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ECC memory error

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Frequent Advisor

ECC memory error

Hey guys!

Haven't been here for a very long time mostly because I hang on the Unix machines so sadly I don't have time to learn VMS :(

So during the terminal session via serial port I get this output:

Processor Detected Uncorrectable ECC Error in Memory

*** Unexpected Machine Check through vector 670

So I switched the system memory and it didn't work...after I switched the CPU board, thinking maybe it's probably cache...but after that I got this dump:

**** OpenVMS (TM) Alpha Operating System V7.1-1H2 - BUGCHECK ******* keyboard n.

** Bugcheck code = 00000215: MACHINECHK, Machine check while in kernel mode
** Crash CPU: 00 Primary CPU: 00 Active CPUs: 00000001
** Current Process = MC
** Image Name = MZR1P2$DKA0:[AEC.MCC.][EXE]MC.EXE;1
**** Starting compressed selective memory dump at 27-JUN-2008 00:19...

Sometimes it doesn't dump anything instead it just freezes.

Frequent Advisor

Re: ECC memory error

Great...now sometimes it just won't boot and sometimes I get SROM 74 or SROM EC on machine's LED display.

Could it be power supply.

Thing is that our supplier is asking for an enormous amount of money to replace that old Aplha with the exactly same machine(DIGITAL 21164 PICMG SBC 5/500)--we have a contract with supplier.
Well...they request 35,000 euros!!!
It's a rip off of the century...so any help and suggestion will be helpful.
Honored Contributor

Re: ECC memory error

There is one for $4712.50 on ebay
Karl Rohwedder
Honored Contributor

Re: ECC memory error

Depending on the make and number of interfaces in the system, you may replace it e.g. by a DS10, which are quite cheap on ebay nowadays (or ask island computers for a quote).

regards Kalle
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: ECC memory error


First, I would consider putting things back the way they were originally. While swapping boards sometimes works, I have seen many simple problems made far more serious by random board swapping.

Switching to a different box, albeit with the same software is feasible. I have done this for clients, and while it is not fun, it doesn't involve 35,000 Euros worth of work.

Before purchasing new hardware, it is important to verify that the new hardware is supported by 7.1-1H2. That said, the exact utilization of the machine that is being replaced is important. I would also recommend that someone with extensive experience be available during such a transition. Those of us with extensive experience of such transitions tend to think of them as effortless, as indeed they can be, but there are many places with a potential for trouble [Disclosure: Our firm does provide such services to clients].

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com

Bojan Nemec
Honored Contributor

Re: ECC memory error


Another posibility is to replace the system with a software emulated alpha which runs on a much chiper PC hardware.

Stromasys (Software Resources International) has a product called CHARON-AXP which can replace the old hardware. This is also a longer term solution.


Frequent Advisor

Re: ECC memory error

First thanks to everyone.

I solved the problem by switching CPU board with one from another Alpha machine. Now it works fine.

@Bojan thanks for the suggestion...I have tried to search for Alpha emulation SW but haven't found anything.
I'll try this CHARON-AXP like you suggested.
Now I can use VMS for hobby.
Nice to know that Slovenia got some VMS boxes up there too! ;)

@Phil...yaeh I seen the prices on Ebay...but since we are under the contract we are unable to get anything from another supplier....
You know how these contracts are made...both sides have some interests.
They are giving a discount for used machines, 30% off :)))) Wow....with that I'm still able to buy new decent car.

Anyway, I see that VMS is quite "popular" here in Europe...what is the future for it?
Is VMS market decreasing or increasing?