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HP Integrity Server - "Could not Boot Maintenance Mode"

by on ‎04-23-2012 11:29 AM


System is not booting with the error messages "Could not boot maintenance mode ".

End-user has an HP Integrity rx4640 Server with the HP-UX 11iv2 Operating system.


End-user is trying to boot the system using primary disk and he is unable to boot the system.

  1. System is not booting with the following message:

    AUTO BOOT> boot vmunix -lq
    Could not boot maintenance mode

  2. System hangs, if user issues the following command:

    AUTO BOOT> boot

  3. If user allows the autoboot to continue, the system hangs.

If user sees the boot command (boot vmunix -lq ), so the system is not maintenance mode as the command with the -lq option if prefer that end-user's system boots up without interruption in case of a disk failure.

LVM Maintenance Mode is accessed by running boot -lm ( not -lq ), so the error is strange.

The suspected issue is disk boot area probably damaged and need to be repaired (use recovery shell from install DVD).

In this scenario try the following steps to see the files are available in the disk, as one can access the HPUX> menu user has some means of a boot loader installed on that disk.

Run the following to see what user sees:

  1. HP-UX> ll

    The ll command should lis /stand filesystem with attributes as follows:

    dr-xr-xr-x   9 bin         bin            8192 May 24 15:34 ./
    dr-xr-xr-x   9 bin         bin            8192 May 24 15:34 ../
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root        sys            8192 May 18  2010 backup/
    dr-xr-xr-x   3 bin         bin              96 May 18  2010 boot.sys/
    -rw-r--r--   1 root        sys              21 May 18  2010 bootconf
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root        root             14 May 24 15:34 bootfs@ -> current/bootfs
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root        root           8192 Jul 29  2010 crashconfig/
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root        sys            8192 May 18  2010 current/
    -rw-rw-rw-   1 root        sys            4428 May 24 20:07 ioconfig
    -r--r--r--   1 root        sys              82 May 18  2010 kernrel
    drwxr-xr-x   2 root        sys              96 May 24 20:06 krs/
    drwxr-xr-x   5 root        sys            8192 May 18  2010 last_install/
    drwxr-xr-x   2 root        root             96 May 18  2010 lost+found/
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root        root              7 May 24 15:34 nextboot@ -> current
    -rw-------   1 root        root             12 May 24 15:33 rootconf
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root        root             15 May 24 15:34 system@ -> nextboot/system
    -r--r--r--   1 root        sys            2611 May 18  2010 system.import
    -rw-r--r--   1 root        sys            3553 May 18  2010 system.prev
    -rwxr-xr-x   3 root        sys        65017104 May 18  2010 vmunix*

  2. HPUX> showauto

    This tells user what the default boot string is.

    Example: \EFI\HPUX\AUTO => boot vmunix

In this case tried to do the ll and it just hangs.

The prompt, AUTO BOOT> is the prompt of the boot loader hpux.efi. From here the system will read the AUTO file and load the kernel.

If user has a problem with either the AUTO (start) file or the kernel (/stand/vmunix) , the system will stay at this prompt (with an error message).


 Use Recovery shell from installation DVD and recover or repair it.

Please replace the disk if required. If disk need to be replace, please take care of the mirroring. Please check the following recovery methods.


Recovery Method:

Expert recovery enables one to recover a root disk or root volume group with software damage. With this method, user repairs the boot/root disk and root volume group from the Ignite-UX server or HP-UX core media. Once the recovery system has been booted, user can:

  • Put a good kernel in place.

  • Fix the LIF volume on the disk.

Expert recovery does not require that user complete any preparation before using it. The media used is supplied by HP so it does not contain any customization user may have on the system. In addition to using boot media, user can also boot from the Ignite-UX server.

Depending on the failure cause, expert recovery gives user enough capabilities to recover HP-UX onto the system. At that point, user needs to recover the data files using a restore tool to completely recover the system to the state it was in before the problem occurred.

Expert recovery is not useful in recovering from hardware failures.

Expert Recovery Using the Core Media :

If the system should become compromised or corrupt and will not boot to a login prompt, or the system boots but critical operating system files are corrupted, adversely affecting overall system operation, it may be useful to restore system elements with core recovery media.

The more user knows about the system disk and its partitioning scheme before user encounters major damage or corruption, the easier it will be for user to recover.

Much of this information, including file system types, can be obtained by accessing the online system manifest, either using Ignite-UX or by reading the hardcopy that came with the system.

Before user attempts to recover an HP-UX system, user should have the following information about the system disk available:

  • Revision of the HP-UX system that user is attempting to recover.

CAUTION: User should only attempt to recover HP-UX systems that match the HP-UX version number of the recovery tools that are used.

For example, one can use HP-UX v1 (B.11.11) core media to attempt to recover an HP-UX 11i v1 (B.11.11) system.

  • The hardware path of the root file system on the disk (that is, what file system user will be checking/repairing using fsck.)

  • The address of the LIF volume (bootlif) path of that disk.

  • What the AUTO file in the LIF volume should contain.

  • Whether user has an LVM, VxVM, or whole-disk system.

The procedures that follow assume that both fsck and mount can be run successfully on the system disk; otherwise, the following procedures are not applicable.

Automated Recovery Procedures :

There are two possible expert recovery situations that occur after a system problem. Each has an associated recovery procedure:

  1. The system does not boot to the HP-UX boot loader prompt (ISL for PA-RISC systems and EFI Boot Manager for Itanium-based systems) from a known good root file system.

    Procedure: On the system disk, rebuild the LIF volume on PA-RISC systems or the EFI, HP Service Partition, and HP-UX partitions on Itanium-based systems.

    Then, install all critical operating system files required to boot on the root file system.

  2. The system boots to the HP-UX boot loader prompt, but cannot boot vmunix. This means that the kernel cannot be found, is corrupted or the file systems are corrupt or damaged.

    Procedure: Install only the critical operating system files required to boot on the root file system.

    If one believes the kernel is corrupted, then replace only the kernel on the root file system.

In this case system is booting up to HP-UX Boot loader prompt, but cannot boot to vm Unix. so we should follow the second scenario.