HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3--2 Release Notes

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Chapter 6
Hardware Release Notes

This chapter contains information about the following hardware products:

A few notes about using device drivers are also included at the end of this appendix.

6.1 ALPHAbook 1


Starting with OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2, the ALPHAbook 1 notebook computer is no longer supported.

6.2 AlphaServer 1000A

The following sections contain release notes pertaining to the AlphaServer 1000A computer.

6.2.1 Bus Probe Algorithm Default


You cannot set the console variable BUS_PROBE_ALGORITHM to OLD on AlphaServer 1000A computers. The default setting is NEW. If you reset the bus probe algorithm to OLD, your OpenVMS system will not boot correctly.

6.2.2 Installation Failure with DEFPA Adapter


When you attempt to install the OpenVMS operating system on an AlphaServer 1000A computer that uses a DEFPA adapter, the installation may fail, resulting in a KERNEL STACK NOT VALID HALT error message. If this failure occurs, powercycle your system and restart the installation.

6.3 AlphaServer 2100

The following sections contain information specific to the AlphaServer 2100 series computer.

6.3.1 Console Display


On AlphaServer 2100 and 2100A systems, a console display similar to the following is normal and does not represent system errors:


VMS PALcode X5.48-112, OSF PALcode X1.35-81

starting console on CPU 0
initialized idle PCB
initializing semaphores
initializing heap
initial heap 1c0c0
memory low limit = 132000
heap = 1c0c0, 13fc0

probing hose 0, PCI
probing PCI-to-EISA bridge, bus 1
probing PCI-to-PCI bridge, bus 2
*** unable to assign PCI base address
*** bus 2, slot 7, function 0, size 00001000 (16 bit I/O)
bus 1, slot 1 -- fra -- DEFEA
bus 1, slot 2 -- vga -- Compaq Qvision
bus 1, slot 3 -- pua -- KFESA
bus 2, slot 1 -- pka -- NCR 53C810
bus 2, slot 6 -- pkb -- NCR 53C810
bus 2, slot 7 -- pkc -- DEC KZPSA
bus 0, slot 7 -- ewa -- DECchip 21041-AA
initializing keyboard

Memory Testing and Configuration Status
Module   Size    Base Addr   Intlv Mode  Intlv Unit  Status
------   -----   ---------   ----------  ----------  ------
  0       64MB   00000000      1-Way         0       Passed
Total Bad Pages 0

Testing the System
Testing the Disks (read only)
Testing the Network
econfig:            20041 99
econfig:            20042 04
econfig:            20043 00
AlphaServer 2100A Console V4.3-130, built on Oct 26 1996 at 19:44:57

Note that in the previous display, the KZPSA adapter is successfully installed despite the error message displayed in the following lines:

*** unable to assign PCI base address
*** bus 2, slot 7, function 0, size 00001000 (16 bit I/O)

6.3.2 SCSI Controller Restriction


The Adaptec 1740/1742 SCSI controller (PB2HA--SA) is not supported on AlphaServer 2100 systems having more than 1 gigabyte (GB) of memory. If the controller is connected to such a system, the following message appears on the operator's console:

%PKJDRVR-E- The direct DMA window does not map all of memory. Port is going OFFLINE.

6.4 AlphaServer 8200/8400: FRU Table Error


The error log buffer size is controlled by the system parameter ERLBUFFERPAGES, which has a maximum value of 32 pagelets. If the Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) table exceeds this limit during a boot of the OpenVMS Alpha operating system on an AlphaServer 8200/8400 or 4100 system, an entry will not be written to the error log file.

6.5 AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 Systems

This section contains release notes of interest to users of AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems.

6.5.1 Firmware Version 6.6 Recommended


OpenVMS has set the recommended firmware level for AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems to Version 6.6. Until that firmware is installed, you will see the following informational message when you boot:

%SYSBOOT-W-FIRMREV, Firmware rev. 6.5 is below the recommended minimum of 6.6.
                   Please update your firmware to the recommended revision,
                   which can be found on the firmware CD labeled:
                   Alpha systems firmware update 6.5.

You can obtain Version 6.6 of the firmware from the following AlphaServer website (URL is case sensitive):


6.5.2 Setting SYSGEN Parameter PHYSICAL_MEMORY


Because of hardware configuration requirements on the AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems, HP does not recommend altering the setting of the system parameter PHYSICAL_MEMORY from its default setting of -1. Artificially reducing the amount of memory can produce unpredictable results on these systems.

6.5.3 RAD Support


OpenVMS support for resource affinity domains (RADs), also known as NUMA support or awareness, has not been qualified in OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 for the AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems. For more information about RAD support, see the HP OpenVMS Alpha Partitioning and Galaxy Guide.

6.5.4 License Requirements


AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 systems require a minimum of two OpenVMS software licenses: one license for base support and one license for dual SMP support for the first two processors. This is a change from the previous way of licensing OpenVMS AlphaServer SMP systems. The dual SMP licenses for OpenVMS are included with the CPU modules when you purchase an OpenVMS system or when you purchase additional CPU modules for an OpenVMS system.

