Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D - DEC

This is a discussion on Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D - DEC ; I bought a "dead" AlphaStation 600 (5/333), that seems to be far from that. Yet, I have problem- the LCD shows the machine issues tests and passes them, the graphic card is initialized- but I don't have anything on screen ...

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Thread: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

  1. Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    I bought a "dead" AlphaStation 600 (5/333), that seems to be far from
    that.
    Yet, I have problem- the LCD shows the machine issues tests and
    passes
    them, the graphic card is initialized- but I don't have anything on
    screen
    (except for underscore), is seems to react on keyboard, but definitely
    ain't reacting on commands. I'm not getting any serial output either.

    I found one message that describes the problem, and the owner stated
    that
    he's been switching from ARC to SRM, but there wasn't any followups
    offering a solution (maybe that's the same AS? who knows?).

    Any ideas about reseting this machine to defaults are appreciated.

    Rambo


  2. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    On Feb 24, 7:09 am, "Rambo" wrote:
    > I bought a "dead" AlphaStation 600 (5/333), that seems to be far from
    > that.
    > Yet, I have problem- the LCD shows the machine issues tests and
    > passes
    > them, the graphic card is initialized- but I don't have anything on
    > screen
    > (except for underscore), is seems to react on keyboard, but definitely
    > ain't reacting on commands. I'm not getting any serial output either.
    >
    > I found one message that describes the problem, and the owner stated
    > that
    > he's been switching from ARC to SRM, but there wasn't any followups
    > offering a solution (maybe that's the same AS? who knows?).
    >
    > Any ideas about reseting this machine to defaults are appreciated.
    >
    > Rambo

    you can download firmware from ftp.digital.com
    but you probably need to boot the "failsafe loader"
    see http://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_6412.html
    Phil


  3. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 20:05:52 -0800, wrote:

    > On Feb 24, 7:09 am, "Rambo" wrote:
    >> I bought a "dead" AlphaStation 600 (5/333), that seems to be far from
    >> that.
    >> Yet, I have problem- the LCD shows the machine issues tests and
    >> passes
    >> them, the graphic card is initialized- but I don't have anything on
    >> screen
    >> (except for underscore), is seems to react on keyboard, but definitely
    >> ain't reacting on commands. I'm not getting any serial output either.
    >>
    >> I found one message that describes the problem, and the owner stated
    >> that
    >> he's been switching from ARC to SRM, but there wasn't any followups
    >> offering a solution (maybe that's the same AS? who knows?).
    >>
    >> Any ideas about reseting this machine to defaults are appreciated.
    >>
    >> Rambo

    > you can download firmware from ftp.digital.com
    > but you probably need to boot the "failsafe loader"
    > see http://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_6412.html
    > Phil

    You will in all likelihood also need a new battery for the clock chip
    >




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  4. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > you can download firmware from ftp.digital.com
    > but you probably need to boot the "failsafe loader"
    > seehttp://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_6412.html
    > Phil


    Easy to say- difficult to do:
    Apparently it's more tricky than just preparing formatted floppy and
    copying firmware to it.

    After I tried that, the drive started to make dreadful noise-
    obviously something else is required, I have no idea what- and of
    course all the helpful information is either gone, or as unclear as
    "make FSL boot disk"..


  5. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    Or maybe a new chip with integrated RTC and battery? Chips like the Dallas
    DS12887 were way popular back then on good quality motherboards.

    .... Ben Myers

    On Sun, 25 Feb 2007 12:50:13 -0800, "Tom Linden" wrote:

    >On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 20:05:52 -0800, wrote:
    >
    >> On Feb 24, 7:09 am, "Rambo" wrote:
    >>> I bought a "dead" AlphaStation 600 (5/333), that seems to be far from
    >>> that.
    >>> Yet, I have problem- the LCD shows the machine issues tests and
    >>> passes
    >>> them, the graphic card is initialized- but I don't have anything on
    >>> screen
    >>> (except for underscore), is seems to react on keyboard, but definitely
    >>> ain't reacting on commands. I'm not getting any serial output either.
    >>>
    >>> I found one message that describes the problem, and the owner stated
    >>> that
    >>> he's been switching from ARC to SRM, but there wasn't any followups
    >>> offering a solution (maybe that's the same AS? who knows?).
    >>>
    >>> Any ideas about reseting this machine to defaults are appreciated.
    >>>
    >>> Rambo

    >> you can download firmware from ftp.digital.com
    >> but you probably need to boot the "failsafe loader"
    >> see http://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_6412.html
    >> Phil

    >You will in all likelihood also need a new battery for the clock chip
    >>


  6. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    On Feb 26, 9:46 pm, "Rambo" wrote:
    > > you can download firmware from ftp.digital.com
    > > but you probably need to boot the "failsafe loader"
    > > seehttp://h71000.www7.hp.com/wizard/wiz_6412.html
    > > Phil

    >
    > Easy to say- difficult to do:
    > Apparently it's more tricky than just preparing formatted floppy and
    > copying firmware to it.
    >
    > After I tried that, the drive started to make dreadful noise-
    > obviously something else is required, I have no idea what- and of
    > course all the helpful information is either gone, or as unclear as
    > "make FSL boot disk"..


