HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Version 8.3 Upgrade and Installation Manual > Chapter 4 Before Upgrading the OpenVMS Operating System

Preparing the System Disk

  Table of Contents



The following sections describe how to prepare the system disk for the upgrade. Operations include the following:

  • Checking for appropriate directory structure and preserving your security protections

  • Checking the SYSCOMMON directories

  • Examining the system disk

  • Checking the size of the system disk

  • Returning authorization and AGEN$INCLUDE files to the system disk

  • Verifying system parameters

Checking the Directory Structure and Preserving Your Security Protections

If you changed the directory structure on your system disk, the upgrade procedure does not work correctly. Restore your system disk to a standard directory structure before you attempt an upgrade.

The OpenVMS upgrade procedure provides new files and directories in the directory [VMS$COMMON...]. If you have any special protections and access control lists (ACLs), you need to reapply them to reestablish the security environment you currently have. For more information about creating and maintaining a secure environment, see the HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security manual.

Checking the SYSCOMMON Directories

For the upgrade to be successful, the SYSCOMMON directories in all system roots must be aliases (or hard links) for the VMS$COMMON directory. To check whether this is the case, enter the following commands if you are booted from the system disk that you are upgrading, and compare the displayed file identifiers to ensure that they are all the same:


If you did not boot from the system disk that you are upgrading, mount the disk to be upgraded and specify the actual device name in the command. For example, if the system disk to be upgraded is mounted on DKA100, you would use commands similar to the following:


Output from the first command should list a single file. Output from the second command should list one file for each system root on the disk. Check whether the file ID is the same for all of the listed files and take action as follows:

  • If all the file IDs are the same, continue with the procedure described in the next section.

  • If all the file IDs are not the same, this system disk does not have the directory structure that OpenVMS requires, and the upgrade will not succeed. For assistance on resolving this, contact your software support representative.

Examining the System Disk

Examine and repair (if necessary) the system disk using the ANALYZE/DISK_STRUCTURE command. (See the HP OpenVMS System Management Utilities Reference Manual: A--L for more information about this command.) Use the following procedure:

  1. Analyze the system disk for inconsistencies and errors in the file structure by entering the following command:


    Ignore the following message:

       %ANALDISK-I-OPENQUOTA, error opening QUOTA.SYS
  2. If you find any other errors on the system disk, repair the errors by entering the following command:


    Repeat steps 1 and 2 until no errors (other than the one shown in step 1) are returned.

Checking the Size of the System Disk

It is difficult to determine in advance how many blocks of disk space you need for the upgrade. It depends on how many files you have on the target disk already and on how many components you select during the upgrade procedure. However, the following information will help:

  • The maximum amount of disk space you need is approximately 675,000 blocks, but your system might use substantially less.

  • After you select the components you want installed on the system for the upgrade, the upgrade procedure calculates whether you have enough disk space, displaying the number of available blocks and the number required for the upgrade. If the procedure determines that your disk does not have enough space to perform the upgrade, it displays a message to alert you and allows you to terminate the upgrade so you can create more disk space and try the upgrade again.

    NOTE: If the files on your system disk are badly fragmented, you might not be able to complete an upgrade, even when the amount of disk space appears to be sufficient. HP recommends that you back up and restore the system disk prior to upgrading. Restoring the system disk from an image backup defragments the disk. For information about backing up and restoring your system disk, see Appendix E “Backing Up and Restoring the System Disk”.

To see how much space you have on the system disk, enter the following command:


Returning Authorization and AGEN$INCLUDE Files to the System Disk

If you place authorization and AGEN$INCLUDE files on disks other than the system disk, the upgrade procedure will not find these files. This is because the other disks are not mounted during the upgrade. In addition, the logical names you set up to point to these files are not defined during the upgrade. The following sections explain how to make these files available to the upgrade procedure.

Authorization Files

OpenVMS allows you to relocate certain system files (mostly authorization files) off the system disk. You do this by copying the files to another location and then defining logical names as documented in the file SYS$SYSTEM:SYLOGICALS.TEMPLATE. The logical names are defined in SYS$STARTUP:SYLOGICALS.COM.

When you boot your system from the OpenVMS operating system media, the logical names pointing to these files are not defined, and the disks where they are located are not mounted. Because of this, the upgrade cannot access the relocated files, possibly resulting in an incorrect or incomplete upgrade. The upgrade might finish without error, but the files might not be in place as expected.

