Booting an IBM MP 3000 S/390 System

Dave G4UGM dave.g4ugm at
Thu Aug 6 12:43:53 CDT 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Chuck
> Guzis
> Sent: 06 August 2015 17:24
> To: General at; Discussion at and Off-
> Topic Posts <cctalk at>
> Subject: Re: Booting an IBM MP 3000 S/390 System
> On 08/06/2015 08:04 AM, Sean Caron wrote:
> > If you think the MP3000 is a slow booter, we just got some new 4U
> > machines in where I work; 1.5TB RAM; those things take almost 20
> > minutes to POST - no joke!
> Booting an old CDC 6000-series machine meant mounting a "deadstart"
> tape, pushing the button just below the screens on the DD60, entering or
> editing the equipment status table, then going out for a smoke (not me) or a
> cup of coffee, while the system copied the deadstart tape to disk.
>   The next prompt was to enter the date and time.
> People are too impatient today.
> --Chuck

Actually I remember booting an IBM4381 from cold after we shut it down over Christmas. Just pressing the Power button powered it up eventually, but I am pretty sure it took nearly an hour to get to the IPL prompt. So it did disk drives, then tape drives, then other bits and bobs. But when it spun up the disks it brought them up one at a time so the startup surges didn't trip the main breaker. The same with the tape drives. Then  it loaded the microcode into all the controllers. Then it booted the OS. As we were running VM this last bit took a few seconds (I think). I do know if VM crashed you screen logo frequently re-appeared before you had time to think. 

Dave Wade

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