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Thread: MicroVax 3100-96 boot problems

  1. #1

    Default MicroVax 3100-96 boot problems

    Hello vcf friends. It turns out I am the proud owner of two Microvax 3100 systems.
    An acquaintance gave them to me something like 13 years ago and they have been sitting
    in a corner of my office ever since. I dug them out today and played with them a bit.
    I am not very familiar with these nor do I have a graphics monitor nor official keyboard.
    But downloaded some documentation and found how to get it to interact in console mode.
    I am using a PC with my old friend MSKERMIT to generate some log files.
    Both systems seem to pass their self test (at least most of the time). The one I am inquiring
    about now says it is a 'microvax 3100-96'

    On 4 out of 5 reboots where I powered it off and back on I get a good test sequence:

    It attempts to auto boot off DKA300: and normally just sits there clicking forever as
    it apparently has troubles with that disk. I can press the reset button and get to
    the console prompt '>>>' where I obtained the following information:
    >>>show dev

    SCSI Adapter A, SCSI ID 6
    -DKA200 (DEC RZ28M)
    -DKA300 (DEC RZ26L)
    -DKA400 (DEC RRD43)
    Ethernet Adapter
    -EZA0 (08-00-2B-9A-B6-D9)

    >>>show mem

    64 MB RAM, SIMM Set (0A,0B,0C,0D) present
    Memory Set 0: 00000000 to 03FFFFFF, 64MB, 131072 good pages, 0 bad pages

    Total of 64MB, 131072 good pages, 0 bad pages, 128 reserved pages

    >>>show config

    KA56-A V2.6, VMB 2.15
    08-00-2B-9A-B6-D9
    64MB

    TstNbr DevNam Info
    ------ -------- --------------------------
    0 CPU_BD OK
    A8 MEM OK
    E4 DZ OK
    E0 SCSI OK
    2-L0-RZ28M 3-L0-RZ26L 4-L0-RRD43 6-Adapter
    5F NI OK
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In one of my reboot attempts it failed test 54, but on restart passed it, odd.

    [c
    KA56-A V2.6, VMB 2.15
    Performing normal system tests.
    74..73..72..71..70..69..68..67..66..65..64..63..62 ..61..60..59..
    58..57..56..55..54..
    ? Test_Subtest_30_05 Loop_Subtest=01 Err_Type=FF DE_Memory_Init_Bitmap.lis
    Vec=0054 Prev_Errs=0000 P1=00000000 P2=00000000 P3=00300000 P4=07000001
    P5=07070707 P6=00300320 P7=09CE3000 P8=80092404 P9=04000000 P10=2006AE9A
    r0=00000002 r1=00000000 r2=45555555 r3=02000000 r4=FDFFFFFF r5=02000000
    r6=FDFFFFFF r7=21018048 r8=0001FFFF r9=20140758 r10=00000000 r11=FFFFFFFF
    EPC=2006AAC4 Lis_Add=01D0 dser=0000 cesr=00000000 intmsk=00 intreq=02 icsr=01
    pcsts=FE00 pcadr=FFFFFFF8 pcctl=FC00 cctl=00000020 bcetsts=0000 bcedsts=0000
    cefsts=00019200 nests=00 mmcdsr=09CE3000 mesr=00092000

    Normal operation not possible.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However in one of my attempts it actually accessed the DKA300:, although it seemed to keep
    dropping offline and being brought back (sorry this is a little long):
    ....
    Tests completed.
    Loading system software.
    (BOOT/R5:0 DKA300
    2..
    -DKA300
    1..0..

    %SYSBOOT-I-SYSBOOT Mapping the SYSDUMP.DMP on the System Disk
    %SYSBOOT-I-SYSBOOT SYSDUMP.DMP on System Disk successfully mapped
    OpenVMS (TM) VAX Version V7.1 Major version id = 1 Minor version id = 0

    Please enter date and time (DD-MMM-YYYY HH:MM): 7-JUN-2018 4:55
    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: is offline. Mount verification in progress.

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: has completed mount verification.

    $! Copyright (c) 1996 Digital Equipment Corporation. All rights reserved.

    %STDRV-I-STARTUP, OpenVMS startup begun at 7-JUN-2018 04:55:54.85
    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: is offline. Mount verification in progress.