Before upgrading your system, check the definitions of these logical names on your system. (If a file has not been relocated, the corresponding logical name might not be defined. This is acceptable.) If any logical name points to a location or file name other than the location and file name listed in Table 4-2 “Logical Names for Relocated Authorization Files”, return the file to the default location and file name. To prevent the system from referencing the files located off the system disk, either delete the associated logical name (using the DCL command DEASSIGN/SYSTEM/EXEC), or shut down the operating system and reboot from the operating system media. After the upgrade and before booting the operating system, you can move these files back to their original locations off the system disk, using the DCL option (8) from the OpenVMS operating system menu.

Table 4-2 Logical Names for Relocated Authorization Files

Logical NameLocation and File Name



If you use the AGEN$INCLUDE feature in SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT to include files containing additional parameter settings, and the files that are being included are not on the system disk, then do the following before upgrading:

  1. Move the files to the system disk.

  2. Update the AGEN$INCLUDE entries to reflect the new locations of these files. For these entries, do not use logical names that you defined in SYS$STARTUP:SYLOGICALS.COM or elsewhere for your normal startup procedure. When you boot the system from the OpenVMS operating system media for an upgrade, your normal startup procedure is not run, and so these logical names are not defined for the upgrade. In addition, when you first boot the upgraded system, a special startup procedure is used.

After the upgrade is complete, you can move these included files back to their original locations. If you do so, remember to re-set the AGEN$INCLUDE entries in SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT.

Verifying System Parameters

Verify (and modify if necessary) system parameters as follows. (See the HP OpenVMS System Manager's Manual, Volume 2: Tuning, Monitoring, and Complex Systems for more information about modifying system parameters.) Any system parameters that you modified and did not enter in the SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT file are lost during the upgrade. To retain these parameters, enter their names and the values that you have in use for them in SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT. (When AUTOGEN runs after the upgrade, it uses the values in SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT.)

For example, if the current value of GBLPAGES is 30000, and you modified GBLPAGES by 128 pages above the default, add the following line to SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT:

   MIN_GBLPAGES=30128   !Increased by 128 by PLM for product z 12/12/04

AUTOGEN uses this new value as a base, compares it with collected data, and increases the value of GBLPAGES if necessary. Each time AUTOGEN runs, it makes the same comparison and adjusts the value of GBLPAGES, but never below the minimum indicated by MIN_GBLPAGES.

During an upgrade, everything is set back to the default. Use current feedback.

IMPORTANT: If you modify system parameters, note the following:
  • In general, you should allow AUTOGEN to calculate system parameters. You can hardcode values (such as GBLPAGES=value), but doing so overrides AUTOGEN and might not allow it to set an optimal value based on observed usage.

  • Whenever possible, use MIN_parameter values (such as MIN_GBLPAGES) to set the minimum value that can be set for a parameter by AUTOGEN. AUTOGEN increases the value if necessary. It also adjusts related parameters, unless they are hardcoded, in which case information is provided in the AGEN$PARAMS.REPORT file. Use MAX_parameter values to set a maximum value when you need to limit a parameter to a known maximum value.

  • Enter numeric values as integers, without commas (for example, 10000). Enter alphabetic characters in lowercase or uppercase.

  • HP recommends that you include comments in the MODPARAMS.DAT file indicating who changed the value, when it was done, and why it was done. An exclamation point serves as a comment starter and can appear anywhere on a line. The following is an example illustrating the modifications recommended in the preceding bulleted items:

    ! the following changes made by K.Newcomb on 9/20/03
    SWAPFILE=0 ! don’t re-size the SWAPFILE on AUTOGEN runs
    MIN_gblsections=750 ! required for DECwindows MOTIF
    MIN_NPAGEDYN=2750000 ! set npagedyn to a min of 2.75 million

For more information about using AUTOGEN as recommended, see “Running AUTOGEN to Tune the System”.

If your system was upgraded previously, a new SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT file was created then. This file has comments and possibly duplicated entries that were created during that upgrade. If you upgrade again, SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT can become unnecessarily large and potentially confusing. HP recommends that you edit and reorganize SYS$SYSTEM:MODPARAMS.DAT before you upgrade again.

NOTE: On a cluster system disk, the MODPARAMS.DAT file should exist in SYS$SYSROOT:[SYSEXE] for each root. You must edit MODPARAMS.DAT as necessary for each root.