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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author KZPSC-XB/Mylex DAC960LB - junk it?

Posts: 53
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on May 19 2012 18:38
I'm going through the box o' Alpha/Sun/SGI/etc. parts, and came across an old KZPSC-XB StorageWorks RAID Array card (rebadged Mylex DAC960Lsmiley. Looks to be only Fast-10/Wide (53C720 chips), and the memory seems to recall something about these being not-so-good, so I'm considering tossing it.

Is my recollection correct on bad Mylexes, or did DEC fix the Mylex bugs? Would my OVMS Alpha be better off with this than its current ISP1040-based storage?
Edited by saq on May 20 2012 15:48
Author RE: KZPSC-XB/Mylex DAC960LB - junk it?

Posts: 470
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on May 21 2012 03:46
The KZPSC series cards worked well with in their limitations.

If you do not want to use the card, I think you may find it still has value on the used market.
Author RE: KZPSC-XB/Mylex DAC960LB - junk it?

Posts: 63
Location: bristol,UK
Joined: 23.03.07
Posted on May 21 2012 10:51
From my limited hardware/system management experience, I think that it's probably better not to 'play around' with a system once it's working ok, if possible.

Sorry if this is a bit garbled but I made a few notes when I tried to install a SCSI card in my Alpha 4000 a few weeks ago.....

The problems started after physically installing a KZPSA SCSI card and connecting it to the 2nd shelf in the ALPHA 4000, running OpenVMS 8.3

It had been working nicely with the 5 member RAID 5 disk setup in the lower shelf - so
it was perhaps a bit silly to start modifying the hardware setup. Whilst 'playing' with the SCSI card I attempted to upgrade the BIOS firmware, using the LFU as it appeared that the SCSI KZPSA firmware was not present.

Initially I had a failure to power up and various errors which I haven't noted well but I decided that
there was a problem with the 512 MBytes of memory:
the first message was "Power up tests have detected a problem with your system! Reset the system
and observe the OCP display and/or type "show config" and "show power"

-from SRM console I ran "test mem0" and got a deluge! of messages, including
"CPU detected uncorrectable ECC error" and
"CPU 00 unexpected machine check through vector 0000670"

I replaced the 2 * B3030-EA 256MByte mem cards (asynchronous) with 4 * B3020-CH 64 Mbyte (synchronous)
cards. Afterwards the machine booted and was running normally (AFAsIKnow). Although the machine now has less memory, the synchronous RAM is described online, as faster. I also wondered about the effect of having 4 memory cards instead of 2 with respect to access speed.

Later (after the RAM change) I booted normally and the system seemed ok but after being distracted for a while I came back to my PC and got no response at the SSH Alpha terminal sessions.

I went to the Alpha Console and got:
halt code 6
pcb 6a3d0
!!! console entry context is not valid - Reset the system !!!
Brk 0 at 0006917c
0006917 ! BPT

I tried to power up and boot several times and got more messages, like:

and Test CPU0
"your system has halted due to an irrecoverable error, record the error
halt code and contact your Digital Service Rep."
Type INFO 5 and INFO 8

OpenVMNS Alpha V8.3 - BUGCHECK
Bugcheck code = 000000215 : MachineCheck while in Kernel Mode

and another halt code 7 event

Anyway after several boots, the system would run for increasing durations before hanging (no messages) and having to press the reset button, however after the last reboot, I shut it down normally after about 8 hours.

I would be interested to know
if the system is capable of some self repair/modification (as it now boots and runs where it wouldn't cooperate at all)

Perhaps I should have done more than just replace the RAM though I have run Autogen (maybe a 'shot in the dark' ) when the system seemed stable.

The ALPHASERVER 4000/4100 Service Manual seems a pretty good guide to maintenance:
halt code 6 - "Double error Halt"
halt code 7 - ""Machine Checks While in PAL"

..... I've booted the machine a few times since the initial problems and although it occasionally 'hangs' I can live with that as I don't intend to leave it running continuously. My main concern is to not corrupt the disks. I assume that 'resetting' the system, to reboot, leaves the disks 'spinning'.

ps : if anyone has any 4000/4100 bits they don't want?
I have some alpha 2100 specific parts: PSUs, boards, cabling, front cover - from a machine wouldn't power up even before I got it - I'm happy to give away but would prefer to swap.
Edited by somersdave on June 18 2012 09:55
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