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Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

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Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I have acquired an Alphastation 200 4/166. It was running OpenVMS Alpha v7.2-1. I obtained v7.3-1 via the OpenVMS Hobbyist channel, and the license for it. When I attempt to install it, it gets to where it gives the OpenVMS startup message, then shortly after that the drive lights (one for the hard drive, one for the CD-ROM) suddenly come on solid and the system hangs.

System info:
SRM Console: v7.0-9
show_arc: Can't find Flash Rom containing ARC console.
PALcode: VMS PALcode v5.56-2, OSF PALcode x1.46-2
Serial Rom: v4.6
Diag Rom: v1.7

Processor
DECchip (tm) 21064a-2 166MHz 512KB Cache

96MB RAM

Help, please? Thank you!
21 REPLIES
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Rebecca,

As you can read in teh release notes, you may need to upgrade your firmware, you can download it from the HP site at http://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/readmes/as4x00.html (it states:
Firmware V6.0 was the last release for this system.)
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Sorry, wrong reading.

Your firwmare can be found on http://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/archive/astn200.html - latest version is 7.0.

Willem
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Yes, I did see that... so I'm on the latest (and last) version of the firmware. The release notes say that the last version of OpenVMS that will run under this is v7.2.

*sigh*

Thanks!
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

The release notes were made in 1999. 7.2 must have been the latest version then.

I found :

The minimum version of Alpha Systems Firmware tested with OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-1 is Version 6.1.

Is this wrong ? Doesn't VMS give an explicit message when firmware version is too low ?
May be lack of memory ?

Wim
Wim
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

And

I have OpenVMS V7.3-1 (+ latest patches) on one of my home VMS
systems - an AlphaStation 400 4/233 with 64MB memory, Motif V1.3 and
while I do not run any large app's on this, I have had no issues at all.

Wim
Wim
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I expect its not firmware. Possible hardware problem. I assume you mean the vms startup message seen when booting from the VMS instalation CD.

At the console >>> prompt is all the hardware seen. Parhaps you could post the result from SHOW CONFIG?



____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Antoniov.
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Hi,
I agree with Ian; when I've installed V7.2 on old AS400 I read the message told me about need upgrade SRM/PALcode/Console.

Antonio Vigliotti

Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Keith Parris
Trusted Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Rebecca, I have a couple of Alphastation 200 4/233 systems (similar hardware, just 233 Mhz clock vs. your 166) running 7.3-1 just fine.

Since you're getting to the OpenVMS banner, I'm suspecting a problem with a system parameter or some other resource shortage. You might see where it hangs by turning on verify during STARTUP.COM. You would do this by doing a conversational boot:
>>> SET BOOT_OSFLAGS 0,1
>>> BOOT
and then setting the STARTUP_P2 parameter to a value which invokes verify in STARTUP.COM (a value of 1 or "TRUE" or any string with the letter "V" anywhere in it will do the trick):
SYSBOOT> SET STARTUP_P2 "V"
SYSBOOT> CONTINUE
and this will echo each DCL command executed by STARTUP.COM. The output may give you a clue as to what is causing the hang.
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I'll try that and post the results - thanks!
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I tried it... got to the OpenVMS banner and froze again, no messages.

This is an install from CD, if that matters.

I also tried a copy of OpenVMS v7.2-2 - same results.

All my hardware shows up, with the exception of an extra PCI 10/100 NIC card.

Completely confused.
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Hello Rebecca,

I would try to remove the NIC that is not recognized on the console level. Having
HW in the system that is not integrated properly can always lead to confusing problems.

Greetings, Martin
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Hrrrmmmmm... figured out the problem!

Took out the NIC card. Maybe that was an issue, maybe not. The *real* issue was the CD drive I was using. While the SRM Console saw it and identified it correctly, it was apparently too "new" for it to be of use - so the system locked up!

I grabbed an older RRD43 drive and attached it via the external SCSI connector, and OpenVMS v7.3-1 went onto the machine like soft butter on toast!
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I'm intrigued by the picture of a buttery VMS installation :-)

What sort of CD drive was the troublesome one and does VMS V7.3-1 recogise it now?
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I bet it was an RRD45 or 46. I have seen similar problems on a DEC3000-300 and VMS V7.1
.
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

LOL

It is a TEAC CD-532s -148. Manufactured in June of 1999. I've pulled it from the system entirely, so I don't know if VMS would recognize it now or not.

Now... how do I set the display for the graphics terminal? It's close, but wrong, so I can make out the "Compaq" logo as it scrolls multiple times across the screen...
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Hello Rebecca,

it sounds like the monitor (what type is this?) can not 'synchronize' the picture. Do you know what type of graphic adapter is installed in the system? On some of them there is a small rotary switch which can be used to select the screen resolution. You might also try to fiddle with the monitor's "vertical sync" to get a stable picture. Good luck!
.
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

What I did was to fiddle with decw$device_config_gc.com (or something close to that name) and changed the default size from 1024 x 768 to 800 x 600. That cleared things right up.

The OpenVMS FAQ here is extensive, not to mention all the other folks who've asked similar questions!
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Oh, good! I would still try to get a higher screen resolution. Many X11 programs expect more than 800x600 and might not scale correctly.
.
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

Hello Rebecca,

I do agree with Uwe, you should try to get a higher resolution for reasonable work. If you are not sure about your card, do an

anal/sys
SDA>clue config

This will show the installed cards on the second page of the output.

Greetings, Martin
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

you need to seek the best combination of refresh rate and screen size that the graphics card will support. You may find lowering the refresh rate will allow you to increase the size.
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Rebecca Putman
Frequent Advisor

Re: Alphastation 200 4/100 freezes on install

I set decw$server_refresh_rate to 60,60,60,60,60,60,60,60, and set the resolution back up to 1024 x 768 - and all is well :)

Thanks for the advice, everyone!