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HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual

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The GETDATA phase collects the following information required for AUTOGEN calculations and places it in the file PARAMS.DAT:

  • Hardware configuration data
  • HP-supplied data from CLU$PARAMS.DAT
  • Feedback from AGEN$FEEDBACK.DAT (if run in feedback mode)
  • User-supplied data from MODPARAMS.DAT

The GETDATA phase also attempts to configure devices on the system, by executing the following procedure and command:

  • The command procedure SYS$MANAGER:SYCONFIG.COM. (For more information about this procedure, see the chapter on managing devices in the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.)
  • The SYSGEN command AUTOCONFIGURE ALL (unless the symbol STARTUP$AUTOCONFIGURE_ALL is set to 0 in SYCONFIG.COM).

The GETDATA phase is valid as a start phase and an end phase. GETDATA requires the SYSPRV and CMKRNL privileges.


In the GENPARAMS phase, AUTOGEN calculates the parameter values based on data stored in PARAMS.DAT and produces SETPARAMS.DAT as output. AUTOGEN checks to see if feedback is included, and if so, uses it in the calculations unless the NOFEEDBACK execution mode was specified when AUTOGEN was invoked. Also during this phase, AUTOGEN generates the known image file list (VMSIMAGES.DAT).

The GENPARAMS phase is valid as a start phase and an end phase. GENPARAMS requires the SYSPRV and OPER privileges.


The TESTFILES phase displays system page, swap, and dump file sizes calculated by AUTOGEN. (This phase does not change the file sizes.)

File sizes for all currently installed primary and secondary page and swap files are displayed. The information is directed to SYS$OUTPUT and the AGEN$PARAMS.REPORT file by default.

Specify the TESTFILES phase to display AUTOGEN's file size calculations; to generate new sized files, specify the GENFILES phase. You cannot specify both of these phases when invoking AUTOGEN. HP recommends that you use TESTFILES to display the file size changes before actually generating new sized files on your system.

The TESTFILES phase is valid only as an end phase. TESTFILES requires the SYSPRV privilege.


The GENFILES phase generates the new page, swap, and dump files on the system. This phase changes the file sizes based on AUTOGEN's calculations.

The GENFILES phase does not modify a file if the calculated size change is within ten percent of the existing file size. The following files are affected: PAGEFILE.SYS, SWAPFILE.SYS, SYSDUMP.DMP, and all other currently installed page and swap files. For more information, see the chapter on managing page, swap and dump files in the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.

GENFILES is valid only as an end phase. GENFILES requires the SYSPRV privilege.


The SETPARAMS phase uses as its input the SETPARAMS.DAT file created during the GENPARAMS phase. In this phase, AUTOGEN runs SYSMAN to update the system parameter values in the default parameter file.

On VAX systems, the default parameter file is SYS$SYSTEM:VAXVMSSYS.PAR. AUTOGEN saves the current system parameters in the file SYS$SYSTEM:VAXVMSSYS.OLD before updating these parameters in SYS$SYSTEM:VAXVMSSYS.PAR. The new values are also saved in SYS$SYSTEM:AUTOGEN.PAR.

On Alpha systems, SYS$SYSTEM:ALPHAVMSSYS.PAR is the default parameter file. AUTOGEN saves the current system parameters in the file SYS$SYSTEM:ALPHAVMSSYS.OLD before updating these parameters in SYS$SYSTEM:ALPHAVMSSYS.PAR. The new values are also saved in SYS$SYSTEM:AUTOGEN.PAR.

On I64 systems, SYS$SYSTEM:IA64VMSSYS.PAR is the default parameter file. AUTOGEN saves the current system parameters in the file SYS$SYSTEM:IA64VMSSYS.OLD before updating these parameters in SYS$SYSTEM:IA64VMSSYS.PAR. The new values are also saved in SYS$SYSTEM:AUTOGEN.PAR.

The SETPARAMS phase is valid as a start phase and an end phase. SETPARAMS requires the SYSPRV and OPER privileges.


SHUTDOWN shuts down the system and awaits a manual reboot. To use the new system parameter values generated in the SETPARAMS phase, specify either SHUTDOWN or REBOOT as the end phase. You can define the logical name AGEN$SHUTDOWN_TIME (using the DCL command DEFINE) to specify the number of minutes before shutdown occurs.

