AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM - DEC

This is a discussion on AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM - DEC ; I have two AS1200 and one AS4100; all have this problem: when connected to a KVM (trendnet TK-801R) ... in the best case, they dont detect KVM, and, do not send console to VGA (i assume the system defaults back ...

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Thread: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

  1. AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    I have two AS1200 and one AS4100; all have this problem: when connected
    to a KVM (trendnet TK-801R) ... in the best case, they dont detect KVM,
    and, do not send console to VGA (i assume the system defaults back to
    serial).

    In a worse standard case, AS1200 dont boot at all.

    In critical case, AS4100 dont boot, and make the KVM crash: i cant
    switch the active port any more, unill compleet reboot (this requires to
    unplug all 16 PS2 cables at the back and the PSU).

    Is it known that AS dont mix well with KVM, or make them freeze ? is
    there a SRM variable i can play with to make the machine boot even when
    no keyboard detected ?

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  2. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre ha scritto:
    > I have two AS1200 and one AS4100; all have this problem: when connected
    > to a KVM (trendnet TK-801R) ... in the best case, they dont detect KVM,
    > and, do not send console to VGA (i assume the system defaults back to
    > serial).
    >
    > In a worse standard case, AS1200 dont boot at all.
    >
    > In critical case, AS4100 dont boot, and make the KVM crash: i cant
    > switch the active port any more, unill compleet reboot (this requires to
    > unplug all 16 PS2 cables at the back and the PSU).
    >
    > Is it known that AS dont mix well with KVM, or make them freeze ?


    I was knowing a hate from PS/2 to KVM! :-(

    > is there a SRM variable i can play with to make the machine boot even when
    > no keyboard detected ?
    >


    Hi Pierre.

    In mine box I have an ATEN, 4 port KVM, that I use with an AS800.
    I don't know difference in Keyb. and mouse from AS800 to AS1200.
    --
    #include
    Signature automatica inserita a mano.
    In God we trust, all others we monitor.(NSA)
    Punteggiatura: Nel caso mancasse nel messaggio, aggiungete!!

  3. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    On Sep 15, 10:49 am, DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre
    wrote:
    > I have two AS1200 and one AS4100; all have this problem: when connected
    > to a KVM (trendnet TK-801R) ... in the best case, they dont detect KVM,
    > and, do not send console to VGA (i assume the system defaults back to
    > serial).
    >
    > In a worse standard case, AS1200 dont boot at all.
    >
    > In critical case, AS4100 dont boot, and make the KVM crash: i cant
    > switch the active port any more, unill compleet reboot (this requires to
    > unplug all 16 PS2 cables at the back and the PSU).
    >
    > Is it known that AS dont mix well with KVM, or make them freeze ? is
    > there a SRM variable i can play with to make the machine boot even when
    > no keyboard detected ?
    >
    > --
    > >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP)http://benoit.demaine.info/

    > If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<
    >
    > "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    > (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)


    Does your KVM actually emulate a keyboard and mouse so the host
    (AlphaServer) thinks it sees kbd and mouse at power on/startup time,
    even if the real keyboard and mouse are switched to another system? I
    know many cheap KVM switches don't do that.

    If the Alpha doesn't see a keyboard (or maybe it's the mouse, I forget
    exactly) at power on, it can be configured to fall back to serial
    console, but sometimes may need a on the serial port to wake up.
    I'm not sure why your Alpha would refuse to boot in the absence of kbd
    +mouse.

    There's nothing particularly special about DEC/CPQ/HP keyboard and
    mouse which would cause a properly designed KVM to freeze up in the
    way you describe. This is the first time (in many years) I've heard of
    an Alpha causing a KVM switch to lock up completely.

    Over at comp.os.vms you will find a larger audience who will be better
    qualified than I am to comment on KVMs and AlphaServers in general,
    and in particular they may know the exact method(s) to make your
    AlphaServer boot in the absence of keyboard and mouse.

    Good luck,
    John

  4. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    johnwallace4@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    > Does your KVM actually emulate a keyboard and mouse so the host
    > (AlphaServer) thinks it sees kbd and mouse at power on/startup time,
    > even if the real keyboard and mouse are switched to another system? I
    > know many cheap KVM switches don't do that.


