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Thread: VAX 4000-105a disk troubleshooting

  1. #1

    Default VAX 4000-105a disk troubleshooting

    Hello everybody

    it's been a while but I finally had the time and the opportunity to get back into a new vintage computing adventure.

    my brother recently gave me a vax 4000-105a that he recovered from his work seemingly put out of service in 2012. he saved it when they emptied a local.

    not being very familiar with this material, I managed to boot it on the only hard drive that seemed functional.

    after some research I was able to change the system password. and therefore access the openVMS 6.2 system

    There are 3 dssi hard dirves RF36

    in order to save the contents of the system disk I wanted to know if it was possible to clone these disks and if so what software should be used?

    what is the original configuration of the 3 dssi disks? is it a RAID configuration?

    the manual I found does not give any information about default disk configurations onlys disk specification (hardware specs)


    I hope someone has the courage to delve into his memories and the time to help me in my goal

  2. #2
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    Looks like an RF36 DSSI drive has a capacity of 1GB. If you have some spare SCSI hard drives which are at least 1GB in size that you could attach to the VAX 4000 you could use VMS BACKUP /IMAGE to clone the RF36 DSSI drive on to the SCSI drive.

    I think an /IMAGE backup only works if the drives have exactly the same capacity. You could use the sg3_utils sg_format utility to soft resize a SCSI drive with a capacity larger than the RF36 drive down to exactly the same capacity as the RF36 drive.

    As far as a RAID configuration on VMS, the only software option that comes to mind is VMS shadow sets. I don't have any experience configuring and using VMS shadow sets.

  3. #3

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    HI Gslick

    thank you for this informations.
    As i'm new to vms i have a few questions :
    Is VMS BACKUP /IMAGE part of operating system ?
    if so, i dont think that i can clone the drive while it is in use true ?
    should i boot from a kind of "live cd" to clone the system disk ?

    do you thing i can clone the dssi drive in a scsi capable machine using the linux dd command ? or is this a completely foolish speculation


    Also i have 2 bad dssi drives one that starts but make an horrible sound and the other does not spin up at all.
    Will it make sens to swap drive module between the mechanic set for some tests or are there any specific calibration information on the drive module that make this work only on one mechanic set ? like old MFF drives for exemple ?


    can i connect a scsi drive to the same connector as the dssi drives ?

    sorry if some of my questions does not make sense to you but as i'm really new to this technology i don't want to damage anything.


    king regards

  4. #4
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    The way you normally install VMS from an installation CD is to boot the VAX from the CD and then run BACKUP from the CD to restore a save set from the CD to the new boot drive. Instead of doing that you should be able to boot from the installation CD and run BACKUP with other options to back up the boot drive.

    You can't connect the DSSI drive to normal systems. DSSI is similar to SCSI in some ways, but they are not compatible. There are bridge controllers such as the HSD10 that can connect a DSSI host controller to SCSI drives, but I don't think there is anything that goes the other way to connect a SCSI host controller to DSSI drives.

    The desktop VAX 4000 systems that have a DSSI bus also have a SCSI bus as far as I know. So you would connect the DSSI drives where they are already connected, and connect a SCSI drive to the separate SCSI bus.

    There are also low level diagnostics built into DSSI drives that you can connect to from the VAX console prompt before you boot into VMS. SET HOST DUP or something like that. I'd have to look it up in the manuals. Don't have time to check right this moment. I'll look later.

  5. #5

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    hi again

    i will look on documentation to locate the right buss, and hope to find some docs about backup options.
    i read about direct disk acces on dssi i will look further that way.

    what about exchanging disk drives modules ? (the drive card on the disk) any cons-indications doing so ?


    Thanks for everything

    Kind regards

  6. #6

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    "I think an /IMAGE backup only works if the drives have exactly the same capacity."

    No, it just needs enough space, it's not the same as 'cloning'. Forget any ideas of DOS or UNIX type file systems. In fact you can backup/image to tape if you like.

    "Is VMS BACKUP /IMAGE part of operating system ?
    if so, i dont think that i can clone the drive while it is in use true ?
    should i boot from a kind of "live cd" to clone the system disk ?"

    Well, it IS part of the OS but it's intended to be able to image (not 'clone') the system disk and you'd normally do it from say the system account with no one else logged in and nothing else running. Have a quick read of the system manager's manual. It's a routine maintenance activity.

  7. #7
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    I have a very detailed how to on my site about managing a vax 4000-200 running 6.x

    http://www.vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=608

    There should be a drive in that set assigned to the purpose of standalone backup.

    All that said, before you back anything up type or edit systartup.com to see how the drives are mounted, their volume names, etc.

    Again, don't backup the system drive to another drive without knowing exactly how the system uses the drives. You could ruin your system as it was made to work.

    I can fire up a vms 6 system that you can telnet into if you want to see another for comparison purposes, next week during the day.

