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Bootrom details

Bootrom details

Boot options

Most ports pass options as single character flags (such as '-a'). The VAX port uses bitflags directly. The full list as of NetBSD 1.4 is given below, taken from /usr/src/sys/sys/reboot.h (not all flags make sense from the boot rom).

To use, boot with b/ followed by the flags you want (in hex). For example, to boot single user and prompt for the kernel filename use

Symbolic name Value Action
RB_ASKNAME 0x001 ask for file name from which to reboot
RB_SINGLE 0x002 reboot to single user only
RB_NOSYNC 0x004 dont sync before reboot
RB_HALT 0x008 don't reboot, just halt
RB_INITNAME 0x010 name given for /etc/init (unused)
RB_DFLTROOT 0x020 use compiled-in rootdev
RB_KDB 0x040 give control to kernel debugger
RB_RDONLY 0x080 mount root fs read-only
RB_DUMP 0x100 dump kernel memory before reboot
RB_MINIROOT 0x200 mini-root present in memory at boot time
RB_STRING 0x400 use provided bootstr
RB_POWERDOWN (RB_HALT|0x800) turn power off (or at least halt)

MicroVAX 2000/VAXstation 2000 TEST commands

Commands to be typed at the boot monitor.

TEST can be abbreviated to T.

  • TEST 0

    Invokes the customer runnable system excerciser. This test executes a serial string test of all devices in the system. After serial device testing has completed, a concurrent device test is executed. The test automatically configures the test based on the system's hardware configuration and will test all devices present. This test runs for two test passes and concludes with a summary table of test results.

  • TEST 50

    Display the hardware configuration of the system. Lists all functionality present along with status of each device on the last diagnostic executed. Additionally, this display identifies the current revision of firmware in the system as well as the system I.D. number (used as the system's hardware address when networked).

    Returned information:

    Message Meaning
    ID 08-00-2B-xx-yy-zz Ethernet address
    ?? MONO 0001.F002 Base (mono) video option, only VAXstation.
    ? CLK 0000.0005 Clock battery is drained. Leave the box running, or change.
    CLK 0000.0001 Clock battery OK.
    NVR 0000.0001 Non-Volatile Read-only memory OK.
    ? DZ 0000.4001 00004001 00000001 00000001 00000001 00000000 00000000

    The above six eight-digit numbers refer to the 4 serial lines, the keyboard, and the mouse or tablet. A MicroVAX 2000 should always show 00000000 00000000 as the last two numbers.

    MEM 00xx.0001 0xx00000

    The .0001 means that the MEMory is healthy, the 00xx, and the 0xx00000 both tell you the box has xx MB of memory (in hex). If the first line, second half is not .0001, there will be a second eight digit number on the second line telling you the details of the memory fault.

    MM 0000.0001 Memory management
    FP 0000.0001 Floating Point
    IT 0000.0001 Interval Timer
    HDC 7770.0001 00000000 00000000 00000000

    The Hard Disk Controller is healthy, but it can't see any disks. Where it does see disks, the second line shows their size (in Hex) in order DUA0,DUA1,DUA2 RD32's=40Mb or 146B8, RD53's=71Mb or 22000, RD54's=159Mb or 4C437. RX33's are either 1200KB or 960, or if using RX50's, 400KB or 320.


    the tape-drive port is healthy and it sees a good TK50-Z drive.

    SYS 0000.0001 Main system test OK
    8PLN 0000.0001 V1.4

    Healthy 8-plane graphics card, and Vx.x shows its version number. Could alternatively be 4PLN for the 4-plane card.

    NI 0000.0001 V1.3 Healthy ethernet card found, with its version number. There must be a terminator, or a terminated ethernet for the card to test OK.
  • TEST 51

    Set default Boot device in NVR. Displays current setting, then prompts for new value. Valid choices may be DUA0,DUA1,DUA2 (Disks, where available), MUA0 (Tape) or ESA0 (Ethernet). Enter a single . for no default.

  • TEST 52

    Sets the default Boot flags in NVR.

  • TEST 53

    Sets the NVR default recovery action flags, used by the system during power up and also used by the system if an error is detected with the operating environment.

  • TEST 54

    Displays a language inquiry menu on the console device (VAXstation 2000 only) to allow the customer to select the appropriate keyboard type based on the country keyboard in use. On MicroVAX 2000, this function is accomplished through the language set-up utility that is part of the console terminal. Set in NVR.

  • TEST 61

    Sends a full screen of E's to the console monitor display (VAXstation 2000 only) allowing a quick check of the monitor's linearity adjustments.

  • TEST 62

    Sends a full white screen to the console monitor display (VAXstation 2000 only) allowing a quick check of the monitor's raster as well as a check of the video controller's display memory.

  • TEST 70

    Allows the customer to format hard disk drives and RX33 floppy diskettes. RX50 diskettes need not use this utility as they come pre-formatted. If formatting a non-Digital Equipment Corporation hard disk drive, this utility goes into a query mode thus allowing the customer to enter drive parameter data prior to actually performing the format operation.

    Note: Formatting destroys all user data on the disk or diskette being formatted.