    >From the link above:

    For an alphastation 600
    "A jumper is used to select access to a FSL floppy on system
    power-up, a floppy that must contain properly-formatted console
    firmware for the particular platform."

    From
    http://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha...e/astn600.html
    you need
    http://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha...s600_V72_2.exe

    To make an SRM Console-bootable floppy on an Intel-based DOS/Windows
    system, perform the following:
    1. Copy the firmware update utility image to your system, and rename
    the file to fwupdate.exe.
    2. Download the file mkboot.exe from ftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Al...are/utilities/
    , and
    place it in the same folder as the update image (such as c:\tmp)
    3. From a DOS window, run the mkboot program as follows :
    C:\tmp> mkboot fwupdate.exe
    4. Insert the floppy on the target system and boot it from the SRM
    console :
    >>> boot dva0

    or power on with the jumper set as above.

    I would regard "the drive is now making a dreadful noise"
    as progress
    Phil


  7. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > I would regard "the drive is now making a dreadful noise"
    > as progress
    > Phil


    OK, now you can officially call me an idiot- the serial
    worked all the time: but it should be 8-bit, not 7...
    After figuring this one out- well, let's just say I'm
    now installing VMS

    Now I have nicely updated AlphaStation. Case closed, my
    dear Watson :-D

    Rambo

  8. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    Marcin 'Rambo' Roguski wrote:
    >
    > > I would regard "the drive is now making a dreadful noise"
    > > as progress
    > > Phil

    >
    > OK, now you can officially call me an idiot- the serial
    > worked all the time: but it should be 8-bit, not 7...
    > After figuring this one out- well, let's just say I'm
    > now installing VMS
    >
    > Now I have nicely updated AlphaStation. Case closed, my
    > dear Watson :-D


    Ah, yes. 8-none-1 is the "formula". (Eight bits, no parity, one stop bit.)

    --
    David J Dachtera
    dba DJE Systems
    http://www.djesys.com/

    Unofficial OpenVMS Marketing Home Page
    http://www.djesys.com/vms/market/

    Unofficial Affordable OpenVMS Home Page:
    http://www.djesys.com/vms/soho/

    Unofficial OpenVMS-IA32 Home Page:
    http://www.djesys.com/vms/ia32/

    Unofficial OpenVMS Hobbyist Support Page:
    http://www.djesys.com/vms/support/

  9. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    Sorry, but instead of "case closed", it turned to be "moving from A to
    B- case", crossposting to VMS group too

    > > OK, now you can officially call me an idiot- the serial
    > > worked all the time: but it should be 8-bit, not 7...
    > > After figuring this one out- well, let's just say I'm
    > > now installing VMS

    >
    > > Now I have nicely updated AlphaStation. Case closed, my
    > > dear Watson :-D

    >
    > Ah, yes. 8-none-1 is the "formula". (Eight bits, no parity, one stop bit.)


    Well, it turned to be more challenging:

    Tried to install OpenVMS 7.3-1 on... khmmm... resurrected
    AlphaStation, but PKQDRIVER bails out when configuring devices:

    PKQDRIVER-W- PKB0, Port Shutdown due to numerous or serious ctrlr
    errors.

    Then there's BUGCHECK with the message:
    INCONSTATE, Inconsistent I/O database

    Grepped in groups that it might be because VMS is issuing commands the
    I/O controller doesn't understand. What can I do? Would I/O firmware
    possibly make a difference? What if that fails too?

