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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author [AS1200] upgrading firmware to latest release

Posts: 4
Joined: 18.01.08
Posted on January 20 2008 06:54

I got two AlphaServer 1200 systems (models 54KHA-AA and 54KHA-Asmiley, a TZ88 tape drive and a RAID Array 450. I would like to upgrade the firmware on the devices attached to these servers to the latest release before putting them in production.

Upgrading the firmware on the SRM console (to V6.0-4), SROM (to V3.0), XSROM (to V6.0), OpenVMS PALcode (to V1.21-2), Digital UNIX PALcode (to V1.23-2), AlphaBIOS console (to V5.70-0) and KZPSA (to release A12) was easy using the AlphaServer firmware upgrade CD-ROM.

Upgrading the firmware on the TZ88 drive was not difficult at all using HP's LT&T either (to release D996, if I remember correctly).

I believe that upgrading the firmware on the RA450 will not be possible as the firmware images stored in the PCMCIA cards cannot be downloaded without a maintenance contract (I will need to check what firmware release does it have, but it seems that I will need an RJ25 cable... why not using an RJ45 for the serial port as cisco Systems does?).

However, I would like to know if upgrading the firmware on these devices will be possible:

- HDDs (DS-RZ1DB-VW and DS-RZ1DF-VW 9.1 GB drives, DS-RZ1ED-VW 18.2 GB drives, DS-RZ28M-VW 2.1 GB drives and DS-RZ1CB-VW 4.3 GB drives).

- QLogic ISP10X0 (I had no chance to check the firmware release using the LFU and firmware CD-ROM; very odd, the CD-ROM should include a firmware upgrade for the QLogic 1020 adapters).

- NCR 53C810 and 53C875 adapters.

I think that the S3 Trio64/Trio32 and tulip (DECchip 21140-AA) adapters are not upgradeable.

Is there a way to upgrade these devices? I suppose that, at least, some of the hard disk drives (the 18.2 GB ones) and the QLogic ISP1020 adapters should be upgradeable.


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Posts: 277
Location: UK
Joined: 24.02.06
Posted on January 20 2008 23:02
I have seen a field service engineer upgrade the firmware on disks but do not know what tools they used. (They connected their laptop to a BA356 shelf containing the disks).

Is there a specific reason to upgrade the firmware or are you just ensuring everything is up to latest rev before putting the system into production?

Posts: 4
Joined: 18.01.08
Posted on January 22 2008 10:02
[quotesmiley92d6843fa="imiller"]I have seen a field service engineer upgrade the firmware on disks but do not know what tools they used. (They connected their laptop to a BA356 shelf containing the disks).

Is there a specific reason to upgrade the firmware or are you just ensuring everything is up to latest rev before putting the system into production?[/quotesmiley92d6843fa]


Thank you very much for your reply.

I just want to ensure that everything is up to date before putting both AlphaServers into production. Hopefully, there is no a specific reason to upgrade the firmware. I just want to ensure the systems will be as reliable as possible.

One of the machines will run OpenVMS. I ordered the media for this superb operating system at the end of november... not received yet. I think that shipping has been delayed until the updated CD-ROMs are ready. However, the other one -the AlphaServer 1200 attached to the RAID Array 450 and the TZ88 drive- will be used for OpenBSD development. Running OpenBSD on it is a requirement for me. I want to provide the best development platform for the Project, so I updated the firmware on all devices that I know are upgradeable and run the SRM tests for a few hours. This one is running OpenBSD now. I have seen no problems with OpenBSD and did some test backups on tape to ensure it will work as we expect.

I am certainly awaiting for the OpenVMS media to arrive for the other AlphaServer. I started using this operating system in 1993. Is there a better way to spend a saturday than working on an DEC VT terminal connected to a MicroVAX while drinking a cup of hot chocolate at the computer room of the Faculty of Chemistry? :-)

Best regards,

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