Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Itanium conversational boot oddity

Go to solution
Jeremy Begg
Trusted Contributor

Itanium conversational boot oddity



We recently had cause to reboot a BL860c i2 blade but instead of running the normal VMS startup it did a conversational boot (i.e. SYSBOOT> prompt).


This was no doubt caused by the iLO Boot Options menu which had the following entries:


   1   Itanium VMS 8.4 system disk FGA0.5006-0E80-0546-8029       
         $1$DGA20583 PCI(0|5|0|0) Fibre(50060E8005468029,Lun1000000000000)
   2   OpenVMS V8.4 for HOCD04 FGA0.5006-0E80-0546-8029           -fl 0,0
         $1$DGA20583 PCI(0|5|0|0) Fibre(50060E8005468029,Lun1000000000000)
   3   iLO Virtual DVD                                            
         Device not Found
   4   UEFI Internal Shell                                        


You'll notice the first entry doesn't have any boot flags configured.

Does anyone know why this would cause a conversational boot?  To me it seems there are two possibilities:

  • the boot loader defaults to SYSBOOT if no flags are specified
  • the boot loader picked up some un-initialised memory when it started, and this happened to trigger a conversational boot from system root 0.


We've fixed the boot options now, but remain curious as to what's happening.  This was the first blade we had configured, before any of us knew what we were doing ;-)  Twenty blades later and we've got more of an idea!



Jeremy Begg



Frequent Advisor

Re: Itanium conversational boot oddity

When no boot flags are specified then  -fl 0,0 is assumed.


It is strange that your system went into SYSBOOT automatically. The only reason I can think of is that someone issued the following command at the UEFI shell prior to the boot:


set vms_flags "0,1"


But I suppose you would know it if someone did so.

Jeremy Begg
Trusted Contributor

Re: Itanium conversational boot oddity

The mystery is explained.


I didn't see the previous conversational boot but I rebooted the system myself and saw what happened.  It turns out the first boot option entry was broken in some way - the console reported "Boot failure" - and so it proceeded to the next entry, which is the conversational boot.


I have now removed and re-created all the VMS boot entries and it cleanly reboots when required.


Jeremy Begg

Duncan Morris
Honored Contributor

Re: Itanium conversational boot oddity

Typical cause - backup and restore resulting in a new signature on the disk.


Always run boot_options after restoring a bootable disk.