    >>>show dev

    DKB0.0.0.1002.0 DKB0 RZ1CC-BA 883F
    DKB500.5.0.1002.0 DKB500 RRD45 1645
    [... snip CPU and EWA-C, 2x DE500+I/O]
    PKA0.7.0.1001.0 PKA0 SCSI Bus ID 7 5.57
    PKA0.7.0.1002.0 PKB0 SCSI Bus ID 7 5.57

    Rambo


  10. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    Rambo wrote:
    > Sorry, but instead of "case closed", it turned to be "moving from A to
    > B- case", crossposting to VMS group too
    >
    >
    >>>OK, now you can officially call me an idiot- the serial
    >>>worked all the time: but it should be 8-bit, not 7...
    >>>After figuring this one out- well, let's just say I'm
    >>>now installing VMS

    >>
    >>>Now I have nicely updated AlphaStation. Case closed, my
    >>>dear Watson :-D

    >>
    >>Ah, yes. 8-none-1 is the "formula". (Eight bits, no parity, one stop bit.)

    >
    >
    > Well, it turned to be more challenging:
    >
    > Tried to install OpenVMS 7.3-1 on... khmmm... resurrected
    > AlphaStation, but PKQDRIVER bails out when configuring devices:
    >
    > PKQDRIVER-W- PKB0, Port Shutdown due to numerous or serious ctrlr
    > errors.
    >
    > Then there's BUGCHECK with the message:
    > INCONSTATE, Inconsistent I/O database
    >
    > Grepped in groups that it might be because VMS is issuing commands the
    > I/O controller doesn't understand. What can I do? Would I/O firmware
    > possibly make a difference? What if that fails too?
    >
    >
    >>>>show dev
    >>>

    > DKB0.0.0.1002.0 DKB0 RZ1CC-BA 883F
    > DKB500.5.0.1002.0 DKB500 RRD45 1645
    > [... snip CPU and EWA-C, 2x DE500+I/O]
    > PKA0.7.0.1001.0 PKA0 SCSI Bus ID 7 5.57
    > PKA0.7.0.1002.0 PKB0 SCSI Bus ID 7 5.57
    >
    > Rambo
    >


    Remove both SCSI Host Bus Adapters and switch them. Do the errors move
    from PKB0 to PKA0? If so, it's almost a certainty that the failing
    adapter is defective: replace it. It's also possible that you have bad
    SCSI cables or an improperly terminated SCSI bus. Make certain that the
    last drive on the bus has termination enabled or that there is a
    terminator on the end of the bus (but not both).

    e-Bay is a good source of spare parts. Or even spare workstations.


  11. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > Remove both SCSI Host Bus Adapters and switch them. Do the errors move
    > from PKB0 to PKA0?


    Hi,

    It might be that either one, or even two ports of I/O board are
    defective, DKA0 is working fine (VMS set the thing right, and moved to
    installation), DKB0 is bailing out, DKC0 is invisible (haven't checked
    the board, might just be shut down with jumpers).

    Now let's have competition, I need to name the machine- crossword puzzle
    6 letters, classical music composer (keep in mind that the target system
    will actually be Jensen- 2000/300)- I'm only fooling the installation,
    so I can move disk to it- it's RRD42 is broken...

    :-D

    Rambo

  12. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    On Thu, 01 Mar 2007 03:45:36 -0800, Marcin 'Rambo' Roguski
    wrote:

    >> Remove both SCSI Host Bus Adapters and switch them. Do the errors move
    >> from PKB0 to PKA0?

    >
    > Hi,
    >
    > It might be that either one, or even two ports of I/O board are
    > defective, DKA0 is working fine (VMS set the thing right, and moved to
    > installation), DKB0 is bailing out, DKC0 is invisible (haven't checked
    > the board, might just be shut down with jumpers).
    >
    > Now let's have competition, I need to name the machine- crossword puzzle
    > 6 letters, classical music composer (keep in mind that the target system
    > will actually be Jensen- 2000/300)- I'm only fooling the installation,
    > so I can move disk to it- it's RRD42 is broken...

    Alfvén, Brahms, Franck, Glinka, Mahler, Mozart, Wagner
    >
    > :-D
    >
    > Rambo




    --
    Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/

  13. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > > Now let's have competition, I need to name the machine- crossword puzzle
    > > 6 letters, classical music composer


    > Alfvén, Brahms, Franck, Glinka, Mahler, Mozart, Wagner


    Ravel conquered my heart (so AS will be called that after I'll get
    Tru64), mozart,
    wagner are taken (PC and SGI Indigo). If I migrate to Jensen I'll
    probably call it
    Brahms - congratulations, you just became a godfather

    Now, a quick question: by default I'm having visual login starting, I
    found out that
    ctrl+F2 is used to get back to console- yet I'm not getting any
    prompt, just black
    screen. I can switch back and forth, but console doesn't seem to work.
    So, I'm
    having a "buried shovel" situation now, I want to install licenses for
    layered
    products, yet I can't log in because of visual login and lack of LMF,
    and cannot
    switch to console. Of course, first thing I did was grep to TCP/IP
    config FAQ and
    set all three adapters for DHCP, enabled telnet, but it doesn't seem
    to work
    anyway- at least DHCP is not queried for address).

