Operating System - OpenVMS
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

VMS V5.3-1 SPD

Go to solution
Occasional Advisor

VMS V5.3-1 SPD

Does anyone have a SPD for VMS V5.3-1??

Wanting to know what the limit for Disk drives are for this Version of VMS.


Greg Snider
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

I don't know of any archives of old SPDs around the net anywhere, though HP may have a few old ones around somewhere.

There are platform-specific and version-specific limits involved here, none of which were particularly generally listed as far back as this version and this SPD AFAIK.

See the OpenVMS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section "What is the largest disk volume size OpenVMS can access?" for related details from the FAQ here:


Pull over the text file or the PDF; those are easier to download and easier to search locally.

The cited FAQ section covers some of the console-level and driver limits, and related details.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

What limit do you mean?

Types of drives supported?
Maximum number of disk drives? Per node, per cluster?
Maximum size of a disk drive?
Maximum size of a volume?

(mind you "Supported" doesn't enter into it. V5.3 fell off the support list nearly 20 years ago!)
A crucible of informative mistakes
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

I have a CD-ROM kit for V5.4 which includes

About all it says about "the limit for Disk
drives" might be this:

At least 35,000 free blocks are required to upgrade from VMS
V5.3 or V5.3-x to VMS V5.4.

To support full VMS, a system disk of greater than 100 MB is
recommended. When a smaller disk is used, additional tailoring
is required prior to installing some VMS options. This does not
include the dump file space. Refer to VMS Upgrade and Installa-
tion Procedures Manual for information on tailoring.

Perhaps you would get a more helpful response
if you phrased your question so that a
non-psychic could figure out what you really
wish to know,

Some hardware types (VAXstation 3100,
MicroVAX 3100) may have disk size limits
which are more restrictive than any OS limit.
Occasional Advisor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

I am looking for what is the Max Block size of a disk drive for V5.3-1, system disk and/or data disk. Also did this VMS version support Bind set disk drives??

This is on a VAX 6230.

Jim Hintze

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

v5.5-2 and earlier max disk size in blocks is 16,777,215

Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD


do a help on mount and see if /bind is there..

Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

Give it the smoke test: load it all up and try it.

>I am looking for what is the Max Block size of a disk drive for V5.3-1, system disk and/or data disk.

So do you have any questions from what is listed in the FAQ, then?

The details on the limit (still) aren't quite as simple as quoting a single number as the I/O paths and hardware devices are involved, and I spent a fair chunk of time writing up the details of the devices in the FAQ.

>Also did this VMS version support Bind set disk drives??

As badly and with the same limits as most any other release. Not supported for system disks, and equally risky for data disks.

>This is on a VAX 6230.

A box which was supported by VAX/VMS V5.3-1.

Various of the manuals are here:


This far back, there are specific devices that were typical on an XMI box such as this, and this VAX/VMS version predates the dynamic device support; figuring out what was supported was rather more than looking at block counts.

(I have to presume you're looking to migrate this gear to an Alpha or to a VAX emulator, as I'd be surprised if anybody wants to run a VAX 6000-230 any more. Other than for curiosity or hobbyist, the storage widgets from that era should be retired, that is. Which is what I expect you're up to, either incrementally or in the entirety.

Go try it.
Occasional Advisor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

I currently cannot get my hands on this system, but will try to have someone look at the help for mount.

Hoff, you are correct, I am looking at moving this Very Old VAX system to a Charon-Vax emulator.

I was wanting to use the Chaorn-Vax 6310 emulator, and wanted to make sure that VMS V5.3-1 would run on a VAX 6310?? (I know that a MV3600 will)

Also I cannot break any VMS rules as to the block size of disk drives that are supported for that version, so the size of Virtual Disk drives would need to be under that limit.
The notes that I have shows that support for a RA92 (1.4GB) Disk Drive came out with VMS V5.3-2, but they currently have 2GB disk drives on their system with very little free blocks, and I was wanting to go to 4GB disk drives.

Does anyone see any problems with this??

Thanks, for the info so far,

Honored Contributor

Re: VMS V5.3-1 SPD

The OpenVMS FAQ discusses the disk capacity limits for the various I/O widgets and driver paths that can be involved here. With an RA-series disk on a version prior to V6, you've got a little over eight gibibytes available IIRC; note that the storage guys use gigabytes.


The host-visible disk block (sector) size is 512 bytes for all traditional disks and 512 or 2048 bytes for optical devices; pending changes that might be instantiated in future widgets by the IDEMA folks:


As for the question, load the whole VAX/VMS environment and the application(s) on the VAX emulator and boot it and try it. That's the usual gold-standard "smoke test".

This isn't a VAX 6000 model 230 here after all, this is a VAX emulator pretending to be a Calypso-class box.

With emulation in the picture, you can instantiate pretty much any size or type of I/O device you want. Including an unusually-sized RA-series disk, something I've done with simh with some regularity. And with emulation in general, you're not on the specified VAX, you're on an emulation of that model of VAX. Accordingly, the specs and other such tend to go out the window and the applications can surface oddities due to architectural dependencies or timing or I/O or such, due to whatever the emulation decides to present, or due to the occasional error in the hardware (physical VAX) or in the "hardware" (emulation).

This is the same sort of basic sequence that happened when you moved from VAX to VAX back then; there were the occasional and weird and subtle dependencies around.

In other words, try it.