SHUTDOWN requires the SETPRV privilege.

6.4.8 REBOOT

REBOOT automatically shuts down and reboots the system, thus installing the new parameter values. To install the new system parameter values generated in the SETPARAMS phase, specify either SHUTDOWN or REBOOT as the end phase. You can define the logical name AGEN$SHUTDOWN_TIME (using the DCL command DEFINE) to specify the number of minutes before shutdown occurs.

REBOOT requires the SETPRV privilege.

6.4.9 HELP

HELP displays help information about AUTOGEN to the screen. The HELP phase is only valid as the start phase command line parameter. When you specify HELP for the start phase, the end phase and execution mode parameters are ignored.

6.5 Execution Modes

Specify an execution mode when you invoke AUTOGEN to control how AUTOGEN uses feedback. Table 6-2 lists the execution-mode options.

Table 6-2 AUTOGEN Execution Modes
Option Description
FEEDBACK Specifies that AUTOGEN run in feedback mode, using dynamic feedback collected during the SAVPARAMS phase to make its calculations.
NOFEEDBACK Specifies that AUTOGEN not use feedback in the calculations. The feedback from the SAVPARAMS phase is ignored. Use NOFEEDBACK mode for the initial system installation or upgrade. NOFEEDBACK supersedes the execution-mode option INITIAL, which was used in a previous version of the operating system.
CHECK_FEEDBACK Specifies that AUTOGEN use feedback in its calculations as long as the feedback is valid. If feedback is suspect, AUTOGEN does not use feedback in the calculations, but continues through the specified end phase.
Blank If you do not specify an execution mode, AUTOGEN uses feedback in the calculations by default. However, if AUTOGEN determines that the feedback might be suspect, it performs the calculations, issues the feedback report, and stops before modifying any parameters or system files, even if you specified an end phase of GENFILES, SETPARAMS, SHUTDOWN or REBOOT.

6.6 Files Used by AUTOGEN

Table 6-3 lists the files AUTOGEN uses during each phase.

Table 6-3 Files Used by AUTOGEN
AUTOGEN Phase Input Files1 Output Files1
(and secondary page
and swap files)
REBOOT None None

1All files except VMSIMAGES.DAT, which contains the installed image list, reside in the SYS$SYSTEM directory. VMSIMAGES.DAT resides in the SYS$MANAGER directory.
2From software installation kit
3Also includes collected hardware configuration information

6.7 AUTOGEN Usage Summary

The AUTOGEN command procedure runs automatically when your system is installed or upgraded to set appropriate values for system parameters and sizes for system page, swap, and dump files.

Execute AUTOGEN to reset system parameter values and system file sizes. The new values and file sizes take effect the next time the system is booted.


@SYS$UPDATE:AUTOGEN [start-phase] [end-phase] [execution-mode]



Specify the phase where AUTOGEN is to begin executing. Table 6-1 lists the options for the end-phase parameter.

The phase specified for start-phase must either precede or be identical to the phase specified for end-phase, according to the sequence shown in Table 6-1. If you do not supply an option for the start-phase parameter, enter a null argument (that is, "" ). If you do not specify a start phase, GENPARAMS is the default.


Specify the phase where AUTOGEN is to complete executing. Table 6-1 lists the options for the end-phase parameter. If you do not specify an end phase, the end phase has the same value as the start phase by default.


Specify one of the following execution-mode options to control how AUTOGEN uses feedback:
  • Blank

Table 6-2 describes each execution-mode option.


To invoke AUTOGEN, use the following syntax to enter a command at the DCL command prompt:

$ @SYS$UPDATE:AUTOGEN [start-phase] [end-phase] [execution-mode]

You are returned to DCL level when the command has finished processing unless you specify SHUTDOWN or REBOOT as the end-phase parameter.

Chapter 7
Backup Utility

7.1 BACKUP Description

The Backup utility (BACKUP) helps you prevent data loss or corruption by creating copies of your files, directories, and disks. In case of a problem, for example, a disk drive failure, you can restore the backup copy and continue your work with minimal disruption.