    It is something recent and expensive, so i will presume Yes ... That's
    why i paid for something "new" and expensive. Obviously i was wrong.

    I had exactly the same problems on an old one. That's why i wanted to
    renew it; i was wrong again.

    Yes, it should emulate, since it helps booting some PCs that hardly boot
    without keyboard at all; but, those sensitive PCs still do not act as
    well as with a true keyboard.

    Things bug and freeze even if i select the alpha output before powering
    up. I dont think a 110 euros KVM is cheap. It's 1u rackable ...
    http://www.provantage.com/trendnet-tk-801r~7TDWK001.htm

    > If the Alpha doesn't see a keyboard (or maybe it's the mouse, I forget
    > exactly) at power on,


    I know that; i used Sun in the past, so, it did not take me more than 1h
    to do the test booting without board, and see that the VGA output did
    not react the same way as with

    > it can be configured to fall back to serial
    > console,


    *can be* ? means, i can force it to stay PS2 ? how ?

    > but sometimes may need a on the serial port to wake up.
    > I'm not sure why your Alpha would refuse to boot in the absence of kbd
    > +mouse.


    I have wired the mouse cable to Alpha (from KVM). As the Alpha provides
    +5V on mouse, the KVM is happy to say "the machine is up", even when the
    keyboard input of the machine is not the KVM (when the input ps2 don't
    have +5V, the KVM complains).

    The problem is that, dislike Sun, Alpha do not notify VGA that the
    output is going to be redirected to serial (sun produce an explicit
    message about this point: "no keyboard, using serial console"). I will
    plug a serial cable to look what's around.

    I also noticed that one machine had a bad HDD; maybe it failed to boot
    once due to HDD, and i forgot to proof test if other machines could boot
    without keyboards.

    > There's nothing particularly special about DEC/CPQ/HP keyboard and
    > mouse which would cause a properly designed KVM to freeze up in the
    > way you describe. This is the first time (in many years) I've heard of
    > an Alpha causing a KVM switch to lock up completely.


    Happens with my new TK-801R; and before this one, a Compaq 3315

    > Over at comp.os.vms you will find a larger audience who will be better
    > qualified than I am to comment on KVMs and AlphaServers in general,
    > and in particular they may know the exact method(s) to make your
    > AlphaServer boot in the absence of keyboard and mouse.


    I ll do more tests before joining and complaining about boot

    My real problem is about SRM. Once the system is up, i have ssh. But to
    play in SRM, i need my KVM or serial. And i have more Alphas than serial
    ports on my workstation.

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  5. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    On Sep 16, 1:47 pm, DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre
    wrote:
    > johnwalla...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    > > Does your KVM actually emulate a keyboard and mouse so the host
    > > (AlphaServer) thinks it sees kbd and mouse at power on/startup time,
    > > even if the real keyboard and mouse are switched to another system? I
    > > know many cheap KVM switches don't do that.

    >
    > It is something recent and expensive, so i will presume Yes ... That's
    > why i paid for something "new" and expensive. Obviously i was wrong.
    >
    > I had exactly the same problems on an old one. That's why i wanted to
    > renew it; i was wrong again.
    >
    > Yes, it should emulate, since it helps booting some PCs that hardly boot
    > without keyboard at all; but, those sensitive PCs still do not act as
    > well as with a true keyboard.
    >
    > Things bug and freeze even if i select the alpha output before powering
    > up. I dont think a 110 euros KVM is cheap. It's 1u rackable ...http://www.provantage.com/trendnet-tk-801r~7TDWK001.htm
    >
    > > If the Alpha doesn't see a keyboard (or maybe it's the mouse, I forget
    > > exactly) at power on,

    >
    > I know that; i used Sun in the past, so, it did not take me more than 1h
    > to do the test booting without board, and see that the VGA output did
    > not react the same way as with
    >
    > > it can be configured to fall back to serial
    > > console,

    >
    > *can be* ? means, i can force it to stay PS2 ? how ?
    >
    > > but sometimes may need a on the serial port to wake up.
    > > I'm not sure why your Alpha would refuse to boot in the absence of kbd
    > > +mouse.

