Flyte again! Great tool!
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 09:41:37 am by Galen »
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2019, 09:31:50 am »
Then another question is, it's said the options are stored in DS1486, address from 0x04000000 to 0x4020000, this means if I know the address, then can revise that data and use floppy to write back. No need for GPIB card and driver/software which is not very easy to play with. Right?

Anybody know the option bit address?
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2019, 12:16:21 pm »
Found dxl's post on:  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hackingupgrading-old-scope-(tds754d)/msg492404/#msg492404
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
dxl wrote:
on the TDS784D i looked at, the addresses where:
NVRAM:0400081C 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; 5 - TV Trig
NVRAM:0400081E 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; 6 - Option 1M
NVRAM:04000820 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; 7
NVRAM:04000822 0001                                dc.w 1                  ; 8 - Option 13
NVRAM:04000824 0001                                dc.w 1                  ; 9 - Option 1F
NVRAM:04000826 0001                                dc.w 1                  ; A - Option 2F
NVRAM:04000828 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; B
NVRAM:0400082A 0001                                dc.w 1                  ; C - Option 2C
NVRAM:0400082C 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; D - Option 3C
NVRAM:0400082E 0000                                dc.w 0                  ; E - Option 4C
NVRAM:04000830 0001                                dc.w 1                  ; F - Option 2M
Those adresses could be completely different on your scopes firmware, and i think the data has a checksum associated.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So I used a DS1486 dump, tried to change the 0000 at address 0000082A (the dump file address start from 00000000), then floppy write back to DS1486, the 2C option didn't appear when restarted the TDS540C. Looks like I didn't find the right address?


« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 12:20:20 pm by Galen »
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2019, 01:07:30 pm »
Upload the DS1486 dump here, it's from TDS540C, Fv5.0e. For study and find the option bit.
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2019, 03:15:22 pm »
Problem solved! The solution is 'flip the calibration/write protection switch'. As Flyte's update in this post, flip the switch when the floppy drive light for the first time; when re-starting, flip this switch back to protect position.

Using this magic, I added 2C option for my scope. Check through the COMM function buttons, all there same with the user manual stated. Thanks Flyte, again!
 

Online eKretz

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2019, 05:08:38 pm »
That is great! Very cool that this works. I'd thank the O.P. 10 times if I could...I love my TDS.
 

Offline Rollin Hand

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2019, 02:03:24 pm »
Can you post the startup file for each of the dallas chips ,I modify the startup file to ""taskSpawn ("nvramdumper",1,0x0,40800,sysExecScript,"fd0:/nvdump.app") "  and I got another dump of 640 k or can you tell me how to divide the 640 k dump.
Thank you
 

Offline Galen

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2019, 02:53:27 pm »
@ Rollin Hand, I used the minimal dumper, as the buffer one didn't work on my scope.

For DS1486,  use:
nvrBase=0x4000000
nvrSize=0x20000

For DS1650, use:
nvrBase=0x4020000
nvrSize=0x80000

Hope this can help you.

Galen
 

Offline Rollin Hand

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2019, 01:00:14 pm »
Galen :

it works on my tds724d without moving the protection switch .
I got 2 files with the limited dump with the ranges changed, after inspect the  files with an hex editor I saw the data with options on the file the next step is to burn the 2 dallas chips .Thank you
 

Offline casinada

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2019, 08:01:41 pm »
Rollin,
You don't need the protection to read or dump information from the scope, only when you want to write back to it.  :)
 

Offline sorenkir

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2019, 09:08:53 am »
Hi,
Minimal dump seems to work on my TDS520B (firmware v4.1e), without moving the protection switch.

I have tried 3 times and compared the files.
I have a few differences each time.
I am assuming this is normal as they are always at about the same addresses (?)...

