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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Software Forum
Author Booting OpenVMS VAX V7.3 on Simh
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 04 2008 00:51
Hello,

I have installed Simh on my laptop (XP SP2). I have created the CD image using Personal Alpha running on the same laptop, by BACKUP/IMAGE from the CD to an virtual disk.

After shutting down personal Alpha I attached this image to Simh.

When I try to boot VMS, it complains about ?42 file not found.

To verify the CD image, I transferred the image file to my VAXstation 4000-90 using FTP. There I converted the image back to a real disk using LD and BACKUP/IMAGE. Next, the VAXstation booted happily from the disk. I think this proves that there is nothing wrong with the image.

Simh thinks otherwise, though.

Anyone any ideas?

Thanks in advance,

Bart Zorn
Author
Marc
Member

Posts: 16
Joined: 05.01.08
Posted on March 04 2008 08:02
I don't know whether a Personal Alpha virtual disk would be in a plain ISO format that SIMH would expect.

What I've done recently is use Roxio Creator to create a disc image of the CD in .iso format. That file then worked with both Personal Alpha and SIMH. There are other utilities available that can make a .iso file from a CD. I think that the freely available Daemon Tools has this capability.

Once you have the .iso file, that should work just fine with SIMH. I've not tried it directly on Windows, but I've done that and copied the file up to my Solaris host where my virtual VAX runs.
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 04 2008 08:12
Marc,

Thank you for your reply.

I do not have Roxio, but Nero. The first time I tried to create the CD image with Nero, it made my PC completely unusable. I did not peruse this further.

In the mean time I have installed Simh Vax on OpenVMS Alpha. I created the Vax CD image the same way as I did on Personal Alpha.

Simh booted this image just fine.

So the problem seems to narrow down to Simh running on my laptop.

I doubt if an .iso image is different than an image created using more native OpenVMS tools.

Bart Zorn
Author
Marc
Member

Posts: 16
Joined: 05.01.08
Posted on March 04 2008 10:42
It's not the OpenVMS tools that are your problem, but instead the format of the Personal Alpha .vdisk file. I don't think that it's necessarily a straight binary representation of the data in the disk. If it puts any additional header information into the file, it'll make it unusable as a physical representation of the original media.

SIMH's virtual disks are, I believe, straight binary container files, so that'd work.

I didn't realize you had a real VMS system. What you could also have done there to get an image of the CD is to mount the CD device /FOREIGN, and then COPY the drive to a file. You might get an error at the end, but all the data does seem to copy and you have a resulting image that would work with SIMH.
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 04 2008 17:53
Marc,

Like I said in my first post, I booted my VACstation 4000-90 from the image that I created on Personal Alpha.

What can be wrong with it?

Bart
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 04 2008 20:24
Sorry for the repeated posts above.

I created the first post using my Alpha workstation and CSWB 1.7. No problem.

I created the response using Firefox on Windows. A lot of trouble and an irritating result. Then I tried to have a look with IE 7. and that worked even worse than Firefox.

This is the first website that I have seen that shows this behaviour!

Regards,

Bart Zorn
Author
Marc
Member

Posts: 16
Joined: 05.01.08
Posted on March 05 2008 18:24
Near as I can figure, you're comparing Apples to Oranges to Apples.

You start with the CD, which you then BACKUP/IMAGE to a .vdisk file. On the VAX, you then use BACKUP/IMAGE to convert it back to a disk image.

The problem with SIMH, if I'm interpreting things correctly, is that you're using that BACKUP saveset in the .vdisk file, and that's not a valid boot medium.
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 05 2008 21:41
Marc,

Sorry, but after 20+ years of OpenVMS experience I do not make errors like that any more. BACKUP/IMAGE does not create savesets, btw.

An other argument: that very same image on Simh on OpenVMS Alpha boots fine!

Thanks for your thoughts anyway!

Bart
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 05 2008 22:03
Hello Hoff,

Yes, I have my doubts about Nero as well.

I have created images using LD on OpenVMS Alpha to be used on Personal Alpha and vice versa many times, without problems. I think that rules out the possibility that Personal Alpha does something extra with its .vdisk files.

The most complicated thing that I did was, after Simh on Windows could not boot the image created with Personal Alpha, is transferring that very same image to my VAXstation, mount it as an LD drive, BACKUP/IMAGE it to a real disk and boot the VAXstation from that disk.

Regards,

Bart
Author
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 06 2008 22:48
Thanks, Hoff,

I will try this on Monday, when I have acces to my PC again.

Bart
Author RE: Booting OpenVMS VAX V7.3 on Simh
Marc
Member

Posts: 16
Joined: 05.01.08
Posted on March 15 2008 10:00
BartZorn wrote:Sorry, but after 20+ years of OpenVMS experience I do not make errors like that any more. BACKUP/IMAGE does not create savesets, btw.

I'm sorry, you're right. I didn't consider that you were doing a BACKUP/IMAGE to a foreign-mounted disk with /INIT. It just didn't cross my mind like that.

Still, I think your issue is that a .vdisk file is probably not structured the same as either an LD: disk container nor as a SIMH container.
Author RE: Booting OpenVMS VAX V7.3 on Simh
BartZorn
Member

Posts: 12
Location: Spain
Joined: 04.03.08
Posted on March 17 2008 01:46
Hello Hoff,

I did not find the time earlier to investigate further.

I tried boot time debugging, but 30000 did not give any more information.

I could not find the documentation about the flags that can be used in R5 at boot time, except for the bits in the low order word. Do you have a pointer to the info about the high order word? I do know what the meaning of bits 29-31 is ...

I doubt if it would be useful to bother you and send you the image file. After all, Simh on OpenVMS Alpha could boot that very same image. And so could my VAXstation 4000-90.

By the way, I am beginning to distrust my own PC. Several strange things are happening lately. I think it is time to buy a Mac!

Regards,

Bart
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