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cannot boot, disk full

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bkelly13
Advisor

cannot boot, disk full

We have a VAX FT110 and FT810 running VMS 5.5. The FT110 will not boot complaining of insuficient disk space. After more than a half hour of error messages, someone pulled the plug. How so I boot this thing in a safe mode such that I can clean up the disk and allow regular boot. I can find the application scratch/log areas, but I don't know where VMS stores its log files.

Thank you.
16 REPLIES
bkelly13
Advisor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

I don't see an edit function for my original post. Before my post I did a few searches with no results. Then I found a recent thread, VMS DISK HELP by Mathew Murdock. I have that infomation so no need to repeat what is there. Anything new will be helpful.
marsh_1
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: cannot boot, disk full

hi,

hoff has a good writeup on this at his site here :-

http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/939

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

Have a look at /OpenVMS Tips: Your System Disk Is Full? DEVICEFULL?/ at:

http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/939
bkelly13
Advisor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

That is helpful. This is a legacy system on its way out but is rather important to keep running for another three to six months. It is a application system with no users. Disks have failed and we are down to the system disk only. There is only the single application so once I get the disk cleaned up some, it should be okay.

Is there anyone that does consulting work in case I get in over my head? If so, tell me how to contact you and what your rates are. This is in Brevard county of Florida. I can be reached at b2 at bkelly dot ws. Replace the words and spaces for an accurate email address.
Mike Kier
Valued Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

You've already visited Hoff's site and he consults as do Bob Gezelter and other members in this forum.

I don't think there were a large number of fault-tolerant VAXen sold and probably not a lot of them still in operation. I'd check around when it comes time to decomission them and see if any of the historical/retro-computing sites would want them or see if they'd fetch a decent price on an e-Bay auction rather than just scrapping them.
Practice Random Acts of VMS Marketing
bkelly13
Advisor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

Good Thoughts. These have been very reliable computers. They have been running since about 1993 with almost no maintenance. I was really saddened when DEC was bought out, effectively going out of business. I think they are government owned, but I will pass the suggestion up and see what happends.

If anyone is interested in a VAX FT110 or two FT810s, let me know. I don't know about the 110, but half of each 810 is working and I think the problem is power supply in both.
John McL
Trusted Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

I've seen a similar situation arise and what Hoff says is fine but a good file to blow away or move is the error log.

This might sound strange since this is the file that you'll need to look at but if the errors are still occurring a new error log will be created very quickly, what's more analyzing that error log file will be quicker because it will only be small.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

On the boxes I manage, I roll the error logs over periodically. Same as with OPERATOR.LOG, auditing, accounting, and a few other similar files. (On most Unix boxes, this log roll-over is typically automatic.) If storage is at a premium, zip the older files, too.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

Mike,

Thank you for the compliment.

Bryan,

I agree with Hoff's comments about the logs, although I would definitely want to ZIP them for possible review. If an error is happening, history could be important.

As I am sure you are unsurprised, I recommend a healthy degree of caution. Information deleted cannot easily be recovered in this situation, and from the postings, it would appear that the systems have been left to their own devices (pun unintended) for an extended period.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
bkelly13
Advisor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

After some deletions, the command "show dev d" refealed about 300,000 blocks. An unused application directory was found with about 300,000 blocks then deleted. "show dev d" did not change. A backup of that same application had another 300,000 blocks, and when deleted, "show dev d" did not show any change. What command will tell VMS to reclaim these unused blocks.

I looked around for VMS log files and temporary files but found none. Can someone give me a good location to search.

File [SYS0.SYSERR]ERRLOG.SYS;1 has 224882/224883 blocks and is dated 23-Mar-1996. I just now realized I should have checked last update. Just the same, is this something that can be deleted?
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

Bryan,

OpenVMS does NOT use a recycle bin. If you deleted files, the SHOW DEVICE will show the results essentially immediately.

If you are deleting files and not seeing an increase in available space, there is something else going on. I suggest extreme caution.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

Would I delete these files? No. I'd likely zip them (zip "-V" to preserve attributes) and move the files off the system disk or to offline or nearline storage off the server.

Even on boat-anchor grade VAX boxes, disk storage is cheap.

Would your site delete these files? That's up to you and your management.

Without intending any disrespect, you're already intentionally and explicitly not maintaining and not repairing these VAXft servers, so I see no reason not to fully commit to that organizational goal. (Would I want to get the "we're not maintaining these boxes" statement from a responsible manager before nuking these files? Yes; with certainty.)

And in general, this OpenVMS VAX version is far enough back that there are various ways the displayed free space value can end up skewed. Usually an ANALYZE /DISK /REPAIR pass can resolve any low-level errors, and the display counts will be off until the next mount/dismount (for data disks) or the next system reboot (for all disks).
marsh_1
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

bryan,

how did you bring the system up ? did you follow the sequence given in the link from hoff's site for system disk full ( second sequence) ?

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

ps and nb: If anybody snags these VAXft boxes off the galactic trash heap, the boxes are probably going to have wiped system disks, and which means you'll need the correct OpenVMS VAX version and the associated VAXft System Services Software (FTSS) software installation kit for the VAXft box.

Two of the more common OpenVMS versions that were around here were OpenVMS VAX V5.5-2HF and OpenVMS VAX V6.2-0HF. And you'll need a matching FTSS kit.
bkelly13
Advisor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

I am working with two computers, and FT110 and FT810.

On the 810, the single disk filled, the application crashed, but VMS kept running. We deleted some stuff and wound up with 300,000 free blocks. I found another 300,000 to delete and â show dev dâ did not register the deletions. I deleted another couple hundred thousand blocks and they do not show up with â show dev dâ

The FT110 would not boot. After reading some posts here, and looking at the manual that contains much information, but doesnâ t tell me much, I managed to get a conversational boot and set the _P1 to MIN. It booted and a â purge /keep=3â on the entire disk yielded about 4,000 free blocks.

I found a scratch directory in an application that had a huge number of files. The command â del *.*;*â did not return and I interrupted it after a half hour. I entered â dir a*;*â and gave up on that after five minutes, and returned to the delete function. After another half hour, I had to leave for other purposes. I will return tomorrow and see what happened.

BTW: I cannot get internet access while in this area so I must work there, then come home to check posts here.
Andy Bustamante
Honored Contributor

Re: cannot boot, disk full

>>> huge number of files.

With your vintage version of VMS operations in a directory with large amounts of files can take an extremely long time.

Look for DFU on the system. It can be downloaded from:
http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/freeware/index.html if you take the utility into the system.

You may not be able to carry in new software. See this thread http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=976275 covers the background and provides some options to speed deletes in large directories.

Generally, it's not a good idea to have application writing temp files, logs or live data to a system disk.

Andy
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? Reach me at first_name + "." + last_name at sysmanager net