    The set of parameters for an RD32 (aka Seagate ST251) would be:

    xbnsiz :=54 number of transfer blocks
    dbnsiz :=48 number of diagnostic blocks
    lbnsiz :=83236 number of logical blocks
    rbnsiz :=200 number of replacement blocks
    surpun :=6 number of surfaces per unit
    cylpun :=820 number of cylinders per unit
    wrtprc :=820 write precompensation cylinder
    rctsiz :=4 size of the revectoring control table
    rctnbr :=8 number of copies of the RCT
    secitl :=1 sector interleave
    stsskw :=2 surface to surface skew
    ctcskw :=9 cylinder to cylinder skew
    mediai :=627327008 MSCP media ID

    The total disk size is the number of cylinders (cylpun) times the number of surfaces (surpun) times the number of sectors per track (17). Then, this is believed to be used as follows:

    • The number of transfer blocks (xbnsiz is always 54.
    • The number of diagnostic blocks (dbnsiz should be calculated so that xbnsiz + dbnsiz = one whole cylinder.
    • The number of logical blocks (lbnsiz includes the revectoring table. With 8 copies of a 4 block table, this means that the visible number of blocks for the OS is lbnsiz - 32, and lbnsiz is calculated as physical size - xbnsiz - dbnsiz - rbnsiz.
    • The transfer blocks, diagnostic blocks and revectoring table are allocated outside the logical block area, so lbnsiz = physical size of disk - xbnsiz - dbnsiz - (rctsiz * rctnbr.

    Some known MSCP media IDs

    ESE20 625685140 RA90 627314778 RD53 627327029 RFH73 577004617
    ESE25 625685145 RA92 627314780 RD54 627327030 RRD40 627384872
    RA60 581177404 RC25 543436825 RF30 577003550 RRD50 627384882
    RA70 627314758 RC25F 543437593 RF31 577003551 RX18 627408914
    RA71 627314759 RD31 627327007 RF71 577003591 RX33 627408929
    RA72 627314760 RD32 627327008 RF72 577003592 RX35 627408931
    RA80 627314768 RD33 627327009 RF73 577003593 RX50 627408946
    RA81 627314769 RD51 627327027 RFH31 577004575 SVS00 560425344
    RA82 627314770 RD52 627327028 RFH72 577004616
  • TEST 71

    A disk verifier utility. This utility does a non-destructive test of hard disk formats to search for new bad blocks on the media since operating system installation and identifies any new bad blocks to the customer. This utility is for use with hard disks only.

  • TEST 90

    A utility that is used with systems that are connected in a network configuration. This utility, when invoked, puts the system in a test mode to provide loopback and system I.D. support to network level diagnostics run from a host or boot node. Working in combination with network level excercisers, this utility assists in verifying the system's network hardware/firmware interface is correctly functioning.

  • TEST 80000050

    A utility that displays all system firmware revision levels by function (i.e. self test, bootstrap code, console code, etc.).

Extended Diagnostics/Maintenance Utilities

This series of routines require the use of a special hardware key to invoke and execute.

  • TEST 60

    A utility that displays a circle/crosshatch pattern on the console monitor (VAXstation 2000 only). It is used by service personnel to check/adjust monitor linearity and aspect ratio.

  • TEST 72

    A utility that writes a special key on scratch floppy diskettes. After running a floppy diskette through this utility, the diskette can then be used with the Field Service system excerciser to do write testing of the floppy diskette subsystem. Floppy diskettes used with the system excerciser that do not have this special key written on the media will do a read test only.

  • TEST 73

    A utility that writes a special key on a scratch TK50 COMPACTape. After running the COMPACTape through this utility, the cartridge can then be used with the Field Service system excerciser to do write testing of the TK50 subsystem. Cartridges used with the system excerciser that do not have this special key written on the media will do a read test only.

  • TEST 101

    Executes the Field Service mode system excerciser. This test excercises each device once sequentially and then excercises all devices concurrently. This sequence is executed for two complete passes of all system devices present in the configuration. Loopback connectors and test media are required to optimize test coverage with this routine. This test automatically stops after two complete passes and displays a test summary.

  • TEST 102

    Executes the Field Service mode system excerciser. It excercises all devices in the system configuration in the same sequence as described for Test 101. However, when Test 102 is invoked, the sequence is repeated continuously until the user types CONTROL/C at the system console. When CONTROL/C is typed, the test terminates at the conclusion of the current test pass and displays a test summary. Note that the user must allow this test to run for at least two complete passes before typing CONTROL/C.

  • TEST 80000106

    Allows the Field Service Engineer to select individual device tests from the total test used in Test 102 described above. Whichever device tests are enabled and executed run in a continuous loop until CONTROL/C is typed at the system console. As with Test 102, the user must allow this test run for at least two complete passes before typing CONTROL/C.

MicroVAX 2000/VAXstation 2000 boot messages

The initial message will be something of the form:

	 KA410-A V1.2

KA410-A will be displayed with the switch in multi-user MicroVAX 2000 mode, KA410-B if set to single user VAXstation 2000. V1.2 is the ROM rev level (or 4- or 8-plane colour graphics board, V2.1 is required). In the count-down a _ means the item wasn't found.

Message Error
? E 0040 0000.0005 clock battery needs charged
? C 0080 0000.4001 odd-ball terminal as console - should still work

See also MicroVAX 2000/VAXstation 2000 TEST commands.

VAXstation 3100 Model 40 Power-Up and Self-Test Device Identifiers

Identifier Device
F Base video
E System clock
D Nonvolatile RAM
C Serial line controller
B Memory
A Memory-management unit
9 Floating point unit
8 Interval timer
7 Disk controller option
6 Disk controller option
5 Interrupt controller and Ethernet ID ROM
4 Optional 8-plane graphics coprocessor
3 Reserved for later use
2 Reserved for later use
1 Ethernet network interconnect (NI)

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