    I assume without keyboard AS will switch to serial console as others
    do, right?

    Rambo


  14. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    In article <1172779004.361585.301450@z35g2000cwz.googlegroups. com>, "Rambo" writes:
    >I assume without keyboard AS will switch to serial console as others
    >do, right?


    It depends ;-)

    But you may alo boot without X11 by setting SYSGEN/SYSBOOT parameter
    WINDOW_SYSTEM to 0 and then enter the licenses and then reboot with X11

    --
    Peter "EPLAN" LANGSTOEGER
    Network and OpenVMS system specialist
    E-mail peter@langstoeger.at
    A-1030 VIENNA AUSTRIA I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist

  15. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    Rambo wrote:
    > having a "buried shovel" situation now, I want to install licenses for
    > layered
    > products, yet I can't log in because of visual login and lack of LMF,
    > and cannot
    > switch to console.



    If you are on Alpha, with a login screen that has the HP logo, click on
    "OPTIONS" and select "Failsafe". This should give you one decterm that you
    can use to enter licences.

    I am not 100% sure this works without the motif licence, but worth a try.

  16. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > I am not 100% sure this works without the motif licence, but worth a try.

    Tried: won't let me pass the login screen on any option.



  17. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    JF Mezei writes:

    >Rambo wrote:
    >> having a "buried shovel" situation now, I want to install licenses for
    >> layered
    >> products, yet I can't log in because of visual login and lack of LMF,
    >> and cannot
    >> switch to console.



    >If you are on Alpha, with a login screen that has the HP logo, click on
    >"OPTIONS" and select "Failsafe". This should give you one decterm that you
    >can use to enter licences.


    >I am not 100% sure this works without the motif licence, but worth a try.


    ....and if Xwindows doesn't start, the tube/keyboard are in 'glass TTY'
    mode, connected to OPA0:. Press the RETURN key, you should get a Username:
    prompt. You can log into SYSTEM on OPA0:, even without a license.

  18. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > ...and if Xwindows doesn't start, the tube/keyboard are in 'glass TTY'

    The irony is that 'glass TTY' works perfectly well, I can switch back
    and forth
    (tried it on decw$startup withthout a valid OPENVMS-ALPHA (mistyped
    during
    installation, couldn't get back, interrupted, installed without)
    license, where I
    got to glass TTY with nice X pointer).

    The lack of console access began after I entered the correct license,
    and
    X11 actually started

    Rambo


  19. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    In article <1172779004.361585.301450@z35g2000cwz.googlegroups. com>, "Rambo" writes:
    >
    > Now, a quick question: by default I'm having visual login starting, I
    > found out that
    > ctrl+F2 is used to get back to console- yet I'm not getting any
    > prompt, just black
    > screen. I can switch back and forth, but console doesn't seem to work.


    The console is sometimes used to capture broadcast messages to OPA0:,
    but serves no other function once X11 has started. ctrl-F2 is
    generally only usefull for dismissing that console screen when you
    want to get back to work.

    You should be able to get the console mode to function again by
    shutting down the X server, but I've never tried it.


  20. Re: Calling all bright minds... dead-alive AlphaStation :-D

    > The console is sometimes used to capture broadcast messages to OPA0:,
    > but serves no other function once X11 has started.
    > You should be able to get the console mode to function again by
    > shutting down the X server, but I've never tried it.


    Actually, it turned to be more ingenuous, but about this in due time.

    I actually tried to disable window_system, but then something very
    weird happens
    to OPA0:, well, basically every command that clears the screen would
    return with
    an error, and... then X would start again. Having tried various
    startup kill methods,
    I was finally left with system in unworkable state :-D

    After spending another 40 mins reinstalling from scratch (of course I
    had to do
    something wrong, too- this time I set system date to 2008, so license
    expired
    immediately- fortunately it got back after set time)...

    Then I got an enlightenment, tried serial console- and that was it!
    While X was still
    on screen I pushed in all licenses that were required to open up CDE
    and
    DECwindows, and I was set. So- in conclusion: The VMS stays, and AS
    will be a
    dual-boot machine out now (well, actually it's a "single boot"
    machine, but I'm
    going to get Tru64, or even some ancient Digital UNIX, booting from a
    separate
    drive). And knowing the ways to operate it now- I'll do the same trick
    with
    swapping the fresh drive to Jensen, so it can have VMS too.

    Rambo



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