Code: [Select]
>fc /b "DUMP TDS520B 20190303.BIN" "DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (2).BIN"
Comparaison des fichiers DUMP TDS520B 20190303.BIN et DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (2).BIN
00000000: 18 89
00000001: 30 18
00000002: 59 31
00000004: 21 22
00000010: 02 03
0000141E: FE E2
0000141F: 9D 9F
00001AEF: E0 E2
00001AF0: 31 15

>fc /b "DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (2).BIN" "DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (3).BIN"
Comparaison des fichiers DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (2).BIN et DUMP TDS520B 20190303 (3).BIN
00000000: 89 95
00000002: 31 39
0000141E: E2 B3
0000141F: 9F 98
00001AEF: E2 DB
00001AF0: 15 E6

Michel.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 04:33:26 pm by sorenkir »
 
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Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2019, 02:46:01 pm »
Great to read you find it useful, I hope it'll save many scopes from the waste bin!   :-+

A combined reply to various questions:
  • As configured by default, the tool grabs both the contents of the DS1486 and DS1250Y in one file, as they are adjacent in memory space. The DS1486 comes first starting at dump position 0x0, then the DS1250Y starts at position 0x20000 until 0xA0000. You can simply split the file using a hex editor, no need for multiple scripts.
  • I do not recommend this unless you have alternative ways to recover from failure and are sure about the backup, but for the brave who want to test whether it really works as expected and plan for the ultimate rescue action, you should write a random garbage dump of the same size to your NVRAMs first. As I said, make sure it doesn't turn into ultimate destruction ... :-BROKE :palm:. Then power up the scope, it will reboot, may hang on invalid data, but it will load default NVRAM values eventually, including a (wrong) default calibration. Then write the NVRAMs using the tool and everything should be back to normal. I tried this on a TDS754D and it worked.
  • The protection switch flipping right before writing starts only seems required on older models. The D-series scopes can be written without flipping the switch.
  • The structure of the dump varies with model and firmware number, but seems unchanged across major versions and equivalent hardware. E.g. TDS520D/../TDS724D/754D/784D running 7.x all have the same structure. There is a checksum over several sections in the dump, if time allows and it makes sense to do so (due to the many variants), I may write a small tool which computes the checksum, so you can be sure the dump taken is correct.
  • Dumps will indeed never be the same. For a start, at position 0x0 there is the DS1486 clock which simply ticks further until the end of times. Then there is also a vast part of the NVRAM used for saving (GUI) settings and error logs, and diagnostic results. The most critical part is the section which stores calibration constants and the section configuring the hardware. All other sections may be initialized to default values without penalty to the user.
 
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Offline dxl

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2019, 05:13:05 pm »
Definitely a great tool. And *much* easier to use than my tekfwtool i wrote long time ago! :-)
 

Offline fisafisa

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2019, 10:40:14 pm »
Hi.
Why writing random data?
Can´t you simply write the correct data to the NVRAMs?
I am in the middle of fixing a NVRAM problem myself. (the DS1486 losing data)

In any case note that the DS1250 NVRAM is mapped in memory with the first quarter of its memory mapped at the end.
So no simple read from floppy and write to chip using a programmer.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2019, 04:02:24 pm »
Definitely a great tool. And *much* easier to use than my tekfwtool i wrote long time ago! :-)

I think you deserve a ton of credit for that tekfwtool ! Not in the least for the approach of
dropping flash target code into the device. Certain spy agencies would appreciate your
craft ...  ::)

Mine is basically a script using a couple of VxWorks functions. And it can't flash.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2019, 04:20:22 pm »
Hi.
Why writing random data?
Can´t you simply write the correct data to the NVRAMs?
I am in the middle of fixing a NVRAM problem myself. (the DS1486 losing data)

In any case note that the DS1250 NVRAM is mapped in memory with the first quarter of its memory mapped at the end.
So no simple read from floppy and write to chip using a programmer.

Because some parts of the NVRAM never change, and those are the most important ones. So if you write a dump, which you took, into an NVRAM which already contains the same data, you won't actually know whether the write operation succeeded or it did nothing (due to some write protection, etc.) and it may just seem to work because the correct data was already there to start with. Like I said, I do not recommend loading random data unless you know what you are doing and have ways to recover.

I will see if it's possible to write a small tool which verifies checksums, so everyone can be sure they took a correct dump of the cal values.