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: has completed mount verification.

    %DCL-S-SPAWNED, process SYSTEM_1 spawned
    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.43 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Operator _LRFP12$OPA0: has been enabled, username SYSTEM

    %SET-I-NEWAUDSRV, identification of new audit server process is 00000208
    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.45 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Operator status for operator _LRFP12$OPA0:
    CENTRAL, PRINTER, TAPES, DISKS, DEVICES, CARDS, NETWORK, CLUSTER, SECURITY,
    LICENSE, OPER1, OPER2, OPER3, OPER4, OPER5, OPER6, OPER7, OPER8, OPER9, OPER10,
    OPER11, OPER12

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.67 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Logfile has been initialized by operator _LRFP12$OPA0:
    Logfile is LRFP12::SYS$SYSROOT:[SYSMGR]OPERATOR.LOG;25

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.67 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Operator status for operator LRFP12::SYS$SYSROOT:[SYSMGR]OPERATOR.LOG;25
    CENTRAL, PRINTER, TAPES, DISKS, DEVICES, CARDS, NETWORK, CLUSTER, SECURITY,
    LICENSE, OPER1, OPER2, OPER3, OPER4, OPER5, OPER6, OPER7, OPER8, OPER9, OPER10,
    OPER11, OPER12

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.74 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Device LRFP12$DKA300: is offline.
    Mount verification is in progress.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.82 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Mount verification has completed for device LRFP12$DKA300:

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.82 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Device LRFP12$DKA300: is offline.
    Mount verification is in progress.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:57:40.82 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Mount verification has completed for device LRFP12$DKA300:

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: is offline. Mount verification in progress.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:58:05.00 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Device LRFP12$DKA300: is offline.
    Mount verification is in progress.

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: has completed mount verification.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:58:51.05 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Mount verification has completed for device LRFP12$DKA300:

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: is offline. Mount verification in progress.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 04:59:40.00 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Device LRFP12$DKA300: is offline.
    Mount verification is in progress.

    %SYSTEM-I-MOUNTVER, LRFP12$DKA300: has completed mount verification.

    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 05:00:26.04 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Mount verification has completed for device LRFP12$DKA300:

    %LICENSE-W-TERM, DECEVENT TIMA-6-00-DECEVENT License has terminated
    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 05:00:28.71 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Message from user SYSTEM on LRFP12
    %LICENSE-E-TERM, DECEVENT TIMA-6-00-DECEVENT License has terminated


    ?02 EXT HLT
    PC = 8345E54D
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    I terminated it with the reset button at this point.
    I have a couple questions about this.
    1) it seems like I have a flakey DKA300: disk and should replace it. It normally doesn't boot at all,
    and when it did it had a hard time staying on line. Thoughts?
    2) What is last message above about. I think OpenVMS used to provide licenses the expired after a year.
    Might it have booted if I had entered a earlier date closer to when the license was issued?
    3) I'd enjoy playing with this more, but how serious is the failed test 54 which occurred once?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willyk View Post
    Hello vcf friends. It turns out I am the proud owner of two Microvax 3100 systems.
    ….
    %LICENSE-W-TERM, DECEVENT TIMA-6-00-DECEVENT License has terminated
    %%%%%%%%%%% OPCOM 7-JUN-2018 05:00:28.71 %%%%%%%%%%%
    Message from user SYSTEM on LRFP12
    %LICENSE-E-TERM, DECEVENT TIMA-6-00-DECEVENT License has terminated


    ?02 EXT HLT
    PC = 8345E54D
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    I terminated it with the reset button at this point.
    I have a couple questions about this.
    1) it seems like I have a flakey DKA300: disk and should replace it. It normally doesn't boot at all,
    and when it did it had a hard time staying on line. Thoughts?
    2) What is last message above about. I think OpenVMS used to provide licenses the expired after a year.
    Might it have booted if I had entered a earlier date closer to when the license was issued?
    3) I'd enjoy playing with this more, but how serious is the failed test 54 which occurred once?
    Thanks.
    Congrats on getting this machine powered up. It was one of the last VAX machines in this form factor. An NVAX chip with about 38 vups, but limited in I/O capabilities.