6.5.5 TKNOVF Error on Output for Some F$GETSYI Item Codes


The output for some F$GETSYI item codes on an AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 system may exceed the DCL maximum string length, resulting in a TKNOVF warning from DCL. Item codes that exhibit this behavior include GLX_MBR_NAME and GLX_MBR_MEMBER.

The problem is being investigated for possible resolution in a future release.

6.5.6 STOP/CPU and Shutdown Behavior


Because of hardware restrictions, any CPU on an AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 system with an attached I/O drawer cannot be stopped by using the DCL command STOP/CPU. In contrast, CPUs on these systems without an attached I/O drawer can be stopped with this command.

When the shutdown procedure is invoked on an ES47/ES80/GS1280 system with an attached I/O drawer, an error message such as the following might be displayed:

%SYSTEM-W-WRONGSTATE, CPU 5 is in the wrong state for the requested operation

You can ignore such messages. The shutdown will complete correctly.

6.5.7 Setting Time at MBM


You must set the correct time and date on the MBM of an AlphaServer ES47/ES80/GS1280 system. If you do not, OpenVMS might display an incorrect time and date.

6.5.8 ERLBUFFERPAGES Must Be Increased for AlphaServer GS1280 Systems


Some AlphaServer systems capture error state when the operating system is unable to do so. When such data exists, the operating system logs the data to the error log during the next boot.

AlphaServer GS1280 systems capture a large amount of data --- too large for the default error log buffer to hold. HP recommends that you set the ERLBUFFERPAGES system parameter on these systems to its maximum of 128. The setting of 128 makes each error log buffer 64K bytes. You might want to reduce the number of buffers by decreasing the ERRORLOGBUFFERS system parameter.

6.6 AlphaServer GS Series Systems

This section contains release notes of general interest to most users of the AlphaServer GS Series systems. See a related note in Section 4.22.5.

6.6.1 AlphaServer GS80/160/320 Systems: Device Restriction

Permanent Restriction

Only one set of the following devices found on the legacy bus adapter is configured and supported per partition in OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3 or higher. These devices include:

  • Serial ports COM1 and COM2
  • Parallel port
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse

If multiple legacy bus adapters exist, only the adapter that includes the console port is configured and supported.

6.6.2 OpenVMS Galaxy License Enforcement


In an OpenVMS Galaxy computing environment, the OPENVMS-GALAXY license units are checked during system startup and whenever a CPU reassignment between instances occurs.

If you attempt to start a CPU and there are insufficient OPENVMS-GALAXY license units to support it, the CPU will remain in the instance's configured set but it will be stopped. You can subsequently load the appropriate license units and start the stopped CPU while the system is running. This is true of one or more CPUs.

6.6.3 License with Hard and Soft Partitions---Problem Corrected


Some OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2-1H1/Version 7.3 GS80/160/320 AlphaServer systems with hard or soft partitions and a common license database (LDB) have difficulty booting up all partitions if you had modified nonshareable license PAKs to share license units among OpenVMS instances.

OpenVMS Versions 7.3-2, 7.3-1, and 7.2-2 contain the correction to the problem; if you are running one of these versions, you can go directly to Section 6.6.5.

The following patch kits contain the fix to the problem:

Before you install any of these kits, you must perform the following steps:

  1. If you installed workarounds, remove them. (See Section 6.6.4.)
  2. Install licenses correctly. (See Section 6.6.5.)

6.6.4 Removing Workarounds


OpenVMS systems that have a problem using a common license database on hard and soft partitions display the following symptoms:

  • Booting OpenVMS produces OPCOM messages that state that licenses cannot be loaded.
  • Logging in to OpenVMS produces an error message that states that the OPENVMS-ALPHA license cannot be loaded.

To work around the restriction on using nonshareable license PAKs in a common license database to share license units among OpenVMS instances on hard and soft partitions, HP recommended that you use one of the following two workarounds:

  • Use a separate license database for each operating system instance running OpenVMS on AlphaServer GS80/160/320 systems.
  • Use a temporary (120-day) license PAK provided by HP Services.

If you used either of these workarounds, you must remove it before installing the upgrade kit.

If You Set Up Separate License Databases:

If you had set up separate license databases, you should create a common license database before installing this kit. Refer to the OpenVMS License Management Utility Manual for guidelines on setting up a common license database.

If You Installed Temporary PAKs:

If you installed temporary PAKs in the common license database, you must disable the temporary PAKs for the following licenses:


To see a list of temporary PAKs installed on your system, enter the following command:


This command displays (for the three licenses specified) the licenses that satisfy one of the following conditions:

  • Have already terminated
  • Will terminate within the next 120 days

Disable each of the temporary PAKs by using the LICENSE DISABLE command. For example:


where authorization-value helps to identify the license, and is displayed by the LICENSE LIST command you used to find the temporary PAKs.