It's indeed possible Tektronix "messed" around with mapping memory space onto the NVRAM, which would prevent unaltered external writing in a linear fashion. But how sure are you about this? It seems kind of weird. Could be it's your programmer swapping mappings?

In any case, it's the DS1486 which contains all important calibration data. The DS1250 is just there to remember settings, waveforms and error logs.

Btw, what leads you to believe the DS1486 is "losing data"? It's different with every dump, that's perfectly normal.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2019, 09:41:11 pm »
FYI: just finished the checksum tool, see update in first post
 

Offline bsdphk

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2019, 10:22:35 pm »
The firmware in these scopes is quite fascinating, not only do they run a VXWorks kernel, they run the entire interactive plan of the GUI in SmallTalk :-)

I have not studied the code which controls the CALRAM access in detail, but it looks like a pretty trivial software/hardware handshake mekanism, involving crucially, the switch you poke via the ventilation hole.

Btw, it looks like all the firmware is there for ethernet support, I wonder how hard it would be to add the necessary hardware?
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2019, 08:14:00 am »
The firmware in these scopes is quite fascinating, not only do they run a VXWorks kernel, they run the entire interactive plan of the GUI in SmallTalk :-)

I have not studied the code which controls the CALRAM access in detail, but it looks like a pretty trivial software/hardware handshake mekanism, involving crucially, the switch you poke via the ventilation hole.

Btw, it looks like all the firmware is there for ethernet support, I wonder how hard it would be to add the necessary hardware?

Correct, these TDSes are SmallTalk scopes  :)  I agree, it was pretty advanced for their era. But it looks like Tektronix shoot themselves in the foot eventually, because later TDS scopes then all came with a Windows OS, probably due to demand, competitors and marketing. So then they seemed forced to keep their 68K/PowerPC/SmallTalk scope-marvell as a 2nd computer inside another Windows/Intel computer. The Windows OS was basically there to display a remote console into the VxWorks system  :palm:  They even made cumbersome BIOS/hardware on the TDS6000/7000 series which allowed shared access by the 68K/PowerPC board to the disk and resources of the Wintel platform  :o

Adding Ethernet might be possible. There seems to be evidence of the PCMCIA option checking for a LAN card in it. If the hardcoded driver is indeed in there somewhere, it's still not clear which card model or make it is expecting. Knowing Tektronix' choices of that era, my bet would be on a 3Com LAN card. If it all works, the question would be whether it'll do anything useful at all. But I'll leave that challenge to others  >:D
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2019, 11:15:13 am »
Again a new update of the tools! See original post.

While I was at it, I figured I could also implement a backup script for the calibration EEPROMs located on the acquisition board. Starting with firmware revision 4.x (-B series scopes and up), Tektronix decided to store factory calibration constants in two 24C04 EEPROMs on the acquisition board, instead of in a protected NVRAM region. For the sake of clarity: calibration constants are present both in NVRAM and in the acquisition board EEPROMs, it's not that the EEPROMs replaced the NVRAM and you no longer need it! My understanding is that if you mess up the NVRAM, your scope may be recalibrated by a service center, whereas if something happens to the acquisition EEPROM constants ...  :-BROKE Please note the script only reads one EEPROM or 0x200 bytes. It seems the second EEPROM was never used by any firmware, and that has been confirmed by others reading out the chips directly, i.e. the second chip is always empty.

The checksum verifier tool has now been updated to handle verification of the acquisition EEPROM dumps as well. The tool will automatically attempt to determine the dump type by looking at the file size.

This set of tools should now allow to safeguard and check all device-specific data on all TDS5/6/7xx series. In case you find any bugs or unsupported interpretation of your NVRAM/EEPROM, please let me know and I'll correct it.
 

Offline Tardz

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2019, 10:34:13 pm »
Thanks for these tools.
I've done today a backup of NVRAM and EEPROM with your tools without any problem.
Date code of my DS1250Y is 9750U an for DS1486, 9731E.
My scope is a TDS784C firmware V5.3e option 13 1F 1M 2F.
It's time to change the NVRAM.