    >
    > I have wired the mouse cable to Alpha (from KVM). As the Alpha provides
    > +5V on mouse, the KVM is happy to say "the machine is up", even when the
    > keyboard input of the machine is not the KVM (when the input ps2 don't
    > have +5V, the KVM complains).
    >
    > The problem is that, dislike Sun, Alpha do not notify VGA that the
    > output is going to be redirected to serial (sun produce an explicit
    > message about this point: "no keyboard, using serial console"). I will
    > plug a serial cable to look what's around.
    >
    > I also noticed that one machine had a bad HDD; maybe it failed to boot
    > once due to HDD, and i forgot to proof test if other machines could boot
    > without keyboards.
    >
    > > There's nothing particularly special about DEC/CPQ/HP keyboard and
    > > mouse which would cause a properly designed KVM to freeze up in the
    > > way you describe. This is the first time (in many years) I've heard of
    > > an Alpha causing a KVM switch to lock up completely.

    >
    > Happens with my new TK-801R; and before this one, a Compaq 3315
    >
    > > Over at comp.os.vms you will find a larger audience who will be better
    > > qualified than I am to comment on KVMs and AlphaServers in general,
    > > and in particular they may know the exact method(s) to make your
    > > AlphaServer boot in the absence of keyboard and mouse.

    >
    > I ll do more tests before joining and complaining about boot
    >
    > My real problem is about SRM. Once the system is up, i have ssh. But to
    > play in SRM, i need my KVM or serial. And i have more Alphas than serial
    > ports on my workstation.
    >
    > --
    > >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP)http://benoit.demaine.info/

    > If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<
    >
    > "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    > (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)


    Good luck with the further tests. See you soon in comp.os.vms ?

    Depending on budget, etc, if you do want to use SRM and serial
    consoles, you don't *have* to use serial ports on the back of your
    existing system, you might want to think about using what used to be
    called a "terminal server" so that your serial consoles are accessible
    from anywhere where you have a suitable LAN connection, not just where
    you have access to your KVM. Various vendors do these (I have a Moxa
    Nport 6450 here for a different purpose, but the 6450 may be overkill
    for you), and if the device server includes ssh (as the 6450 does), a
    number of security concerns which would apply with plain telnet (eg
    passwords in cleartext, access control, etc) can be addressed. If
    there is no budget but there is a scrap cupboard, you can also build a
    "serial server" from an old PC, a multiport serial card or two, a
    Linux, and some simple code...

    In case it's not obvious what I mean, you sit on a machine with one
    end of the ssh connection, the other end of the ssh connection goes to
    a serial port in the 6450 or equivalent, and the serial ports on the
    6450 are connected by serial cables to the Alphaserver console ports.

    Now you mention it, I thought I'd seen Alphas say something like
    "keyboard not detected, using serial console", but that was in systems
    older than yours. comp.os.vms folks are more up to date than I am.

  6. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    There are many plugs i dont know the use. One may be the console, or
    serial thing ... but, as there is only one, machines cant be chained =>
    a concentrator may be required.

    By now, i have fixed my boot problems, and will stuck to ssh. And hope i
    wont need SRM any time soon.

    I cant buy anything, but i may build some kind of splitter (using relays
    to switch a PC to different serial lines). There are several plugs i
    dont know the use at all. I have to find the docs again (got them in my
    workstation) to read about them ...

    As i got a "usable" system by now, and few time, i wont post on VMS for
    now. Maybe next week, when i got more time.

    Bye.

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  7. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    On 15 sep, 11:49, DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre
    wrote:
    > I have two AS1200 and one AS4100; all have this problem: when connected
    > to a KVM (trendnet TK-801R) ... in the best case, they dont detect KVM,
    > and, do not send console to VGA (i assume the system defaults back to
    > serial).
    >
    > In a worse standard case, AS1200 dont boot at all.
    >
    > In critical case, AS4100 dont boot, and make the KVM crash: i cant
    > switch the active port any more, unill compleet reboot (this requires to
    > unplug all 16 PS2 cables at the back and the PSU).
    >
    > Is it known that AS dont mix well with KVM, or make them freeze ? is
    > there a SRM variable i can play with to make the machine boot even when
    > no keyboard detected ?
    >
    > --
    > * >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP)http://benoit.demaine.info/
    > If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<
    >
    > "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    > (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)


