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Bad link to FAQ documentation

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Wendy K Smith
Occasional Visitor

Bad link to FAQ documentation

The FAQ and several postings refer to this link, which is invalid.


Where would I find this document or the information contained within? My specific dilemma is that the SYSTEM password is lost/forgotten/changed (the OpenVMS licenses have all expired as well). We have both Alpha and Itanium servers, running 7.2-1 thru 8.3.

Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Bad link to FAQ documentation

Google for "openvms system password lost"
gives many alternatives besides the broken link.

A working link appears to be:


Google just for : mgmt5a
This gives many alternative places to read this

Good luck,
Duncan Morris
Honored Contributor

Re: Bad link to FAQ documentation


welcome to the ITRC OpenVMS forum!

details of emergency boot procedures are always found in the "Upgrade and Installation" manual for each version of the operating system.

The link to the system documentation, in case you have none of these manuals, is here:-


So for V7.3-2 you would look in

HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 Upgrade and Installation Manual


Honored Contributor

Re: Bad link to FAQ documentation

Here's how to get what you want for the particular question.

You mention the OpenVMS FAQ here, but not where you're looking at the copy. There are copies of that document archived in many places around the net. (I've been working on an update to that document in the background, but - given I'm not going to continue with DEC Document as the document format - it's complete a rewrite. And going slowly.) If the particular FAQ is a copy that I have some control over, I can fix the specific references.

The mgmt5 stuff is *very* old, and that implies the copy of the FAQ involved here is (at least) several editions back. (The edition I just checked as *no* references to mgmt5.)

There's a copy of the most recent (albeit still old) edition of the FAQ at:


And FWIW, empirical evidence indicates URLs at HP tend toward the volatile. Any URL built with the h*.www*.hp.com format doesn't seem to be particularly dependable.

Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Bad link to FAQ documentation


I have answered this question in the past, on both comp.os.vms and (I believe) this forum.

I do not have the time to dig through the manual at this instant, but if I recall correctly, it is documented in the OpenVMS System Managers Manual.

Presuming that one has access to the physical console, one can do a Conversational Bootstrap (R5 == 1 on VAX, -fl 0,1 on Alpha, and the corresponding EFI setting on Itanium).

When one is prompted with SYSBOOT>, my personal preference is the following:
SYSBOOT> set /startup=opa:
SYSBOOT> continue

The startup sequence will begin, and OpenVMS will prompt with the "$" instead of starting the normal system startup file (SYS$SYSTEM:STARTUP.COM).

At that point, I prefer the sequence:
$ spawn
$ @[sysn.syscommon.sysexe]startup

When STARTUP.COM executes the "logoff" command, it will return one to the "$" prompt (one of the reasons that the "spawn" was issued earlier; often to make error recovery somewhat easier, I do one or two extra levels of SPAWN before executing STARTUP.COM).

When one gets back to the "$" prompt, do:
$ spawn
$ set def sys$system
$ mcr authorize

$ logoff (till out of all subprocesses)

Now one should be able to log in to the system account.

One needs to remember to go into SYSMAN or SYSGEN and do a SET /STARTUP=SYS$SYSTEM:STARTUP.COM; the setting is "sticky" and can become a source of embarrassment the next time that the system is booted (the system will hang at the "$" prompt if the system is unattended; this is not a good thing if one does not have access to the physical console at that point).

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Wendy K Smith
Occasional Visitor

Re: Bad link to FAQ documentation

Thank you to all who took their valuable time to respond. I will try the suggestions after the first of the year.