Thank you so much!
Yves
 

Offline Dogbert01

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2019, 01:14:56 am »
Tried both the NVRAM floppy dumper and the minimal floppy dumper on a TDS744A scope but neither would dump the NVRAM. When I examined the floppy I find that the startup.bat files have been changed and are unreadable. Firmware version is 1.1e.

Does anyone know if the TDS744A's use a different memory space for the NVRAM?

Thanks.
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2019, 07:08:03 am »
I've also found that issue but only if I do use a floppy (FAT) formatted by e.g. Windows. At least in my case this does not happen using a floppy formatted by the scope itself.
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2019, 07:24:55 am »
Hi and thanks a lot for providing this tool.

I just wanted to report that I've found that the dumps done by the tdsNvramFloppyDumper seems to differ from the ones I've done using the tektool.
I know that there are areas which will always change (like the RTC area and also the GUI area) but I've found several big areas where the dump shows 0x00 using the tektool but showing 0xF6 using the floppy tool and I'm not sure if the floppy tool gives reliable results...

Please find two dumps attached taken shortly one after another - one done by using the tdsNvramFloppyDumper and the other one using the tektool (and for convenience just appended the TIMEKEEPER and the SRAM). I've attached two files, DUMP.bin (done using tdsNvramFloppyDumper v4) and nvram_COMBINED.bin (done using the tektool comibing the resulted separate dumps afterwards). I'm just not sure which one of the dumps will be correct and which are not. For now I think the dumps done using the tektool are more "reliable"...

I've also tried using the tdsNvramFloppyDumper having the NVRAM protection ON as well as switching it OFF with different timing after the scopes boot started (after the first flashing of the floppy drives LED, after the splash screen appeared, after the scopes info screen appeared). I'm aware that just reading the NVRAMs should not be influenced by this switch but as far as I can see it may do so anyway. I did not dig too deep into that issue because I'm not sure (as mentioned above) if the dumps done by tdsNvramFloppyDumper are reliable anyway.

(BTW: I'm using a TDS754D FV v6.6e having a serial # B02xxxx which I've upgraded to TDS784D (configuration resistors as well as BW limiting caps) as well as adding some SW options (like 1M - 2M is not possible with my model because it's only equipped with the 32k x 8 RAMs), I do have two PC setups, one Windows 10 using NI488 PCII as PCI card and one Windows 98 using PCII as ISA card. I do also use an option 13 to console adapter cable)
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 07:55:39 am by HardyG »
 

Offline Dogbert01

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #37 on: May 09, 2019, 06:39:04 pm »
HardyG,

Thank you for the reply. I did format the floppy on the scope but I still am not able to dump the NVRAM.

If I use the tdsNvramFloppyDumper the startup.bat file gets changed to this 愀歳灓睡∨癮慲摭浵数≲ㄬ〬へ㐬〰〰猬獹硅捥捓楲瑰∬摦㨰港摶浵⹰灡≰਩.

If I use the tdsNvramMinimalFloppyDumper the startup.bat file does not change but there is no NVRAM dump.

I have ordered parts to build the console connector to see if I can use that to dump the NVRAM.
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #38 on: May 09, 2019, 07:10:56 pm »
Dagobert01,

did you check if the floppy drive cable is correctly connected to your processor board? maybe it‘s worth to check or just release and re-insert it again...
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2019, 10:18:54 am »
NVRAM dump by tektool vs. tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4
================================================
1. Environment preparation
    TDS754D (resistors / caps upgraded to TDS784D, some SW options upgraded)
    Setup the scopes GPIB address to "1"
    PC (Windows 98) equipped with NI488 PCII ISA GPIB card and connect the scope (by GPIB) with the PC
    (The GPIB tools/environment needs to be set up correctly on that PC)
    You do need the "tektool" on that PC
    Prepare a floppy (formated by the scope itself and copy the respective two files from tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 onto that floppy
    You may or may not attach a console adapter to see any possible erasing message
   
