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Oh what a mess!

New Member

Oh what a mess!

My client is trying to set up an HP1000 A990 system. So far, here are the hardware specs:
Case, CPU, 8Mb ECC Mem, 12040D mux card (also used for the VCP) set to 23B Select Code, a 12009A HPIB card (set to System controller, fast, 26B select code), a 12016A SCSI controller card (set to terminate power at the card, 27B select code, and address 07B), a 2393A VDT term plugged into the R232C MUX console, a C2203 drive on the HPIB line (set to ID #2...this drive has sysgen and a backup of the OS installed on it), and a SCSI 2Gb drive plugged into the SCSI card (Drive is already formatted).

I can get the VCP to come up without a problem.

However, I cannot get it to accept any command lines. Not even %C or %M. I get a ?? message and a new prompt when I try to do any of that. I've tried to run insfn -e from the VCP but it's not even accepting that.

The drive on the HPIB contains a working OS yet I can't get to it using %bdcboot.cmd2026

Any suggestions out there?
Mike Carlson
New Member

Re: Oh what a mess!

Did you get this A990 up, yet? If not:

1. The A990 should have more verbose error messages. Could you submit those, too?

2. Are your A990 board boot switches set up correctly? You may have to dust these off to see them. Plus powering off and dusting & reseating all the boards and connectors may help (using proper static protection).

3. What reply (if any) do you get from the VCP program? Nothing? Loader Error? FMP error? ...

4. Maybe you have a typo in the bootstring you submitted in the e-mail. Your bootstring should read "%bdc2026boot.cmd" from the "%xdvffbusc" format (from VCP):
X Boot, Load, Write
FF File #
B Bus addr.
U Unit #
SC Select code
The errror may only be in the posted e-mail.

5. Do the "%t" or "?" commands work (test and help, respectively)? How much memory does your system report?

6. The A-Series have a set of diagnostics that can be very helpful. Some are done in conjunction with the CPU switches. The basic A990 self-test is: With power off, you set SW2 to UDDDDDDD (U= Up/D=Down) and then power up. The results are displayed in the LED patterns. You can use the CE manual for the reference (available from the web: Chapter 4 - Troubleshooting). The manual also covers other simple tests (memory, ...).

7. If you suspect corruption in the VCP program, it could be in the A990 EPROM (from where VCP comes), A990 memory card or some component along the way that reads/lods/runs VCP (even cables, connectors and power supply). The diagnostics usually show something or look at the next suggestion (8).

8. After all this, the easiest test is just swapping in another A990 board (you may have to beg/borrow a good spare). This is a stretch, but maybe you can send it to someone who can verify it works (someone with an A990).

9. If there may be a procedure to re-program the A990 EPROM in the field, I haven't found it. But you may be able to get a new EPROM (HP P/N 12990-80106 per my manual) from HP Support or a reseller.

10. Did you contact the HP Support people (walt and Don)? How about Interex (HP Users group)?