First VAX-11/730 VMS Boot! (was: Re: VAX-11/730 %BOOT-F-Unexpected Machine Check)

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Fri Jun 12 01:06:57 CDT 2015

Using a version 58 console tape image provided to me by one list member, and massaged into a usable state by another list member, I just booted OpenVMS 7.3 off the R80 drive on my VAX-11/730 for the first time since buying the machine. Woohoo!

For some reason, I was unable to do that with the version 57 images that I downloaded off the net. Maybe there's something wrong with the VMB.EXE on those images? It always complained of not being able to find the boot file when I tried using it.

I never got a login prompt, but perhaps that's because I booted with the write protect switch on? It appeared to be trying to create or join a VAXcluster for a while, then said something about loading MSCP disk server. I have plenty more experimentation ahead, including seeing what's on that RL02 pack labeled something like "VMS53SYS" (if I recall correctly).

My attempts to boot up the v5.3 standalone backup tape images I downloaded still haven't succeeded. As suggested, I'll see if standalone backup might be on another partition next time I work on the machine. I'd like to try backing up both the R80 and the RL02 to tape if I can.

Eventually, I'd like to run an older version of VMS than 7.3 on it. Preferably, something contemporary to when the 11/730 was still sold, or at least from before any sane 730 users upgraded to newer and faster VAXen. Of course, that assumes I can procure suitable installation media, or usable images with which to create it.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at>

More information about the cctalk mailing list