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forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

Verne Britton
Regular Advisor

forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

I booted one of our production Alpha ES45 servers the other day and did not have the keyboard (or was it the mouse) plugged into the PS2 plugs on the back of the chassis ... and now of course Motif will not run.

That is, nothing comes out of the VGA port and moving the mouse or typing on the keyboard does not wake it up :-)

I know if I reboot the machine with these items attached, everything will be fine.

Is there a way from a v8.2 VMS system to get the keyboard/mouse recognized on a ES45?

p.s. is there an easy way to see if the mouse is missing or the keyboard is missing ... if that is important ??

Honored Contributor

Re: forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

Please expand on the specific "everything" in the "everything will be fine?" Beyond the graphics display discussed, what (else) might be wrong here? Is the box (otherwise) running production?

Also some more words around what are your goals are here?

Depending on the goals...

You could take steps to avoid this case, such as using wire ties or such to prevent the removal of the cabling. Local and physical interlocks against this.

You could start up DECwindows without the head via the DECW$IGNORE_WORKSTATION mechanism.

You could restart DECwindows. This via @SYS$MANAGER:DECW$STARTUP RESTART sequence or such. Log in via ssh or telnet or such here.

Or as you know, you could restart the box.

You could have a talk with whomever was near the server that triggered this; this "talk" could range from prohibiting yourself from the machine room and the production servers or such, to "to taking this as a learning experience".

As for detecting the keyboard, you could probably send a keyboard request at the keyboard and catching the error or the results ( http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/73final/4735/4735pro_001.html and Sense Keyboard Information or such), but (unless you're planning to make this particular mistake again) that seems like more work than, well, wire ties or such.

And if the box is live and in production, there's the whole decision around what the display is used for and whether perturbing production (or risking same) is appropriate. There are cases and installations when that might be appropriate, or there are cases when this box would be left alone until the next available slot for experimentation or reboot might be available.

All of this is highly dependent on your local environment and your production requirements.

John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system


>if that is important ??

Yes it's important. DECwindows will not start if it can't see a mouse, keyboard and display adapter.

As you're already aware, a reboot will do the trick, but if you want to avoid the reboot, you *MIGHT* be able to get it working. Try this...

Start with SHOW DEVICE to see what devices are present.

Plug in mouse and keyboard


now look at SHOW DEVICE again. Did you get anything new? If so, they might be the mouse and keyboard.


as Hoff suggested to restart DECwindows. If the mouse and keyboard are now present, it might start.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Rick Retterer
Respected Contributor

Re: forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

In a nutshell, with a PS2 mouse and Keyboard, a reboot will be required. There is no way that I know of, that you can interactively initialize the mouse and keyboard after the system has been booted and get Decwindows to recognize them.

The PS2 Keyboard and mouse are basically hardware devices, that get initialized during the system initialization routines during boot time.

If your keyboard and mouse were USB devices, you may have had a chance to get them to be recognized after VMS boots, but not the PS2 devices.

Hoff is right, chock this up as a learning experience, and schedule a reboot as soon as you can.

Of course, if that's going to take a while, you can Startup the Decwindows software and used Decwindows remotely.

Define this logical interactively, and then restart the Decwindows Software:

$ define decw$ignore_workstation true
$ @sys$startup:decw$startup restart

And answer "Yes" to any questions asking if you really want to do this.

The Decwindows images will get loaded into memory, but you will NOT see any running DECW$SERVER processes running while the logical is defined.

Then telnet or ssh into the system, set your display back to your PC (Which must have a PC Xserver software installed on it and started), then set your display back to your PC using this command:

$ set display /create/node=ip.address.of.your.pc/trans=tcpip

Finally create this small command procedure, and execute it:

$ create start_cde.com
$ write sys$output "Starting CDE Session..."
$ spawn/nowait -
mcr cde$system_defaults:[bin]dthello.exe
$ @cde$system_defaults:[bin]xsession.com
$ logout

Now Execute it:

$ @[]start_cde.com

I hope this gives you some guidance until you are able to reboot your system.

Rick Retterer
- Rick Retterer

Rick Retterer
Respected Contributor

Re: forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

Oh yeah,
I almost forgot about this...

Check in SYS$SYSTEM: for a utility called DECW$CONFIG.EXE

If you have this, execute it and at the DECW$CONFIG> prompt type in the command "show device"


$ mcr decw$config.exe


Device: OPA2:
Class: KB Port
Type: PS2
Description: PS2 KB Console Port

Device: OPA3:
Class: PTR Port
Type: PS2
Description: PS2 Mouse Console Port

Device: GHA0:
Class: Video
Description: Generic VGA Driver

Device: INA0:
Class: Common
Type: 0x0
Description: DECwindows Common Driver

Device: IMA0:
Class: Pointer
Type: PS2
Description: PCXAS (PS2) Mouse Decoder

Device: IKA0:
Class: Keyboard
Type: PS2
Description: PCXAL (PS2) Keyboard Decoder

Above output is from my DS20 running OpenVMS 8.3 with a Radeon Graphics Card. I have a PS2 mouse and PS2 keyboard.

It will show you the details about what devices are linked to your keyboard and mouse.

There is very little documentation on this utility, but the help command does give you a synopsis of what commands it will respond to.

You may be able to do a "reinit" using this tool to try and get the drivers loaded for the PS/2 devices.

- Rick Retterer

Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: forgot keyboard/mouse -- how to recognize on a running system

Did some test on Alphastation 500/400 7.3.

Console = graphics, no keyboard+mouse attached -> boot blocks after "decnet base image loaded".

Console = serial, no k+m -> boots and shows X on screen. M+k not working. IO auto + decw restart -> m+k not working.