Connect with us

HP 1650B logic analyser system disk

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Martin Whybrow, Nov 3, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. I have just been given an HP 1650B logic analyser but I don't have a system
    disk for it so I can't use it :-(
    Anyone know where to get hold of this disk or can it be downloaded from
  2. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Physically, this is a 3 1/2 inch PC floppy, however the format
    is not PC compatible. IIRC, the speed of rotation of the HP drive is
    like twice that of a PC. So you will not be able to download it and
    copy it from your PC. Duplicating a system disk from or on another
    HP 1650B is really your only option. Oh, and make darn sure you make
    yourself several copies once you do lay your hands on one.

    Thanks, Steve
  3. Steve
    I might be able to do that on my Linux box (most floppy drive parameters can
    be altered in software on that system).
    I did get hold of a 1652 system disk, but at boot up I got an error message
    0020 000B164 2000; not sure if it's because I have the wrong disk or if
    there is a fault on the unit (the colleague who gave me the analyser didn't
    mention it).
  4. Steve

    Steve Guest


    OK, OK. I've bit the hook. I've got a 1650B right here. Paid all of of
    $50 US for mine. Please tell me how to read the disk on my Linux RH 7.3,
    running a plain 2.4.27 Kernel, (as if it makes a difference) and I'll
    be happy to send you the image. Also have a Fedora box sitting here, too.
    Respectfully, I don't think it can be done. Don't have the url
    references, but I've read some discussion about this is the distant past,
    and the conclusion was a PC drive can not be used. Please prove that
    info wrong; it would certainly be a useful tidbit for one/us to know.
    Floppy drives are cheap, worth the risk, I guess.... ;^)

    Thanks, Steve
  5. I am looking for a disk for a 1650A.

    Google found references to a program called LIFUTIL for accessing LIF
    disks on a DOS PC. I also found links to downloads for the 1650 from
    Agilent's FTP server but the files seem to have disappeared in a
    reorganization. I emailed Tech Support and they said they aren't there
    since it is obsolete.

    I have seen test equipment dealers selling the disks, but don't want to
    spend much since I have no cables or probes either (Got the 1650 cheap
    and figured I would try to make some probes after I got the s/w. Yes, I
    know the probe has a terminator in it.).
  6. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Have no clue if the 1650B diskette I have makes any difference.
    Martin & Shawn,
    Grabbed LIFUTIL off the 'net. Ran it on a spare Pentium II machine
    that boots DOS ver 5.0. The utility does not allow one to make a perfect
    disk image, but it can be used to make an apparently functional HP diskette!
    Oddly, the utility allows one to dump the contents of the HP diskette to
    an ASCII hex dump file, yet doesn't allow use of said dump file to create
    a new diskette. Therefore, it's a bit of work to manually do each file
    at a time, but it works. Comparing ASCII dumps of original and the
    newly generated diskette, there are blocks of FF's verses zeroes,
    (in apparently the directory or "FAT" areas of the diskette) but it
    doesn't seem to matter.

    After midnight here now -- I'm off to bed. Hopefully can get a
    zip file together tomorrow & will email.

    Thanks, Steve
  7. Steve
    I tried automounting the disk on my Linux box (Mandrake 9.1 with customised
    kernel) but it wouldn't recognise the disk; I don't know the format used so
    I couldn't try manually mounting it. Glad to see that LIFUTIL works, I'll
    try to download it.
    I tried the same disk on a 1650A today (FW rev 1.0a, my 1650B is FW rev
    2.3b) and it booted correctly, but I'm still not sure if it's a version
    incompatibility or a fault on the analyser.
    Thanks for the advice, looking forward to receiving mail :)
  8. Steve
    I've downloaded lifutil; can you tell me what sector size the original disk
    is formatted for (256 or 1024 bytes)?
  9. Steve

    Steve Guest


    Sounds like you don't need my files anymore, as you got your hands
    on a disk. Good. But perhaps I've got a version difference for the
    system that can still be of use. Don't know what my versions are,
    so I'll look. Indeed, I'd like to get my hands on your versions of
    what ever 1650 system files you have, just to have different versions
    on hand myself.

