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Creating a Image/bootable tape

 
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Nahmad_1
Advisor

Creating a Image/bootable tape

Hi There

I have VAX 4000 VMS 5.5-2 a quite old yes it is should be replaced soon but for the time being we have to live with it.

I got a tape which need to be duplicated. When try to look into the list by BACKUP?LIST it say it is not any save set. I can list the content files by DIR command and there are some EXE files and a SAVE_set file. I was told that it is IMAGE copy so that I should be able boot it from it. I tried to restore all tape contaents to disk and then to a new tape but it is complaining that it is not a save set.

How should I be able copy it from ?

Should I be really able to boot from the tape I think TK70 ?

Thanks

Nahmad
12 REPLIES 12
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

can you list up the commands used and the outputs esp. the dir listing. you could use copy not backup to get the contents off.

Hoff
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

Start with the working assumption that that the tape is corrupt, or has errors.

It's common to encounter badly- or creatively-created tape media, or tape media with errors. Given what you're describing, this tape probably wasn't created with what are the typical commands expected by OpenVMS folks.

Please post the commands you have used here, and the DIRECTORY output you are viewing.

For a badly-created tape, I'd expect to see MOUNT /NOFOREIGN, and I'd expect to use COPY commands to load stuff in and out.

For basic tape duplication (and this may or may not work), do some Google searches for TAPECOPY or related tools, and the official HP approach probably involves the Save Set Manager product. These tools are available, and discussed around the network. I'd not immediately tend to expect that something akin to Unix dd would work, and I know COPY can go badly wrong with some ways that a tape can be constructed.)

The DCL COPY command doesn't deal with tapes all that well, as a general rule.

A valid BACKUP /IMAGE saveset (as differentiated from what is often called a disk image) can be restored using standalone BACKUP or with on-line OpenVMS BACKUP /IMAGE onto a scratch disk, and booted.

Now if you want to create a bootable tape or disk, go read up on STABACKIT.COM command procedure. That's how you create your own tape. The created environment can then be used to restore the contents of a BACKUP /IMAGE saveset onto a scratch disk.

The other approach is to create a disk-based bootable environment with STABACKIT, or to use CD media if the particular VAX 4000 box (and there are probably a dozen different models in that series) has a CD drive attached or has access to an InfoServer on the LAN. (And an OpenVMS V8.3 or later box can be configured to be an InfoServer, too.) Or you can use a distribution tape or distribution CD, too.

Or OpenVMS VAX booted from a disk or tape or CD can be used to restore the saveset, too.

The installation and upgrade manual for OpenVMS VAX contains related information.

This reply may show up multiple times; apologies. ITRC is doing one of its usual failure modes with postings. I'm checking and it's not posting, but that doesn't mean it won't eventually get posted.
Nahmad_1
Advisor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

Thanks for your help Hoff

When I tried DIR on the tape it looked like:

MUC6: []

A.EXE;2 B.EXE;1 C;EXE;2
MSNCOTS.SAV;1

When I tried COPY to copy files to disk it just sit there doing nothing. I tried BACKUP it said tape is not a saveset.

Then I tried to BACKUP MSNCOTS.SAV from the tape to the disk and it worked.

I made BACKUP/IMAGE deom the dsik onto a new tape as a saveset and hope it would be good enough to restore on a bad disk to work.

I really want to know how this tape was created ? As why some one put exe files and a savset ?

Regards

Nahmad



Robert Atkinson
Respected Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

If that really is a bootable tape, you can boot from it using this console command :-

>>> show dev

Look for the tape drive

>>> boot mkb0

replace mkb0 with your drive


You may get something like this if it's not bootable :-

-MKB0
?50 SCB2NDINT, MKB0
?06 HLT INST
PC = 00000B51

Rob.
H_Bachner
Regular Advisor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

> When I tried DIR on the tape it looked like:
>
> MUC6: []
>
> A.EXE;2 B.EXE;1 C;EXE;2 MSNCOTS.SAV;1
>
> When I tried COPY to copy files to disk it just sit there doing
> nothing. I tried BACKUP it said tape is not a saveset.

After the DIR command you're probably at the end of the tape so COPY doesn't find anything to copy. Try to issue the COPY commands immediately after the MOUNT.

> Then I tried to BACKUP MSNCOTS.SAV from the tape to the disk and
> it worked.

The .SAV extension is frequently used for BACKUP savesets.

> I really want to know how this tape was created ? As why some
> one put exe files and a savset ?

I assume the files - including the saveset that already existed on the disk - were just COPYied to the tape. There's nothing wrong with using (reliable) tapes in that way, at least for short term file transfer from one system to another. For "real" backup and archiving purposes I'd prefer BACKUP because it adds some redundancy and checksums to detect (and recover from) certain errors.

Hans.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

> MUC6: []
>
> A.EXE;2 B.EXE;1 C;EXE;2
> MSNCOTS.SAV;1

Nothing there looks to me likely to be
bootable.

> When I tried COPY to copy files to disk it
> just sit there doing nothing.

Actual commands? If BACKUP and DIR worked, I
see no particular reason to expect COPY to
fail. (DISMOUNT and re-MOUNT the tape?)

> I really want to know how this tape was
> created ? [...]

