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DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy

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Raymond Napier
Occasional Advisor

DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy

I own a DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM running OpenVMS 6.2-1H3. I currently have no issues with the server or the software. I would however like to backup the NVRAM (SRM/ARC Firmware) to Floppy. I would also like to make the floppy a bootable disk so that it can be used to restore the NVRAM (SRM/ARC Firmware) information if needed.

My Current Firware is as follows:

SRM = V4.8-74
ARC = V5.28
PALCODE = (Openvms) V1.19-4
(Dgital-Unix) V1.21-6

Serial ROM =V1.4

How do I go about this, what are the command strokes from either a termainal or from the GUI.

Thanks for any help on this you can give. I do have the Owners Guide which gives limited info on this type of transfer.

Ray Napier
Napier Semiconductor Soluitons
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy

"DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM"?

Are you trying to save the custom _settings_
or the firmware itself? Normally one simply
loads the firmware from a firmware CD (or
floppy). I know of no simple way to record
(or restore) all the custom settings (but
that's not an impossiblity proof).

A Google search for "alpha firmware" finds:

Raymond Napier
Occasional Advisor

Re: DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy

Thanks for the reply.

The server that I am using is a DEC Alpha Server 1000a 5/400 RM. I have seen some limited redirection of the output to the DVA0 drive. I also have seen that the latest Firmware allows for the copy of the nvram to floppy. I just would like to have backups of my firmware as this server is running Varian PVD wafer processing equipment. The version of firmware is an old one (vintage 1997). I will however use your information to see how a spare server performs running the newer firmware with the 6.2-1H3 OpenVMS.

Thanks again for the info.
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy


according to chapter 2.5.5 of the V5.7 FW Release Notes for the AlphaServer 1000A, you could boot from a V5.7 Firmware CD and just use LFU from the CD to save/restore the NVRAM data to a floppy.

Running with the most recent firmware should - in general - not cause any problems with OpenVMS.

Raymond Napier
Occasional Advisor

Re: DEC AlphaServer 5/400RM NVRAM Firmware copy to Floppy

HI Volker,

I had downloaded and read the release notes before, but had not tried to upgrade the firmware until yesterday. I only went to release 5.0, but during the course of the upgrade I noticed that I did have a chance to either view my existing firmware before actually performing the upgrade.

I will go ahead and do the same with the 5.7 release and attempt the save_nvram during the course of the upgrade if possible.

My biggest problem was actually getting a new Alpha Server 1000A 5/500 RM to boot using the 6.2-1H3 software that I had imaged over to another hard drive. I kept getting a HRWPB error and the boot would stop. I found that I needed to set the bus_probe_algorithm to new. Once I did this I was able to boot the Alpha from the DKA0 drive as per the norm with my systems. This is the first time I have had to do anything greater than setting the Bootdef_dev.

I will upgrade to the 5.7 firmware. Thanks again for this information. I will back up my old firmware prior to the upgrade using the 5.7 disk/cdrom

Best Regards

Ray Napier