    Since the machine has been off for a long time, there could be problems with the electrolytic capacitors in the disk, cpu board and power supply. I would open and inspect the components. Make sure there isn't a nicad battery still installed and leaking. If you see any damage - Full Stop.


    1) Yes, there is definitely something not good here. I would arrange to copy the disk image to another device as your next step. If you have a unix box with SCSI capability, a simple 'dd' would do this. As for a replacement, consider the SCSI2SD board and microSD cards. It works well and can be faster than the original disks.

    2) You can obtain new license keys for hobbyist use on a yearly basis. see https://www.hpe.com/h41268/live/index_e.aspx?qid=24548 . If you don't have current passwords, they can be reset with easy found instructions. Even without a OS license you can log into the machine from the console, though the other products won't be active. Time warping may work for the OS, but suggest again you copy/image the disk before doing this.

    3) For this error I suggest to simply reseat the removable memory cards. An intermittent problem like this might just be a flakey connection. The memory cards can be hard to get to, as they sit under the internal disks. Be very careful with the SCSI cable that connects to the motherboard. It uses a connector with very small pins (unlike those used on the drives drives) and it is easy to damage them. You may be able to remove the drives brackets, without disconnecting the SCSI cable if you are careful.

    Make notes and take pictures before you disassmble anything.

    Good luck,
    Jerry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Liverpool, England
    Posts
    320

    Default

    Have you tried booting from the other HDD BOOT/R5:0 DKA200? It may also have VMS installed.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the input.
    PG31: yes, I should have mentioned I tried DKA200: but I get nothing, system is just hung until I press reset per below
    >>>boot DKA200
    (BOOT/R5:0 DKA200)

    2..

    It does the same thing if I try to boot the CDrom, DKA400:, with no media in the drive. However I have a copy of the OpenVMS installation CD
    and if this is in the CDrom, it boots correctly. I have not tried to proceed in case there is anything useful on the current disks. But I assume
    this means DKA200: is not bootable. I am surprised that there isn't something like the PDP11 xxdp system for vaxen where one can do diagnostics
    without the full operating system installed. Am I missing something?


    wa2flq: Interesting comments. I have a number of linux boxes kicking around, but none with a scsi controller. I ordered one this morning. I was surprised
    to find replacement drives are as expensive as they seem to be. The scsi2sd you mention is no more expensive and sounds like a nice solution. May well try it.
    Since you appear to dabble with linux, shouldn't I be able to run a boot server for the vax under linux and boot the microvax off a local network?
    Any pointers to documentation I should read to get started on this?

    Anyway I will wait for my scsi ctrl to try to check the disks I have that are not responding in the microvax 3100-96.
    Meanwhile I will return to my 1st microvax which seems to work more reliably. I got my license pak info today from HP so maybe I can
    finish a VMS install on that. Wish me luck.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willyk View Post
    Thanks for the input.
    It does the same thing if I try to boot the CDrom, DKA400:, with no media in the drive. However I have a copy of the OpenVMS installation CD
    and if this is in the CDrom, it boots correctly. I have not tried to proceed in case there is anything useful on the current disks. But I assume
    this means DKA200: is not bootable. I am surprised that there isn't something like the PDP11 xxdp system for vaxen where one can do diagnostics
    without the full operating system installed. Am I missing something?

    Anyway I will wait for my scsi ctrl to try to check the disks I have that are not responding in the microvax 3100-96.
    Meanwhile I will return to my 1st microvax which seems to work more reliably. I got my license pak info today from HP so maybe I can
    finish a VMS install on that. Wish me luck.
    willyk,
    I'd like to second Jerry's suggestion of getting a SCSI2SD card. They are available from initial computing (I have no relationship with them other than having bought a number of SCSI2SD cards for VAX and PDP-11s from them. see https://store.inertialcomputing.com/...csi2sd-v5b.htm ) for $59. When you combine that with a 16 GB or 32 GB microSD card you have upto 4 SCSI disks that are very reliable and reasonably fast. The card is small and can be tucked away inside a MicroVAX box. Also you can DD VAX images to it that you prepare with Simh via Linux DD. Since you have a working CDROM and VMS distribution CDs you don't have to even do that. I have a MicroVAX 3100-80 and a VAXstation 4000/90A. I recently installed VMS from the CDROMs onto blank SCSI2SD drives and then was able to VMS BACKUP recover the original physical drives. That is the approach I would take, that is get a good system built from the CDROMs onto a SCSI2SD then work on recovering anything of value from the original disks. It may be that there are some bad sectors that prevent a full backup but you can use VMS to copy over much of what is there.