2. TDS preparation (optional - may ease the compare later on)
    You need the tool "TDSError Log Viewer" to erase the error logs on
    Switch the scope on (in normal mode)
    Use the "TDSError Log Viewer" to clear the error logs
    Delete all "secure" files on the scope - so waveforms stored etc.
       (TDS: "Utility" --> "Config" --> "Tek Secure Erase Memory" --> "OK Erase Setup & Ref Memory")
    Perform a factory reset (TDS: "Setup" --> "RECALL Factory Setup" --> "OK Confirm Factory init")
      
3. Execution (in a row)
   a) Scope is OFF
       Put NVRAM write protection SW in position "protection OFF / Monitor mode"
       Switch the scope ON and wait shortly (it's taking only seconds until it's booted to the "monitor" SW.
       (Remember: The scope seems to "hang" and has nothing on the screen what's absolutely correct)
       dump NVRAM by tektool
       Switch the scope OFF again
       Put NVRAM write protection back into "protection ON"
   b) Place the floppy prepared with the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 into the scopes drive
       Switch the scope ON and wait until the tool completed the dump...
       dump NVRAM by tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4
       Drop the floppy out of the scope
       Switch the scope OFF
   c) Put NVRAM write protection SW in position "protection OFF / Monitor mode"
       Switch the scope ON and wait shortly (it's taking only seconds until it's booted to the "monitor" SW.
       (Remember: The scope seems to "hang" and has nothing on the screen what's absolutely correct)
       dump NVRAM by tektool
       Switch the scope OFF again
       Put NVRAM write protection back into "protection ON"
      
4. Compare
Now having the 3 results let us prepare the compare.
The tektool usually giving you separate files for TIMEKEEPER and SRAM.
For an easy compare we should link the two files after each other (first TIMEKEEPER than append SRAM).
This can performed by many tool - e.g. just binary copy /b file1.bin + file2.bin resulting_file.bin
Now we do have 3 equally sized files which we are able to compare easily.

If we do compare the first and the last one (both done using tektool) you can see that there are only small differences.
There are always small changes, e.g. the real time clock at the start of the files but also some GUI settings which are stored.
Also if there are any errors the scope will log these during startup.

Back to the comparison having a look on the first and the last dump we do see some slight changes (normal as described above).
If we do compare one of the tektool dumps against the dump performed by the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 (taken as second dump so between the
two above in a timely manner) we do see a lot more differences - some seem to have "more" content in the dump done by the tektool, some
in the dump done by the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4. Because lot of the changes between the first (tektool) dump and the second (tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4)
dump seem to be gone in the thired (second tektool) dump this seems not to be content just created / changed during the startups
there seems to be an inconsistence between the dumps taken by the tektool vs. taken by the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4.

Does maybe the "NVRAM protection switch" does have any influence on the NVRAM content also if it's only read???
Lets try a fourth dump using the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4. This time we'll have the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 floppy in the scopes drive and
the NVRAM protection switch still "ON" when switching on the scope but as soon as we see the floppy LED flash for the first time
we do change the NVRAM protection switch to "OFF" so the dump taken using the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 is done while having the
NVRAM protection switch OFF.
After the dump is done (you'll recognize when the floppy is finished to write data - it seems sometimes the "finished" dialog
of the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 is not in that configuration) we drop of the floppy and switch of the scope. Do not forget to switch the
NVRAM protection switch to ON again. If that switch does not make any difference in reading the NVRAM than the fourth dump should only
have slight differences to the second one (also made using the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4) which will mean that the dumps made using
the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 are inconsistent with the ones made using the tektool and therefor maybe faulty. If that fourth dump has
the same bigger differences like the tektool ones compared with the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 ones this shows that having the
MVRAM protection switch in one or the other position DOES IN FACT make a big difference in the memory read.

I did so and found the fourth dump does also have bigger differences to the second dump (both made using the tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4)
but the fourth dump has also bigger differences compared with the tektool ones. What does that mean???