    Hi, I have three 1200's and had the same problem with a cheap KVM
    switch.
    An Alphaserver will boot automatically when put into serial mode (use
    the SRM console):

    >>> set console serial


    Next power off the machine, wait at least one minute and power on
    again.
    The values of auto_boot, boot_device and boot-flags must be set
    properly of course but I assume you're aware of that.
    If configured like this, an Alpha Server 1200 (and 800) will boot even
    if it has no keyboard and mouse attached.
    The boottime information is sent to the first serial port (it's VMS
    name is OPA0 and once the OS is running the graphics display will
    show on the monitor. You can connect a pc to the serial port (using a
    DB9-to-DB9 cable) and run a terminal emulator program on the pc to
    connect to the serial port.
    Or attach a VT100 terminal to the Alpha :-)
    Good luck,
    Hans

  8. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    The alpha did not start without keyboard, because the HDD was faulty:
    starts some times, and sometimes not. And because of the KVM bugs, i did
    not see the message on VGA ... and after pluging a real keyboard and
    pressing reset, the HDD booted fine ...

    An other Alpha with a better HDD works perfectly well

    ***

    According to your messages, I have confirmation that Alphas do not make
    KVMs happy. So, I am now using serial port on PC/Laptop/USB-serial ...
    or my beloved VT100 And I got SRM at boot time.

    I'll try to build a home made serial switch.

    I had a little trouble to use serial port on Linux. As for all VT100,
    the port has to be 9600Baud 8N1, but, my minicom was using some default
    setting with hardware control ON; to talk with Alpha, the port need to
    have both flow control (hard and soft) turned OFF. After what, all works
    fine

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  9. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    Here is one thing i dont understand:

    > P00>>>show m*
    > memory_test full
    > P00>>>show memory
    >
    > Slot Type MB Base
    > ---- ---- ---- --------
    > 0 DIMM 256 0
    > 1 DIMM 256 20000000
    > 2 DIMM 256 40000000
    > 3 DIMM 256 60000000
    > 4 DIMM 256 80000000
    > 5 DIMM 256 a0000000
    > 6 DIMM 256 c0000000
    >
    > Total 1792
    > P00>>>


    if mem and memory are valid variables that show can show, why don't they
    appear in m* ? how to list all those hidden vars ?

    Same with cp* and cpu

    --
    >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP) http://benoit.demaine.info/

    If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<

    "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)

  10. Re: AlphaServer does not start without keyboard and bug with KVM

    On 22 sep, 16:03, DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre
    wrote:
    > Here is one thing i dont understand:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > P00>>>show m*
    > > memory_test * * * * * * full
    > > P00>>>show memory

    >
    > > Slot * *Type * * * MB * * Base
    > > ---- * *---- * * *---- * *--------
    > > *0 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *0
    > > *1 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *20000000
    > > *2 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *40000000
    > > *3 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *60000000
    > > *4 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *80000000
    > > *5 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *a0000000
    > > *6 * * *DIMM * * * 256 * *c0000000

    >
    > > Total * * * * * * 1792
    > > P00>>>

    >
    > if mem and memory are valid variables that show can show, why don't they
    > appear in m* ? how to list all those hidden vars ?
    >
    > Same with cp* and cpu
    >
    > --
    > * >o_/ DEMAINE Benoit-Pierre (aka DoubleHP)http://benoit.demaine.info/
    > If computing were an exact science, IT engineers would not have work \_o<
    >
    > "So all that's left, Is the proof that love's not only blind but deaf."
    > (FAKE TALES OF SAN FRANCISCO, Arctic Monkeys)- Tekst uit oorspronkelijk bericht niet weergeven -
    >
    > - Tekst uit oorspronkelijk bericht weergeven


    Show has to meanings, or otherwise, has to contexts on which it works:
    show and
    show . A machine property may be abbreviated (e.g.
    mem for memory) but there's no
    wildcard support in srm for verbs that handle machine properties. The
    show command does recognise
    console variables with wildcards and limits its output to console
    variables.
    A rather clever parser is SRM, isn't it.
    Hans

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