    Parameters are, 3 1/3 double sided (770KB size)
    Sector size 1024
    Interleave 1
    144 files in root dir
    vol label A165X << not sure if it makes any difference

    When you copy files from DOS to the LIF format, pick the
    binary user defined file type selection. Enter C001 for 1650
    system file(s), with 53 4F 54 4F for that other byte field I can't
    remember what it is called. Press F3 to get that pop up window
    to go away, or F5 to start the file transfer... when doing
    1650 non-system file (i.e. "1650 config" files), they are C120
    file type... with the same 53 4F 54 4F for the other byte field --
    I think. Yet to test that myself.

    Took a bit of time to figure that out, comparing the disk
    created by LIFUTIL that didn't work with a disk created on
    the 1650.

    BTW, 1.44 DOS floppies with tape over the 1.44 indicator seem
    to work fine for me.

    Sorry haven't emailed the files I have yet, but been busy making
    a living. Later tonight, I hope.

    Thanks, Steve

  10. Steve
    Thanks for the files. The 1650 is now working, it seems that the V2.03 ROM
    in my machine needs theV2.x system files to boot up, the V1.0 file on the
    previous disk I tried was obviously the reason for it not booting. If you
    still want to try the V1.0 system file, I'll get hold of the disk again and
    copy the files.
    Thanks for all your assistance and to Shawn for the pointer to Lifutil :)
  11. You're welcome. I wouldn't mind a copy of the files if anyone could get
    me a copy. It would be nice to try this thing out.
  12. I was able to make a working disk and just thought I would write a
    summary to get all the details in one message.

    1) Versions
    The software version must match the ROM version. We have seen 1.00 and
    2.00 ROMs. The ROM version is printed on the screen during the initial
    self test. If the versions don't match you will get the message 'Disc
    and ROM versions do not match'.

    The same software seems to work on 1650A vs 1650B (Maybe that is what
    determines the ROM version?)

    2) Disks
    You will have best luck with a Double Density (720kB) disk. If you
    don't have any you can cover the hole on an HD disk (Opposite from the
    write protect tab) with tape.

    Format the disk under DOS or Windows and make sure there is no bad space.

    3) LIFUTIL
    The HP1650 uses LIF formatted disks. LIFUTIL program lets you read and
    write LIF disks under DOS. It is an old program and hasn't been
    supported for years. It will work best on older (Pentium) machines.
    LIF was also used by some old HP computers and calculators. Most info
    about it on the net refers to these systems.

    Get it from

    4) Files
    The two important files are:
    SYSTEM_ - Operating System
    PVTEST_ - Diagnostics (Needed to run self-test from the I/O menu)

    The other files will be example configurations. The ones I have are

    5) Making the Disk
    If you can borrow a working disk your best bet is to make a copy on the
    analyzer ([I/O] -> Disc Operations, Select 'Duplicate Disc' as the

    Otherwise put the files you want on the disk and LIFUTIL on a PC with
    DOS or Windows (May need to be in DOS mode).

    1. Run LIFUTIL
    2. Choose 'LIF Initialize'
    3. Change the settings to:
    - Disk type: 3 /12" Double Sided
    - Sector Size: 1024 bytes
    - Interleave: 1
    - Directory Size: 144 Files
    - Volume Label: A165X
    4. Press F5 twice to format the disk
    5. When it is done press F8 until you see the menu
    6. Choose 'DOS to LIF Copy'
    7 Use these settings:
    - DOS File Name: <File you want to copy, start with SYSTEM_)
    - File format conversion: Binary image: No format change, user-def. type
    - All other can stay the same
    8. With the cursor on the File format conversion line, press F6 to set
    the file type.
    For system files (SYSTEM_ and PVTEST_)
    User-defined LIF file type : C001
    Implementation specific field: 534F544F
    For config files
    User-defined LIF file type : C120
    Implementation specific field: 534F544F
    For other files (Reverse Assemblers, etc)
    Unknown. If you have a disk list it with LIFUTIL. LIFUTIL shows the
    type as a signed decimal number. Convert it to hex.
    9. Press F5 to start the copy.
    10. Repeat 7-9 for any other files you want to copy to the disk.
    11. Boot the analyzer with the disk.
    12. Make a copy of the disk on the analyzer. This copy may work better
    than the one made on your PC due to differences in the drives. Make
    another backup copy and put it in a safe place.

    6) Error Messages
    'ERROR READING SYSTEM FILE' - Wrong file or bad disk
    'CANNOT FIND SYSTEM FILE' - Make sure the file SYSTEM_ is on the disk
    and has a file type of C001
    'ROM and Disc Versions do not match' - Make sure your software version
    matches your ROM.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day