Ones for sure: Dumps differ very much between having the NVRAM protection switch in ON or OFF position!
But where do that big differences come from between having the NVRAM protection OFF doing a dump using tdsNvramFloppyTools_v4 and a dump
done using the tektool?
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2019, 06:19:43 pm »
Tried both the NVRAM floppy dumper and the minimal floppy dumper on a TDS744A scope but neither would dump the NVRAM. When I examined the floppy I find that the startup.bat files have been changed and are unreadable. Firmware version is 1.1e.

Does anyone know if the TDS744A's use a different memory space for the NVRAM?

Thanks.

This seems like a very old firmware. I did not have the possibility to test it on firmware that old, and it may indeed not work.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2019, 06:22:09 pm »
HardyG,

Thank you for the reply. I did format the floppy on the scope but I still am not able to dump the NVRAM.

If I use the tdsNvramFloppyDumper the startup.bat file gets changed to this 愀歳灓睡∨癮慲摭浵数≲ㄬ〬へ㐬〰〰猬獹硅捥捓楲瑰∬摦㨰港摶浵⹰灡≰਩.

If I use the tdsNvramMinimalFloppyDumper the startup.bat file does not change but there is no NVRAM dump.

I have ordered parts to build the console connector to see if I can use that to dump the NVRAM.

As pointed out earlier, make sure you format the floppy using the scope itself or some old PC. A disk formatted on a recent OS is unlikely to work, especially with the older firmware versions.
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2019, 07:09:30 pm »
HardyG,

Thanks a lot for such an extensive report.

You are correct, your dumps taken by the tekfwtool have valid checksums whereas those taken by the script tools of the post are mostly invalid.

However, scrolling through your dumps, it looks like the problem could be simple. There are numerous READ FAIL log entries in the last dump, which could mean that either you are using a floppy disk with errors, either your TDS floppy drive is dirty or not working. Unless that would be from a past episode.

It is of crucial importance you use an error-free floppy disk. I've found out that even if sectors are properly marked as bad, the TDS doesn't handle things very well.

When running the scripts, also make sure the scope is as idle as possible and the GPIB is disconnected, as it may generate high-priority interrupts.

Please note you should not totally rely on the observed binary contents of the dump. I've included a Java based tool in the post which can verify the checksums of the crucial parts of NVRAM and acquisition EEPROM dumps. There are large parts of the NVRAM which contain garbage from some startup or debugging tests, and they may change frequently for no good reason.

Checking your dumps with the Java-based verifier tool does reveal a small bug in it: on one occasion it says all checksums are valid even with bad dumps. By looking at it closely, it does show all checksums are zero (both computed and as-found in the dump, by accident). I can't fix this as in theory a checksum with value 0x0 could actually exist.

One more thing to try would be too see if you get different results with the "minimal" dumper script vs. the normal GUI-based script (check the readme with the scripts for further info).

Please do post your further findings.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 08:30:22 am by flyte »
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2019, 07:19:05 pm »
And there is a second thing if I recall well from my testing: you must remove any console adapter when using the dump scripts. It seems this extra high priority VxWorks shell task interferes with the dumping task.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 08:28:42 am by flyte »
 

Offline Dogbert01

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2019, 10:37:40 pm »
flyte,

I formatted the floppy using the scope utility.

I think that it is great that you created this tool.

I would attempt to update the firmware, but then I would need to calibrate the scope.

I have a GPIB PCI card and am now waiting for a GPIB cable to arrive so that I can dump the NVRAM data.

 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2019, 08:08:33 am »
flyte,

I formatted the floppy using the scope utility.

I think that it is great that you created this tool.

I would attempt to update the firmware, but then I would need to calibrate the scope.

I have a GPIB PCI card and am now waiting for a GPIB cable to arrive so that I can dump the NVRAM data.

You're only way out with such an old firmware is likely to be the GPIB tekfwtool, if it works with it at all.

Upgrading firmware does not necessarily mean you need to recalibrate. Tektronix held calibration format stable across several releases of scopes and firmwares.

The checksum tool I've posted detects nearly all variants, I've identified 5 core variants so far for all firmwares of all TDS5/6/7ABCD scopes. You can run it on your NVRAM dump and check if it finds a full match (with non-zero checksums). If it does, you should be able to upgrade firmware to the detected firmware format without calibration data problems.