When you save files with BACKUP, it writes the files to a special file called a save set. Save sets are written in a format that only BACKUP can interpret. (A save set stored on a Files--11 disk is a standard OpenVMS file, however, and can be copied, renamed, deleted, or backed up. A save set stored on magnetic tape should only be processed with the BACKUP command; do not use the DCL command COPY to copy a magnetic tape save set to disk.)

Use BACKUP to perform the following tasks:

  • Save disk files to a BACKUP save set.
  • Restore files to disk from a BACKUP save set.
  • Copy disk files to disk files.
  • Compare disk files created by BACKUP or files in a BACKUP save set with disk files.
  • List information about the files in a BACKUP save set.
  • Create and list journal files that record the results of BACKUP save operations.
  • Convert ODS-5 file names to ODS-2 file names.

For specific information about performing these tasks, see the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.


Some layered products have their own special backup procedures. For more information, see the layered product documentation.

Also, when a symbolic link is encountered during a backup operation, the symbolic link itself is copied. This is true for all backup types --- physical, image, and file. For more information, see the HP C Run-Time Library Reference Manual for OpenVMS Systems.

Using BACKUP eliminates disk fragmentation. Fragmentation can occur as you create and extend files on a disk. If the file system cannot store files in contiguous blocks, it stores them in noncontiguous pieces. Eventually, the disk can become severely fragmented and system performance suffers. To eliminate fragmentation, perform an image backup of the disk and restore the backup copy. When you restore the image backup, BACKUP places the files on the disk contiguously.

Besides backing up your own files, directories, and disks, remember to back up your OpenVMS system disk. Depending on the policy at your site, individuals may be responsible for backing up their system disks, or an operator or system manager may perform the backup (as would likely be the case in a large, clustered computer system).

Two ways to back up your system disk are:

  • If you have access to the OpenVMS Alpha, I64, or VAX system CD-ROM, you can use a menu system supplied on the CD-ROM to back up your system disk.
  • If you do not have access to the OpenVMS VAX system CD-ROM, you must use standalone BACKUP to back up your system disk (VAX only).

For more information about standalone BACKUP and the menu-driven procedure, see the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual.

Types of backup operations are:

  • An image backup (also called a full backup) saves a copy of all the files on a disk (or volume) to a save set. The first backup that you do on a disk must be an image backup; you cannot perform an incremental backup first.
  • An image restore initializes the output disk and restores an entire volume.
  • An image copy operation initializes the output disk and copies an entire volume; the image backup is a logical duplicate of the contents of the disk.
  • An image compare operation compares the contents of entire volumes.


    Because an image copy or backup operation processes all files on the input volume, you cannot specify file-selection qualifiers for these operations. You can, however, restore files and directories selectively from an image save set.

    If the output volume of an image operation is a disk, BACKUP stores all files on the output volume contiguously, eliminating disk fragmentation and creating contiguous free blocks of disk space.
  • An incremental backup saves only those files that have been created or modified since the most recent backup that was performed using the /RECORD qualifier. (The /RECORD qualifier records the date and time that the files are backed up.)
  • An incremental restore operation restores an incremental save set. Specify the command qualifier /INCREMENTAL in an incremental restore operation.
  • A file operation processes individual files or directories.
  • A selective operation process files or volumes selectively, according to criteria such as version number, file type, UIC, date and time of creation, expiration date, or modification date.
    Perform selective save operations by using wildcard characters and input file-selection qualifiers (for example, /BACKUP, /BEFORE, /BY_OWNER (use instead of /OWNER_UIC), /CREATED, /EXCLUDE, /EXPIRED, /MODIFIED, and /SINCE).
  • A physical operation copies, saves, restores, or compares an entire volume in terms of logical blocks, ignoring any file structure.


    Beginning in Version 8.2, a restore of a physical backup no longer requires the output disk to have the same geometry (tracks, cylinders). The restore operation works as long as the output has the same or larger capacity.

BACKUP allocates virtual memory to hold copies of the index file and storage bitmaps. With larger bitmaps, the virtual memory requirement of this utility increases correspondingly. To use BACKUP on volumes with large bitmaps, you might need to increase your page file quota. On OpenVMS VAX systems, you might also need to increase the system parameter VIRTUALPAGECNT.