6.6.5 Installing Licenses


Before you upgrade to Version 7.3-1 or higher, you should perform the following steps to ensure that the common license database can share license units among hard and soft partitions:

  1. Calculate required units.
    • Load the base OpenVMS license.
    • Load the SMP licenses.
    • Use the following command to verify that you have the correct number of license units:



    The base OpenVMS license allows you to have only one interactive user login per physical system (not per partition). (However, you can always log in from OPA0: in each partition.) For additional interactive users, you will require additional license units. See your HP support representative to determine your needs.
  2. Add your licenses to the common license database. For example:

    $ LICENSE REGISTER license-name /ISSUER=DEC -
    _$ /AUTHORIZATION=USA123456 -
    _$ /PRODUCER=DEC -
    _$ /UNITS=1050 -
    _$ /OPTIONS=(NO_SHARE) -

    Note that you cannot use the /INCLUDE qualifier with the LICENSE REGISTER command to override the NO_SHARE attribute of the license.
  3. Modify the license to override the NO_SHARE attribute of the PAKs with the command LICENSE REGISTER /INCLUDE=(node-name-list). For example:

  4. To make OpenVMS Alpha license units available to the instance of OpenVMS running in each partition, you must ensure that SRM environment variable SYS_SERIAL_NUM is the same in each partition. To do so, perform the following steps:
    1. From the master console of each partition (usually on console line 0), use the SHOW SYS_SERIAL_NUM command to display the system serial number. For example:

      sys_serial_num G2A105

      If the value of SYS_SERIAL_NUM is blank, use the SHOW SYS_ SERIAL_NUM command from the master console in each of the other partitions to check for a nonblank system serial number.


      If all partition consoles show a blank value for SYS_SERIAL_NUM, you must create a nonzero value of up to 12 characters. Ensure that the system serial number that you create is not used on any other AlphaServer GS80/160/320 on this OpenVMS Cluster.
    2. Once you have determined the system serial number, use the SET SYS_ SERIAL_NUM command from the master console of each partition to change SYS_SERIAL_NUM to the correct value. For example:

      P00>>>SET SYS_SERIAL_NUM G2A105

      You must do this in every hard partition and in every soft partition.
  5. In order for the OpenVMS Cluster license database to be updated correctly, HP recommends that you completely shut down and reboot all OpenVMS Cluster common nodes. A rolling upgrade type of boot does not correctly update the common license database.


If your system is part of an OpenVMS Cluster that shares a common license database, anytime you reconfigure the number of hard or soft partitions on your AlphaServer GS80/160/320, you must make sure that all partitions have the same SYS_SERIAL_NUM.

For partitionable machines that are sharing NO_SHARE licenses across partitions, it is possible to see the following error text on system bootup.

%LICENSE-E-NOAUTH, DEC OPENVMS-ALPHA use is not authorized on this node
-LICENSE-F-EXCEEDED, attempted usage exceeds active license limits
-LICENSE-I-SYSMGR, please see your system manager
Startup processing continuing...

This error text can be safely ignored. The text is displayed when someone has logged into a system that is sharing the OPENVMS-ALPHA PAK and they are then in use. This will be fixed in a future release.

6.6.6 AlphaServer GS140 Systems: Booting Problem Fixed


If you boot an AlphaServer GS140 system with a Fibre Channel HSG80 system disk using Alpha Firmware Version 5.7, the system fails to reboot when the system is set to boot automatically. Enter the following command to show whether the system has been set to boot automatically:


This problem has been fixed with Alpha Firmware Version 6.4.

If you do not have Alpha Firmware Version 6.4 or later and you experience a failed power-cycle or INIT boot startup, enter a BOOT command at the console and press Return. OpenVMS shutdown and reboot commands will then perform as expected.

6.6.7 AlphaServer GS60/GS60E/GS140 Multiple I/O Port Module Configuration Restriction


AlphaServer GS60/GS60E/GS140 configurations with more than a single I/O Port Module, KFTHA-AA or KFTIA-AA, might experience system failures.

When upgrading OpenVMS Galaxy and non-Galaxy AlphaServer 8200/8400 configurations with multiple I/O Port Modules to GS60/GS60E/GS140 systems, customers must install one minimum revision B02 KN7CG-AB EV6 CPU (E2063-DA/DB rev D01) module as described in Compaq Action Blitz # TD 2632.

For complete details about this restriction and its solution, refer to Compaq Action Blitz # TD 2632.

6.7 AlphaStation 200/400: ISA_CONFIG.DAT Changes Required


Customers configuring ISA devices on AlphaStation 200/400 Family systems must change their SYS$MANAGER:ISA_CONFIG.DAT file, so that the node information for each device appears at the end of each device description block.


For upgrades from OpenVMS Version 6.2 or 7.0 systems, this change must be made before starting the upgrade procedure.

Table 6-1 shows the changes to the device description block.

Table 6-1 Changes to Device Description Block
Before Version 7.1 After Version 7.1
[AUA0] [AUA0]
IRQ=9 DMA=(0,1)
DMA=(0,1) PORT=(388:4,530:8)
PORT=(388:4.530:8) NODE=3

Customers using SYS$MANAGER:ISA_CONFIG.DAT files should read Section A.2.

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