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VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

 
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Hi,

To make a long story short I need to find out if my VAX has some diagnostics programs included in the OS.

The machine is under a PM program and there are no funds to bring a technician to perform the PM and that's why I'm trying to find out if it can be done in house.

Thanks
15 REPLIES
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Hi,

welcome to the OpenVMS ITRC forum.

OpenVMS VAX itself does not include 'diagnostic' programs. OpenVMS will log hardware error to ERRLOG.SYS, which you can view with ANALYZE/ERROR.

There are standalone diagnostics programs called MDM (MicroVAX Diagnostics Monitor), but you need the MDM media (TK50) to start them.

OpenVMS includes UETP (User Environment Test Package), which can generate system load and run functional tests on devices and disks, but I would not call that a 'Diagnostics' program.

Do you have any problem with your VAX 4000-400 you're trying to diagnose and solve ?

Volker.
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Thanks Volker,

The machine has a bad hard drive, what I need to do is run tests to make sure that the machine hardware is in working order.

We used to have HP come and do the PM for us, what the technician did I don't know but he was supposed to verify the hardware.

The HD issue will be dealt when we find a replacement, so far no luck.

Was looking on the manuals and found the Monitor function, this lets me see what's going on but doesn't do any testing.
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Running MDM would probably be the best option, if you have the MDM media. This is a standalone tool, which does not run under OpenVMS, but has to be booted from tape (typically TK50/TK70).

If not, you could run UETP and at least check, if any error are being logged. Running UETP is described in the OpenVMS VAX System Manager's Manual Chapter 19.

Other than that, rely on OpenVMS to log errors, if there are any hardware problems with $ ANAL/ERROR

Volker.
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Can't find the MDM media, don't know if we had it or not.

"If not, you could run UETP and at least check, if any error are being logged. Running UETP is described in the OpenVMS VAX System Manager's Manual Chapter 19."

I have the book printed on 5/93 for OVMS 6.0 and chapter 19 talks about VMScluster Considerations. Can I find the UETP instructions on line?


DECxchange
Regular Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

No, VMS Cluster is a different utility of the OS than UETP. I have a VAX4400 myself. If you can tell me what errors you're seeing I might be able to give you some pointers.

In any case, somebody posted a link for VMS documentation yesterday in another thread. You might be able to find it by searching this forum for VMS Documentation. If I find it, I'll repost it here.
DECxchange
Regular Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

> Can't find the MDM media, don't know if we
> had it or not.

A MicroVAX II was normally shipped with a
slightly crippled "DIAG CUST" tape. (And you
needed the deluxe "DIAG MAINT" kit to format
a virgin RD-series disk.) I don't know if
any later models included it. Somewhere
around 1992, a friendly DEC Field Service guy
loaned me a TK50 when I needed one. (He
seemed to expect me to make a copy, so I
wouldn't need to bother him again.)

I keep hoping that someone will release MDM
for general (free) use by hobbyist mu-VAX
owners, but perhaps some folks are still
willing to pay for it. (Or else it would
just be extra work for someone.)

> The machine is under a PM program [...]

Not?

> The machine has a bad hard drive, what I
> need to do is run tests to make sure that
> the machine hardware is in working order.

Which sort of disk? (You know it's bad
because ...?) If the system works (was
working?) except for the bad disk, what do
you expect to learn from any diagnostics?
(I'm pretty sure that the MDM didn't do
fan-failure prediction.)
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Thanks for the replies, will read the UETP documentation to in order to run the tests.

I'm not looking for errors or troubleshooting, only need to run some tests in order to complete a PM that was given to me in order to assure that the Vax is working properly.

The bad drive that I mentioned gives a red light and isn't visible on the system but I'm not trying to fix that at this time. It's been like that for the past 3 years and the admin can't find a replacement for it.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

> [...] admin can't find a replacement for it.

As I said, "Which sort of disk?" RF-series
(DSSI) disks are hard to find new, but
claimed-working ones do appear on auction Web
sites from time to time. Q-bus SCSI adapters
also appear from time to time (although not
often at incredible-bargain prices), and
new/good SCSI disks are pretty common.

While you appear not to need this particular
disk, it might be nice to have a plan to deal
with a failure of the system disk (or any
other disk which you actually do use). Unless
you don't really need this system, of course.
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

The disk is a RF35/RZ35 and so far we haven't been able to find it.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

> The disk is a RF35/RZ35 and so far we
> haven't been able to find it.

How hard have you been looking?

You'd better figure out which it is, RF35
(DSSI) or RZ35 (SCSI) before you buy one.
I'll assume that it's DSSI. Otherwise,
almost any SCSI disk might satisfy.

A quick search on eBay (computers) for:
(dec,digital) disk (rf3*,rf7*)
found some. More, if you'd accept a bigger
drive, either logically (RF36 @ 1.6GB, for
example) or physically (RF7*).

Assuming that it doesn't already have SCSI,
if I were serious about keeping this system
up, I'd keep an eye open for a bargain on a
Q-bus SCSI card. (I did see a very nice
looking CMD CQD-443/TM on eBay, but at $500,
it's out of my cheap-junk price range. Close
to home, though, in my case.)
VPedraza
Occasional Advisor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

The disks connect to the backplane of the Vax so I believe they aren't scsi.

This company is in chapter 11 so purchasing new stuff is difficult, if we could find a replacement for the broken one we could make a case and get some funds.

Otherwise we are screwed.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Replacing a disk? I'd be looking to replace the whole of the VAX 4000 model 400 box, particularly if this box is running an important application. Either using available VAX emulation, or by porting forward to a newer VAX or (if you have the source code) to a newer platform. Whether to Integrity or otherwise.

And I'd not be replacing with an RZ3x nor RF* here; these disks are just too old. They were over-built, but they're now over-old.

The usual DSSI to SCSI adapter for systems of this vintage was the HSD05 series, or the HSD10 series. Moving to SCSI would be ab

If you're seriously tied into OpenVMS VAX V6.2 for some reason, Nemonix Engineering has a refurbishment program. And most of the independent vendors and consultants that follow this forum can assist with hardware-level upgrades and swaps, and with porting. And do start looking at how you can un-tie your production from this old VAX.

Stephen Hoffman
HoffmanLabs LLC

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

You'll need to specifically identify the disk involved here.

I'm not aware of any disk that was connected directly to the backplane of a VAX. Ever. In the vintage of the VAX 4000 model 400 series, the two most common interconnects were the DSSI (RF-series) bus and the SCSI (RZ-series) bus.

SCSI was often via a DSSI to SCSI adapter, the HSD05 or HSD10.

Do not get a KFQSA; not for SCSI disks.

You'll pay more for a DSSI replacement, and (given the age) there's a much higher expectation of failure.

Stanley F Quayle
Valued Contributor

Re: VAX 4400 with OpenVMS v6.2 Diagnostics

Hoff mentions VAX emulation. Let me give you a pointer:

http://www.stanq.com/charon-vax.html

Assuming you don't have any custom Qbus hardware, replacing it can be fast & easy.

[Shameless Plug Alert(tm) - I am a CHARON-VAX and CHARON-Alpha reseller.]
http://www.stanq.com/charon-vax.html