VAX4000/300 MNS7.3 isntallation from CDROM

Johnny Billquist bqt at
Sat Aug 8 05:41:48 CDT 2015

On 2015-08-08 12:00, Holm Tiffe wrote:
> Peter Coghlan wrote:
>> On Sat, 08 Aug 2015 at 08:21:07 +0200, Holm Tiffe <holm at> wrote:
>>> I'm starting the image restore and now I have a problem that the DSSI disks
>>> are "not software enabled".
>> I'm not sure but I think I recall getting that error when trying to mount a
>> disk that had media problems :-(
> Yes, so are the hints in the manuals.
> .. but I've erased and verified thoses disks with the Utilities on them
> (>>> set host/dup/DSSI/bus:0 0 params)
> and that verify came up w/o errors. I had one disk that would'nt spin up
> after power up and I've repaired that disk with an rubber hammer :-)
> (Reported that months before) ..but taht I'snt the disk I'm trying to
> install.
> I've used the RF Series Integrated Storage Element Users Guide
> (
> to do this and in this moment I've run Verify again:
> LBN Statistics:
>                       0 Total Block(s) in error
> Complete
> ..Hmm

Ok. Good that you know how to get into the disks and play around.

> So I think I missed one step, a logical format or so... on the other side
> I can find no hints what that could be..

No. There is no hidden step. First of all, you need to understand the 
VMS installation as such do not require any such steps ever. A disk is a 
disk. It's a bunch of blocks. Reformatting the drive will not change that.
What is on the blocks previously is also totally irrelevant to VMS. VMS 
will overwrite it anyway during installation.

So, from an installation point of view, it's simple. You want to write 
the VMS filesystem and files onto the disk. That is all.

Now, with all this said, I don't even believe you can do a physical 
reformat of DSSI disks. And I don't know what a "logical" reformat 
means, or what it would do.

To install VMS, you need the machine, a distribution, and a target disk. 
You are having problems with the target disk, which is outside the scope 
of the installation.

So we're at this point at a pure problem with your target disk. The DSSI 
disks are possibly the most complex disk subsystem I've ever seen. So I 
bet there are things in there I have no clue about.

As others suggested, the best bet is the volume valid bit. And I suspect 
an erase might not clear that bit. It's a form of metadata for the disk 
that the drive keeps around.

> My tries to install produces the same errors on the two RF31 disks,
> haven't tried to install on the RF71 but could do this, they are all empty.

Could be worth a try.


> Regards,
> Holm
>> It probably doesn't help much but the online help says this:
>>   VOLINV,  volume is not software enabled
>>    Facility:     SYSTEM, System Services
>>    Explanation:  The volume valid bit is not set for the volume. All physical
>>                  and logical I/O operations will be rejected until the bit is
>>                  set.
>>    User Action:  Check for a programming error. Verify that the volume is
>>                  mounted and loaded. Check to see that the power is on before
>>                  retrying the program.
>> Regards,
>> Peter Coghlan.

Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                   ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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