This morning I attempted to start the 8870, but it just sat there hunting for an operating system. Everything had been working fine before I shut the system down last night so I’ve no idea what has happened; possibly the disk drive is showing its age.
Anyway, I loaded one of the DC600A SMC back-up tapes I’ve previously made and attempted to recover the system from it. It took only a few seconds from inserting the tape for the system boot menu to appear on the VDU. I’ve run a re-format of the system LU, and restored the operating system without a problem. Unfortunately, I’ve not been doing regular backups so I’ve lost some of the German to English translation I’ve been doing but that’s just an inconvenience and nothing I’m going to lose any sleep over. At least I've still got a working system and servicable backup SMC tapes.
A word for those of you that may have to attempt a system recovery from SMC for yourselves.
I’m going to document the procedure more fully soon, but when the transfer of the operating system from SMC to disk is complete, the system appears to hang for a couple of minutes. Initially I thought that the system had locked up half-way though the restore process (the block counter was showing 193-ish at the time). It appears that the nice operating system is actually rewinding the SMC tape; hence the delay. It would have been nice if it displayed a message saying that everything is fine and I’m just tidying up for you, but you can’t have everything.
Anyway, whilst the SMC drive LED is on or flashing, be patient.
I think today is site-maintenance day. I've started to accumilate a lot of information and so I'll spend today formatting everything for the site.