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

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Fri Jun 12 01:46:32 CDT 2015

On Jun 11, 2015, at 23:25 , Paul Anderson <useddec at> wrote:
> Congrats!

Thanks! I was pretty surprised when the boot messages started coming out on the DECwriter III!

On Jun 11, 2015, at 23:28 , Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at> wrote:
> Back in the day, we ran VMS 5.0 on our 11/730, because we needed a
> machine to link our product against 5.0 to support our customers on
> the same version.  I also ran Ultrix 1.1 at an earlier time on the
> same hardware.  ISTR both Ultrix 1.1 and VMS 5.0 fit just fine on the
> R80.

Thanks for the data point. I'm hoping that I'll find good stuff on that RL02 pack that's claiming to contain "VMS53SYS".

> The other thing I did, for my own sanity, was I reordered the files on
> the console TU58 into the precise order they were requested.  Boot
> time was on the order of 5 minutes, down from 25 minutes.  Best I
> could tell, the console 8085 cached the directory block(s), so the
> tape practically streamed as it read file after file.  Without all
> that seeking, it was down to the serial speed the tape and console
> were set to (38.4kbps?)

38.4kbps is correct. The fellow from whom I bought the VAX mentioned that the included tapes were "load optimized", but I haven't successfully read one without errors so far. Not that it matters with tu58em, but the images I'm using also appear to have been load-optimized, based on the order of files on their RT11 filesystems. Wow, 25 minutes of tape thrashing must have been unbearable!

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at>

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