Setting up a VAXstation

Josef Chessor josefcub at
Sun Sep 30 10:50:03 CDT 2007


On 9/30/07, Liam Proven <lproven at> wrote:
> Well, last night, I went and collected my first ever DEC box. It's a
> VAXstation 3100/38, bought on eBay for 99p (UK£0.99).
> [2] Friends have commented to me that a VAX of this age won't be able
> to boot from CD-ROM. Somewhere, I have a hobbyist VMS CD, if I can
> find it. It's been suggested to me that the easiest way to install
> would be to install VMS onto SIMH on my PC, netboot the VAXstation off
> the simulated VAX and install from one to the other. This sounds
> moderately hairy to me. I'm not a VMS virgin but I've not used it in
> 15y or so and I've never installed a machine from scratch - I just did
> day-to-day sysop duties.

Congratulations, by the way. :-)

I went a slightly different route, lacking an appropriate CD-ROM
drive:  I installed OpenVMS/VAX 7.2 Hobbyist onto a SIMH disk image,
then DD'd the image onto a real SCSI drive in Unix.  My 3100 M38
booted off the hard drive and has been quite happy since.

Installing from scratch isn't that hard.  There are a few tutorials
(geared for SIMH) that'll get you started online, like this one:

"I laugh because I dare not cry.  This is a crazy world
 and the only way to enjoy it is to treat it as a joke."
     -- Hilda "Sharpie" Burroughs,
        "The Number of the Beast" by Robert A. Heinlein

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