    Good Luck,
    Mark

  6. #6

    Default

    My VAXstation 3100 is running a SCSI2SD and it's fantastic replacement for these increasingly hard to find (let alone pay for) magnetic drives. In my case, the lone hard drive I had in it was making uncomfortable noises when it would spin up. Decided to get one and used BACKUP to put a bootable copy on to the SCSI2SD drive. Boots up without a hitch.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Chicagoland
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by willyk View Post
    Thanks for the input.
    PG31: yes, I should have mentioned I tried DKA200: but I get nothing, system is just hung until I press reset per below
    >>>boot DKA200
    (BOOT/R5:0 DKA200)

    2..

    It does the same thing if I try to boot the CDrom, DKA400:, with no media in the drive. However I have a copy of the OpenVMS installation CD
    and if this is in the CDrom, it boots correctly. I have not tried to proceed in case there is anything useful on the current disks. But I assume
    this means DKA200: is not bootable. I am surprised that there isn't something like the PDP11 xxdp system for vaxen where one can do diagnostics
    without the full operating system installed. Am I missing something?


    wa2flq: Interesting comments. I have a number of linux boxes kicking around, but none with a scsi controller. I ordered one this morning. I was surprised
    to find replacement drives are as expensive as they seem to be. The scsi2sd you mention is no more expensive and sounds like a nice solution. May well try it.
    Since you appear to dabble with linux, shouldn't I be able to run a boot server for the vax under linux and boot the microvax off a local network?
    Any pointers to documentation I should read to get started on this?

    Anyway I will wait for my scsi ctrl to try to check the disks I have that are not responding in the microvax 3100-96.
    Meanwhile I will return to my 1st microvax which seems to work more reliably. I got my license pak info today from HP so maybe I can
    finish a VMS install on that. Wish me luck.

    See MicroVAX 3100 Model 85/95/96 Troubleshooting and Diagnostic Information EK-A0719-TM. Though I have not seen detail published around the diagnostic error data the self-test ROM reports, there may be enough infomation here
    to diagnose to the individual SIMM level.

    There are some loadable diagnostics out there for the VAXen. The ones I have see are either very CPU specific (e.g. 11/750) or for those machines that seem to have Qbus peripheral capability (see MicroVAX Diagnostic Monitor V5.0 A–PK29E). As compared to the XXDP diagnostics, which one could use in a fashion to locate bad components, the MDM ones are basically pass/fail at the board level.

    For the SCSI drives, I have used Adaptec AHA-2940UW and AHA1542B with Linux on older PC's. I currently use the former with a few adapter cables to handle SCSI-1, SCSI-2 and Ultra Wide SCSI for the physical drives and SCSI2SD. This lets me copy/create images for MicroVax, PDP11 (with MSCP emulating SCSI controllers), Sun, Next Computer, etc.. For the microSD cards themselves you should take note that the wear leveling and write endurance of these cards can vary widely. I've bricked a few, so I suggest you make and keep backups frequently. There are industrial microSD Cards, that have better specifications if you are really a heavy OS user, with commensurate increase in cost.

    I haven't done it myself from an emulator, but with SIMH loaded on the Linux/Mac/Windows box and VMS installed you should should be able to net-boot a physical VAX if you don't have another running VAXen. If you already have DECnet running on a machine see http://odl.sysworks.biz/disk$cddoc03....p60.decw$book for the basics on how to configure the server for a satellite to boot from.

    I would definitely set the SCSI drives aside until imaged if you want to keep their contents. You never know how many good cycles you have left on them. DD'ing the disks is easy and the Vax/PDP11 hard disks generally copy at the block level without doing anything special. DEC did not use partitions (except I believe for RT11 MSCP drives). Note that the SCSI2SD device will break up a large microSD card into several SCSI ID's. I recommend the SCSI2SD V5 cards for the moment, as the newer V6 card is harder to use and still maturing a bit on the firmware side.





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