But under any circumstance, backup the NVRAM first. Flashing a new firmware with incompatible calibration format will reset all NVRAM calibration to firmware default values! These seem to be firmware default values and not default values for a scope to work. E.g. if a calibration constant would need to be 1.25 as a default for the average scope to work, the firmware default values may be set to 0.0, effectively rendering the scope non-operational.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 08:37:37 am by flyte »
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2019, 08:28:14 am »
The checksum tool I've posted detects nearly all variants, I've identified 5 core variants so far for all firmwares of all TDS5/6/7ABCD scopes. You can run it on your NVRAM dump and check if it finds a full match (with non-zero checksums). If it does, you should be able to upgrade firmware to the detected firmware format without calibration data problems.

And I need to add to that this only applies to the calibration data format. For example, the TDS754/84D have different acquisition hardware starting with serial number B040000, and the respective firmware 7.4e will only run on that type of hardware, even if the calibration data base structure is the same. For that particular type of scope with serials below B040000, highest compatible firmware seems to be 6.6e.
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2019, 12:15:29 pm »
Ahhh - thanks a lot, flyte.
At least for the TIMEKEEPER that did the job.
All checksums are reported to be VALID but the SRAM ones are 0x00 - so maybe unchecked / invalid.
The SRAM content also still differs significantly between floppy tool and tektool_0 - but maybe that doesn‘t matter...

Where does the checksum tool derive the firmware versions from?
My scope is an early TDS754D (B02xxxx) (upgraded to TDS784D) having firmware 6.6e (which I also dumped and checked against an original firmware 6.6e image found it‘s matching) but the checksum tool reports something like

checking the calibration eeprom: firmware prototype acqEEPROM-TDS784D-v7.4e_TDS784C-v5.2e
checking the TIMEKEEPER: firmware prototype NVRAM-TDS784D-v7.4e
checking the SRAM: firmware prototype TDS524A-v3.8.7e - but all checksums are 0x00

Are you able to explain this, please?

I‘m also not sure how writing new NVRAMs may work using the floppy tool because if your NVRAMs are dead and you had the need to replace them with new ones the scope does not boot to the point where the floppy tool gets started. Am I wrong?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 05:33:14 pm by HardyG »
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2019, 10:05:59 am »
Ahhh - thanks a lot, flyte.
At least for the TIMEKEEPER that did the job.
All checksums are reported to be VALID but the SRAM ones are 0x00 - so maybe unchecked / invalid.
The SRAM content also still differs significantly between floppy tool and tektool_0 - but maybe that doesn‘t matter...

Where does the checksum tool derive the firmware versions from?
My scope is an early TDS754D (B02xxxx) (upgraded to TDS784D) having firmware 6.6e (which I also dumped and checked against an original firmware 6.6e image found it‘s matching) but the checksum tool reports something like

checking the calibration eeprom: firmware prototype acqEEPROM-TDS784D-v7.4e_TDS784C-v5.2e
checking the TIMEKEEPER: firmware prototype NVRAM-TDS784D-v7.4e
checking the SRAM: firmware prototype TDS524A-v3.8.7e - but all checksums are 0x00

Are you able to explain this, please?

I‘m also not sure how writing new NVRAMs may work using the floppy tool because if your NVRAMs are dead and you had the need to replace them with new ones the scope does not boot to the point where the floppy tool gets started. Am I wrong?

You shouldn't split the NVRAM dumps. The checksum verifier expects the RTC NVRAM (first) and main NVRAM (2nd) to be in one dump as they appear in memory. Not that it really matters much, as all important cal data is stored in RTC, the other NVRAM is just there for waveform and settings storage. But it never hurts to back it up.

