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boot alpha system with other system disk without console

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Scotty HD
Frequent Advisor

boot alpha system with other system disk without console

i have alpha machine in which there are multiple boot disks
like $1$DGA0:, $1$DGA1. now system is booted with $1$DGA0.
bootdef_dev is $1$DGA0:.

i want to boot the system with $1$DGA1.

if reboot the system it will boot with $1$DGA0:. If i had console access
then i issue command to boot system with $1$DGA1:.i dont have console,
how to boot the system with another boot disk $1$DGA1:. should i modify
the bootdef_dev console variable from the running system and then reboot.
how to do this, any ideas? or any other way.

Scotty
9 REPLIES
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

Here's an unsupported means:

http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/548

Also consider fixing the real problem, too. Get remote console access into whichever Alpha or Integrity box is involved. That'll save you headaches.

Once you get that remote access sorted, get V8.3 or later online and use that to get InfoServer boot services set up on the LAN.
Scotty HD
Frequent Advisor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

Hoff,

thanks a lot for your response.
i liked the link a lot the documentation very easy to understand.

program comment says that
BOOTDEF_DEV - default boot device list
BOOT_DEV - device list used by the last bootstrap attempt

this means if my BOOTDEF_DEV is $1$dga1.
and if system is up with $1$dga0 (rebooted many times) then BOOT_DEV
is $1$dga0. now if i want to boot system with $1$dga1 then the program
would do it.

in my case,
the BOOTDEF_DEV is $1$DGA0
system booted with $1$DGA0 (rebooted many times) and
hence BOOT_DEV = $1$DGA0. that is BOOTDEF_DEV = BOOT_DEV
how do i tell boot with $1$DGA1
the program should take input the $1$DGA1

Scotty
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

Get remote serial console access. There are various ways to do that, and you want that console access. Right now. Seriously. Right now. Go get that console access.

Then test that code on a non-production server.

BOOTDEF_DEV is the default boot device, and BOOT_DEV is the device that will be the default reboot device.

The cited code causes the default boot device to be the default reboot device.

If you want to reboot or boot from another device, you would want to modify that code to set the BOOT_DEV value (for reboots) and potentially also BOOTDEF_DEV (for boots).

Get serial console access.

Then test that code on a non-production box.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

I've updated the comments in the article to try to address some of the confusion.

Here's one of various SRM console manuals available:

http://www.compaq.com/alphaserver/download/srm_reference.pdf

The other obvious approach here would be a call to the sys$setenv system service.

Here's the sys$getenv call, which is basically the same as the sys$setenv call.

http://eight-cubed.com/examples/framework.php?file=sys_getenv.c

And regardless, test this stuff on a non-production server before you roll this into production. It's entirely possible this code will crash OpenVMS.
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

Scotty,

please also take into account, that you need to explicitly define the boot device pathes with WWIDMGR, if you want to boot from a SAN system disk.

If not previously configured with WWIDMGR, you can't even 'see' DGA1: from the SRM console prompt !

Volker.
Scotty HD
Frequent Advisor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

thanks for your responses.

Hoff>> Here's an unsupported means:
this means that there is no supported means.
like the boot_options.com for itaniums.

Hoff>> Here's the sys$getenv call, which is basically the same as the
-sys$setenv call.
this is like a system call. is it the supported means.

Hoff>> Seriously. Right now. Go get that console access.
yes, console was there. currently there is some problem.
this is getting sorted out. it will take some time.

Hoff>>Then test that code on a non-production server.
yes, this is a test server. no problem with setup on production server.

Hoff>> If you want to reboot or boot from another device, you would
-want to modify that code
yes, i will modify that code and give it a try.
i will also use the sys$getenv program.
and as you adviced all this methods i will use only on the test server.

Volker>> you need to explicitly define the boot device pathes with
-WWIDMGR, if you want to boot from a SAN system disk.
now test system has local disk. but i will use this information when
i have to deal with san disks.

cheers
Scotty
Hoff
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

The supported means to do this is the one that is presently unavailable for use here: the SRM console. Again, that's your path forward. If the console is offline, that's typically considered a priority issue in a production configuration.

AFAIK, there are no other supported means other than the SRM console. The code I have posted is not supported and not documented. And the sys$setenv system service that I have mentioned is also AFAIK not supported and not documented.

The sys$getenv system service call is documented; that's the tool to read the settings, but not to write them. And you want to and need to write the settings here.

One caveat I've encountered here: the console-level device specifications used within the console can be somewhat odd on some of the Alpha SRM consoles; there can be added information after the device specification that can be required; this information is the series of digits that can sometimes be visible after the specification in various of the console displays. Only the console itself has a good translation of these added values, and these can be required in some contexts. (Which means you can need to acquire and save the specification. You might not be able to unilaterally insert a random device name into the console without some trial-and-error testing.)

The SRM console is entirely different from that of the EFI console on the Integrity servers, and there is no OpenVMS Alpha analog to the BOOT_OPTIONS.COM and the BFCG tool available on OpenVMS I64.

If I was aware of a supported approach here, I would provide it in preference to the undocumented approaches.

As for the FC SAN configuration, there is a WWIDMGR discussion posted here:

http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/786

Scotty HD
Frequent Advisor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

Hoff
i did modify your program and get it to run.
i forced the value of $1$dga1 to be written to boot_dev after this a
reboot got system to boot with $1$dga1. thanks for the program.

as you said the suggested methods are unsupported and hence to be used
only in test environement with test systems.

i also expedite the console access problem and got that fixed.

Scotty
Scotty HD
Frequent Advisor

Re: boot alpha system with other system disk without console

thanks for the help. problem solved.
closing thread.