I think you're asking the wrong people, but
from the looks of it, I'd guess COPY.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

And, by the way, a bootable tape and an image
backup are not particularly similar things.

The bootable tapes I've seen typically get
you into Standalone BACKUP (SAB) or the
MicroVAX Diagnostic Monitor (MDM). Once
you've booted into Standalone BACKUP (and a
TKxx tape is probably the slowest way
possible to do that, although a TK70 should
be better than a TK50), _then_ you can use it
(that is, SAB) to restore a disk from an
image backup tape. (Or make an image backup
tape from a disk.)

It's not even particularly common to have
a Standalone BACKUP kit on the same tape as
the actual image backup, although (I believe
that) it's possible to do it. (Things will
generally be faster with separate tapes.)
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

There are two ways to mount a tape. /FOREIGN is the most common and preferred approach when working with BACKUP. The less preferred approach is /NOFOREIGN, and to treat the device as a sequential disk.

Here, I'd try mounting the tape with /NOFOREIGN, and then COPY mmcu:[*]*.* ddcu:[directory]

The first spec in the COPY command has wildcards.

The second (target) spec is a path to the target device and directory.

Without going into details, do not use a logical name as a default directory here; ensure that you are not SET DEFAULT to a logical name specification of any sort. When working with a tape (until you get the hang of it), it is best to specify only physical device names and not logical names as your default device and directory.

Note that it is possible to have two or more files on the tape with the same name. Tape position is central with a tape. And the default directory will do expected (but very weird looking) sequences when a searchlist logical name is used. Dig around for details using Google with searchlist and tape and default and OpenVMS or other such strings; this gets discussed regularly.

There's a good bet here that the stuff on the tape is corrupt. It's possible to do this single-file treat-tape-as-a-disk stuff, but most experienced folks use BACKUP to package and protect the files. COPY doesn't deal well with tape error cases and volume continuations and such.

If the data is important and the media is questionable, consider getting some help. DLT is pretty reliable, so that's less of an issue here. With DDS/DAT media, you can have far fewer chances to read the tape.

And if the BACKUP saveset comes in corrupt, there's a tool in the 000TOOLS directory area of the OpenVMS Freeware (mvb.saic.com) that can usually reset its attributes. This is less common with COPY than with other paths, but we really don't know how this tape was created. I've seen folks try this with Unix tools, and that can lead to the loss of OpenVMS file attributes, and that stomps on BACKUP savesets, and that means you need the tool over in 000TOOLS.

This tape doesn't look bootable.

The saveset might be a BACKUP /IMAGE saveset, but we won't know that until we can get at it. BACKUP /LIST of the saveset will tell you what command was used; whether this is an /IMAGE saveset or not. (And whether it's corrupt or not...)
Nahmad_1
Advisor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

Thanks for the help gents. I also want to clear that when I tried:

BACKUP/IMAGE DUA2: MUC6:MSNCOTS.SAV/SAVE/LABEL=MSNCOT but it did not work when i tried:

BACKUP/IMAGE DUA2: MUC6:

Regards

Nahmad
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

If you tried the DCL command:

BACKUP/IMAGE DUA2: MUC6:

I'd suggest reading the command examples in the help text on most any recent OpenVMS version (donno how far back those go; V5.5-2 is coming up on fifteen years old), and also a quick pass through the documentation for BACKUP in the recent OpenVMS manuals. The former show the commands related to particular tasks (and a very good starting point for staying within what is tested and supported with BACKUP, too) and the latter describes such such as how to specify the saveset name on the target parameter.

BACKUP is one of the most obscure and arcane and obtuse utilities around, and - even with 25 years of regular use - I still end up referring to the manuals on occasion.
Nahmad_1
Advisor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

Hi Hoff

I agree that backup is very complicated and mostly need to look at help. I tried COPY command and it worked this time.

I look at tape again and found following files too:

BOOT58.EXE BOOTBLOCK.EXE BOOTUPD.COM SYSBOOT.EXE WRITEBOOT.EXE VVIEF_BOOTSTAP.EXE SYSBOOT_XDELTA.EXE

does it mean any thing about the suspicion that it may be bootable ?

Thanks

Nahmad
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Creating a Image/bootable tape

Whoa, cool.

That tape probably isn't what you want; I'd not expect that tape to be bootable here, if that's your central goal.

If it's replication of media for another VAX system that's not been mentioned here, that's another discussion. (And there are ways to do that for the VAX-11 box, for instance. CONSCOPY.COM was the tool typically used for that purpose.)

BOOT58 was used for and with the TU58 DECtape II cartridge tape drive (a device and media which was seen as a console on the VAX-11/750, VAX-11/751, VAX-11/730 and VAX-11/725 series boxes). The VVIEF was the VAX Vector Instruction Emulation Facility bits.

The contents of the tape look more like a replication of a VAX-11-vintage console tape, too. That tape might well be worth some archeology and contents preservation, but not in relation to booting a VAX 4000 box for use with OpenVMS VAX or with Standalone BACKUP.

And FWIW, I've never seen a VAX-11/750 try to boot from a TK70, either. You'd need to boot the box via the console ROM and then via the TU58 to get to the TK70, if it is even feasible.