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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author Is there a Hardware Compatibility List for OpenVMS / SRM BIOS?

Posts: 7
Joined: 07.06.08
Posted on August 04 2008 02:06

I am trying to work out what SCSI cards and Video cards work with SRM / OpenVMS (for DEC Workstation 433au). I have version 7.3-2 of OpenVMS.

I did find the "OpenVMS Software Product Description (SPD 25.10.68)"...... but it is next to useless.

One example is the list of "supported hard drives". It lists about 50 specific hard drives.... some of them with a small capacity like 121MB! That is useless information. What it should say is "OpenVMS works with any SCSI hard drive".

Then we go further on to "Controllers And Adapters". Again, this list is next to useless. If I wanted to ask the simple question "Does OpenVMS support an Adaptec 2940UW".... this doco does not give you the answer.

Another issue is the SRM BIOS. I could not find a HCL for it on the web. What SCSI cards can the SRM boot from?

Then there are video cards. The "Software Product Description" lists only 4 supported cards. But another thread on this forum says that an S3 TRIO64 works with OpenVMS. So clearly the SPD is incomplete.

Of course SRM works with any video card.

I understand the difference between "supported" and "compatible".... sure HP may only support specific cards.... but they should provide a list of all "compatible" PCI cards.

It would be really nice if there was a HCL for SCSI cards, clearly listing every card that SRM can boot from, as well as OpenVMS support. It should include the PCI IDs and min version info (eg SRM 7.1, OpenVMS 7.2).

It would be really nice if there was a HCL for Video cards, clearly listing every card that works with OpenVMS. Again, it should have the PCI IDs and min version info.

Maybe the HCL could be created on the openvmshobbyist web site?

Thank you for your help.
Author RE: Is there a Hardware Compatibility List for OpenVMS / SRM BIOS?

Posts: 7
Joined: 07.06.08
Posted on August 05 2008 20:40

Noone in their right mind would use an Alpha for commercial purposes... its legacy hardware. I am only playing around for fun.

I found information about SRM and SCSI at:


Upgrading the SCSI card to LVD160 would help improve performance. The list above helps.

In regards to graphics I would like to dual boot Linux / OpenVMS. Currently my Alpha has a PowerStorm 4D20. This is one of the few cards that Linux does not support. So I willl upgrade. The ideal option appears to be a 3D Labs Oxygen VX1, or failing that an S3 TRIO 64.

The only problem is these cards are extremely rare. Good luck finding one on eBay.

When I went on eBay there was only a small number of PCI Video cards. As soons as I find a cheap one that works with Linux (eg ATI Rage or nVidia TNT2), I will buy it. Unfortunately, its probable that OpenVMS won't work, so I will end up deleting OpenVMS.

Thank you for the help with getting OpenVMS working.

Is it possible to contact the host of www.openvmshobbyist.com? I would be happy to setup the "Hardware Compatibility List" database, and associated web pages. Registered members could provide details of the hardware that has worked with SRM / OpenVMS.

Author RE: Is there a Hardware Compatibility List for OpenVMS / SRM BIOS?

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Posts: 277
Location: UK
Joined: 24.02.06
Posted on August 21 2008 04:40
See the contact us link on left

Edited by imiller on August 22 2008 02:54
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