VAX4000/300 MNS7.3 isntallation from CDROM

Holm Tiffe holm at
Sun Aug 9 05:43:58 CDT 2015

Johnny Billquist wrote:

> On 2015-08-08 13:50, Holm Tiffe wrote:
> >Johnny Billquist wrote:
> >
> >[..]i
> >>
> >>Now I'll be snarky, but just for a single paragraph, Holm... :-)
> >>Did you ever actually read the full ISE Users Guide manual? Check page
> >>3-7 to 3-12. There you actually have the manual talk about both the
> >>software write protect and the hardware write protect. In this context I
> >>believe you are going to play with the hardware write protect.
> >>
> >>Ignore my previous comment about the write protect button, as the RF31
> >>apparently do not have one. It's all done through firmware instead.
> >>
> >>Check if there are any other parameters that looks like they might be
> >>related as well.
> >>
> >>	Johnny
> >>
> >>--
> >
> >The drive means that it has no wrt_prot parameter Johnny..
> Ok. Too bad. That looked so very promising. :-(
> >Trust me, I'm try to read things that are available before I ask.
> I'll try assuming less.
> >I've learned about the drive internals since one of them was bad when I got
> >the machine, none of them was booting something, had tried that first and
> >so I ran erase and test utils in the drive. That was months before now.
> >I know that the drive hat an error in his logs but I've cleared that error
> >after running the drive tests and exerciser as described.
> >(I think tere is a rubber bumper in the drive that glued on the head
> >assembly and with google I found the "solution")
> >There was no time previously to try to install VMS.
> Ok. Understood. The rubber bumper thing is something that exists in 
> several drives. Search for "sticky heads" and similar phrases if you 
> want to see.
> >No the thing is that I know almost nothing about VMS (and RSX11), I'm a
> >unix guy as you know.
> Yeah...
> But it's fun to learn. :-)
> >People on the net organized almost w/o any effort from me that I got this
> >VAX4000/300 to give it a good home, now I have some free time and I'm
> >trying to install it after cleaning and repairing that !§$%%&/&%i!! PSU.
> Good work so far then.
> >In the meantime as I write this I have run the drvexr task for 20 minutes:
> >
> >  4188 operations completed.
> >75150 LBN blocks (512 bytes) read.
> >25050 LBN blocks (512 bytes) written.
> >81900 DBN blocks (512 bytes) read.
> >27300 DBN blocks (512 bytes) written.
> >75150 LBN blocks (512 bytes) read.
> >     0 bytes in error (soft).
> >     0 uncorrectable ECC errors.
> >Complete.
> Seems like the drive is working fine.
> >Have you an VMS mount command handy that I should try?
> Did you try the commands mentioned in the manual?
> /OVER=ID is good to make MOUNT succeed independent of what labels are on 
> the disk.
> /NOASSIST to make mount complete directly instead of sending a request 
> to an operator.
> /WRITE or /NOWRITE for that part.
> /FOREIGN to mount disks that do not have a VMS filesystem on them.
> After that, I'd try to just read/write to the disk from VMS. Either it 
> works, and you are happy. Or it fails, at which point you will have a 
> good VMS error log to read from to find more details on what the problem is.
> VMS can also exercise the disk and analyze it.
> 	Johnny

Johnny I thinks it's time to clear some things about me a little bit up for

Most people here think that I'm sort of a hero in repairing electronics
and I can do some programming too. That's from what I get my living from.
I'm my own company, repairing electronic stuff (no, no TVs and suchi, htat
I'm doing only for myself) developing controller boards for industrial
customers and do some programming in assembler and C on microcontrollers.
I have rent a server in a computing centre and I'm hosting approx 80
customers with web an mail services. I'm the contractor for firewalling
in the local power company here.
But I'm a better repair person then a programmer at all. I get my living, the wrong way to get rich at all..but..

Whey I say here that I have some spaer time to play with out old geriatric
computers then this timeframe is really small. That is so when I try to
port NetBSD to a VAX-ISA Card (and fail) and it is so when I try to install
that unknown to me VMS on an old VAX.

When I say "I can hear you laughing" then I think I know why.
I know your way tho advise me in some are tend to say "RTFM".
That's not totally wrong, and I have approx 3 meters of some VAX
documentation here and havend read a single bit from the, but I'm not that
new with googling some stuff.

The problem at my site is the small amount of time that I can spend for
that. I'm reading how a install should be done...but now there are some
differences where I don't have an explantation for. That's the moment where
I'm asking PPL like you. And then an answer linke "type in
backup/image/verify disk:source/save destinationdisk:" is much more
helpful to me as the hint to the documentation ..that I'm possibly read
I'm 52 years old and I have forgotten what the manual says at the beginning
when I'm at end if I don't use the learned stuff.
When I should read the entire Manual the left over time for repairing things
is already gone before I can start to install.
I've installed VMS approx 3 Years ago on my VS4000-90 w/o to ask
someone..but this VAX4000-300 was infamous..
Don't had time nor the space to do something with the VS4000. Installed
DECwindows and played around with it and my Unix hosts..that's all.

I really hope that you now could understand a little better what my goal

Last but not least: Sorry for my poor english. I never learned that in a
school, thats only from using Unix, reading documentaions and mails.
I can't really speak english since I don't had the possibility to talk with
english speaking  people, but I hope that I an at least write halfways
On the other side..I had russian in the school, never used it and have
forgotten most of it.

Kind Regards,


      Technik Service u. Handel Tiffe,, Holm Tiffe, 
     Freiberger Straße 42, 09600 Oberschöna, USt-Id: DE253710583, info at, Fax +49 3731 74200, Mobil: 0172 8790 741

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