Sizes of virtual memory requirements for the bitmaps are VAX pages (or Alpha and I64 512-byte pagelets) per block of bitmap. For the BACKUP utility, the virtual memory requirement for the bitmaps is equal to the sum of the sizes of all index file bitmaps on the volume set. (Note that this memory requirement is in addition to the BACKUP utility's substantial buffer pool.)

The following sections describe the BACKUP command line format.

7.2 BACKUP Command Line Format

To perform BACKUP operations, enter the DCL command BACKUP in the following format:

BACKUP input-specifier output-specifier

BACKUP evaluates the input and output specifiers to determine which type of operation to perform. BACKUP also uses the input specifier to locate the input and directs output to the output specifier.

7.3 BACKUP Input and Output Specifiers

BACKUP can process several different types of input and output. Depending on the type of operation being executed, input and output specifiers can be standard OpenVMS file specifications, BACKUP save-set specifications, or device specifications. Device specifications can refer to disk or magnetic tape volumes.

You can specify any valid OpenVMS file specification as BACKUP input or output specifiers; however, BACKUP does not allow node names in BACKUP file specifications. You can use wildcard characters, and you can also list multiple file specifications as input to a single BACKUP operation.

A BACKUP save-set specification is the file specification of a BACKUP save set. When you use BACKUP to save files or volumes, BACKUP writes your files to a save set. You can specify the save set as input to other BACKUP operations. When specifying a save set, follow the rules for specifying a OpenVMS file. The OpenVMS User's Manual describes valid specifications for disk files; the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual explains the rules for specifying magnetic tape files. A save-set specification has no default file type, although you can use BCK or SAV.

The save-set name can be any valid OpenVMS file name and type. However, when you create a save set on magnetic tape, the save-set name has the following restrictions:

  • The entire save-set name cannot exceed 17 characters, including the period delimiter.
  • You cannot specify a version number.
  • You cannot specify a directory name.

Device specifications used as BACKUP input or output specifiers follow the conventions for specifying devices outlined in the OpenVMS User's Manual.

By default, BACKUP treats an input or output specifier referring to a Files--11 disk as a file specification. Therefore, to identify a save set on a Files--11 volume, you must include the /SAVE_SET qualifier with the specifier (see /SAVE_SET). BACKUP treats input and output specifiers referring to magnetic tape as save sets.


You cannot specify a save set for both the input and output specifier of a BACKUP command. For this reason, you cannot perform a BACKUP operation from one magnetic tape to another.

Table 7-1 shows input and output specifiers for each type of BACKUP operation.

Table 7-1 BACKUP Input and Output by Operation Type
Operation Format
Save BACKUP file-spec save-set-spec
Save (image) BACKUP/IMAGE device-spec save-set-spec
Save (physical to disk) BACKUP/PHYSICAL device-spec device-spec
Restore BACKUP save-set-spec file-spec
Restore (image) BACKUP/IMAGE save-set-spec device-spec
Restore (physical from disk) BACKUP/PHYSICAL save-set-spec device-spec
Restore (physical from tape) BACKUP/PHYSICAL save-set-spec device-spec
Copy BACKUP file-spec file-spec
Copy (image) BACKUP/IMAGE device-spec device-spec
Copy (physical to tape) BACKUP/PHYSICAL device-spec save-set-spec
Compare BACKUP/COMPARE file-spec file-spec
BACKUP/COMPARE save-set-spec file-spec
Compare (image) BACKUP/COMPARE/IMAGE save-set-spec device-spec
BACKUP/COMPARE/IMAGE device-spec device-spec
Compare (physical) BACKUP/COMPARE/PHYSICAL device-spec device-spec
BACKUP/COMPARE/PHYSICAL save-set-spec device-spec
List 1 BACKUP/LIST[=file-spec] save-set-spec
BACKUP/LIST[=file-spec] device-spec
Create Journal BACKUP/JOURNAL[=file-spec] file-spec save-set-spec
List Journal BACKUP/JOURNAL[=file-spec]/LIST[=file-spec]

1Can also be used with any other operation listed here.

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