The checksum verifier tool derives the firmware versions based on a guess. It verifies all known checksummed sections (listed), and if it finds one particular set where all checksums match, it considers the NVRAM must be valid and originating from that particular FW version. As I said, over all scopes I've identified 5 different key firmware versions based on the structure of the NVRAM. The tool will only report one of those prototypes if valid, which is not necessarily the actual firmware on the scope, albeit one close to it. As mentioned, the tool may output a valid match/checksum if it accidentally matches the garbage data, usually when 0x00. This can't be fixed, as it may actually be a valid checksum value in some cases. It's mainly because Tektronix chose a very weak checksum, a simple addition, if one can call this a checksum at all.

If the NVRAMs are empty, the scope will initialize them with firmware default values (it's not calibration defaults for the average scope, see previous message!). After 1-2 restarts, it will boot with these default values, but measurement will be completely off or even impossible. But it will boot and that's enough for the script to run!

So, in the end, which was the problem with the bad dump? Bad floppy? GPIB/console port attached?
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2019, 06:07:02 pm »
Thanks a lot for the explanations, flyte.
The problem was that I had console as well as GPIB attached.
Does disconnecting them just lower the chances to get faulty dumps or does it completely eliminate it giving reliable dumps every time? Does it make sense to do a „2 out of 3“ dumps or something to be sure?
 

Offline flyte

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2019, 11:30:47 am »
Thanks a lot for the explanations, flyte.
The problem was that I had console as well as GPIB attached.
Does disconnecting them just lower the chances to get faulty dumps or does it completely eliminate it giving reliable dumps every time? Does it make sense to do a „2 out of 3“ dumps or something to be sure?

It never hurts to do multiple dumps. Yes, I think it's a question of lowering chance of a corrupt dump, but I'm no VxWorks expert and even less so when it comes to the internals implemented by Tektronix. But I've noticed having all sorts of extra interrupts does no good to the dump script. Make sure it is simply idle without anything connected and not displaying/triggering on signals, and take 2-3 dumps to be on the safe side.

In any case, you should rely on the Java-based checksum verifier tool to check if cal data in the dump is valid or not. That's why I've added it. All checksums should be valid and in general non-zero (1/65536 chance it's a valid zero), a single firmware profile should have been indentified, and performing the check over multiple dumps should always yield the same checksum number, with the exception of the sections DIAG, STATE and ENVIRONMENT which can change based on the current settings of the scope. Sections PFCAL, INTCONST and HWACCOUNTANT as well as the acquisition EEPROM section ACQEEPROM (or the EXTCONST section for TDS---A series scope which have none and store everything in NVRAM) should remain invariant across any dump taken. That's where the golden data is stored.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 06:54:02 pm by flyte »
 

Offline HardyG

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #51 on: May 22, 2019, 05:58:03 pm »
Excellent - thanks a lot, flyte  :-+ :)
 

Offline BrianAS

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Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2019, 10:19:55 pm »
Hi,I am new here and have just started playing with TDS scopes . I have used the NVRam minimal dump s/w on my TDS744 -- please note this is not an 'A,B,C,D' version its an original no suffix at all , it seems to have worked first time . I have searched through the .bin file using a HEX editor HxD and the error log is fairly easy to spot but the area where the options are placed seems very hard to locate visually as the locations expected dont contain just a zero or a one .
Firmware version is V1.0e , I had my doubts as everyone seems to have at least an 'A' version scope or better .
Has anyone else used this s/w on such an old scope , was it successful .
Also the little roms 27C04 , located at U1052 and U1055 are actually fitted on my scope , if not used for the later purpose of retaing a copy of CAL data , what were they used for ??

This is a great tool , thank you Flyte for your effort .
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:12:30 pm by BrianAS »
 

Offline .ctro

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  • Country: ru
  • Country: ru
Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2019, 01:35:03 am »
Hi all! Can anybody send dump for TDS520b? I've bricked mine  |O
 

Offline sorenkir

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  • Posts: 101
  • Country: fr
  • Country: fr
Re: Tektronix TDS500/600/700 NVRAM floppy backup and restore tool
« Reply #54 on: August 25, 2019, 04:35:27 pm »
Hi all! Can anybody send dump for TDS520b? I've bricked mine  |O
Hi,
Dump for 520b is in my post.
Michel.
 
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