    Bill

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    I was thinking of the /PHYSICAL option, not the /IMAGE option. That should be a logical block clone operation which ignores any file structure.

    http://h41379.www4.hpe.com/doc/84fin...48pro_019.html

    VMS 8.4 doc link is probably still accurate enough for earlier versions.

  9. #9
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    Below is a quick example of booting a VAX system (SIMH simulator in this case) from the VMS 7.3 installation CD and running standalone BACKUP /PHYSICAL to clone one disk to another.

    KA655-B V5.3, VMB 2.7
    Performing normal system tests.
    40..39..38..37..36..35..34..33..32..31..30..29..28 ..27..26..25..
    24..23..22..21..20..19..18..17..16..15..14..13..12 ..11..10..09..
    08..07..06..05..04..03..
    Tests completed.
    >>>SHOW DEV
    UQSSP Disk Controller 0 (772150)
    -DUA0 (RD54)
    -DUA1 (RD54)
    -DUA2 (RRD40)

    Ethernet Adapter 0 (774440)
    -XQA0 (08-00-2B-AA-BB-CC)
    >>>BOOT DUA2
    (BOOT/R5:0 DUA2



    2..
    -DUA2
    1..0..


    %SYSBOOT-I-SYSBOOT Mapping the SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
    %SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
    %SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map PAGEFILE.SYS on the System Disk
    OpenVMS (TM) VAX Version X7G7 Major version id = 1 Minor version id = 0
    %WBM-I-WBMINFO Write Bitmap has successfully completed initialization.
    PLEASE ENTER DATE AND TIME (DD-MMM-YYYY HH:MM) 05-NOV-2017 13:55

    Configuring devices . . .
    Now configuring HSC, RF, and MSCP-served devices . . .

    Please check the names of the devices which have been configured,
    to make sure that ALL remote devices which you intend to use have
    been configured.

    If any device does not show up, please take action now to make it
    available.


    Available device DUA0: device type RD54
    Available device DUA1: device type RD54
    Available device DUA2: device type RRD40

    Enter "YES" when all needed devices are available: YES
    %BACKUP-I-IDENT, Stand-alone BACKUP T7.2; the date is 5-NOV-2017 13:56:55.56
    $ BACKUP /PHYSICAL DUA0: DUA1:
    %BACKUP-I-PROCDONE, operation completed. Processing finished at 5-NOV-2017 13:57:47.65
    If you do not want to perform another standalone BACKUP operation,
    use the console to halt the system.

    If you do want to perform another standalone BACKUP operation,
    ensure the standalone application volume is online and ready.
    Enter "YES" to continue:

  10. #10
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    And here is what happens if you try BACKUP /PHYSICAL when the two drives do not have identical characteristics:

    KA655-B V5.3, VMB 2.7
    Performing normal system tests.
    40..39..38..37..36..35..34..33..32..31..30..29..28 ..27..26..25..
    24..23..22..21..20..19..18..17..16..15..14..13..12 ..11..10..09..
    08..07..06..05..04..03..
    Tests completed.
    >>>SHOW DEV
    UQSSP Disk Controller 0 (772150)
    -DUA0 (RD52)
    -DUA1 (RD54)
    -DUA2 (RRD40)

    Ethernet Adapter 0 (774440)
    -XQA0 (08-00-2B-AA-BB-CC)
    >>>BOOT DUA2
    (BOOT/R5:0 DUA2



    2..
    -DUA2
    1..0..


    %SYSBOOT-I-SYSBOOT Mapping the SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
    %SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
    %SYSBOOT-W-SYSBOOT Can not map PAGEFILE.SYS on the System Disk
    OpenVMS (TM) VAX Version X7G7 Major version id = 1 Minor version id = 0
    %WBM-I-WBMINFO Write Bitmap has successfully completed initialization.
    PLEASE ENTER DATE AND TIME (DD-MMM-YYYY HH:MM) 05-NOV-2017 14:05

    Configuring devices . . .
    Now configuring HSC, RF, and MSCP-served devices . . .

    Please check the names of the devices which have been configured,
    to make sure that ALL remote devices which you intend to use have
    been configured.

    If any device does not show up, please take action now to make it
    available.


    Available device DUA0: device type RD52
    Available device DUA1: device type RD54
    Available device DUA2: device type RRD40

    Enter "YES" when all needed devices are available: YES
    %BACKUP-I-IDENT, Stand-alone BACKUP T7.2; the date is 5-NOV-2017 14:07:07.06
    $ BACKUP /PHYSICAL DUA0: DUA1:
    %BACKUP-F-PHYDEVGEO, device type of DUA1: does not match input

    If you do not want to perform another standalone BACKUP operation,
    use the console to halt the system.

    If you do want to perform another standalone BACKUP operation,
    ensure the standalone application volume is online and ready.
    Enter "YES" to continue:

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