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What are VMIMARKER Files

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The Question is:

Dear Wizard,
Can you tell me what are these files in SYS$UPDATE directory  and they gave me
 problems during system reboot:
VMIMARKER2020023B.DAT;1              1/4       15-OCT-1998 10:12:06.41
VMIMARKER2F20CB05.DAT;1              1/4       13-SEP-1999 14:05:50.86
VMIMARKER2F400145.DAT;1              1/4       13-SEP-1999 14:35:21.61
VMIMARKER2F60013A.DAT;1              1/4       13-SEP-1999 15:59:03.12
James Kong
Shell Global Solutions, Amsterdam

The Answer is :

    VMIMARKER files are used by VMSINSTAL to recover from a system crash or
    other interruption. Here is an article that explains how it works:
[OpenVMS] How Does VMSINSTAL Recover From System Crash During An Update?
COPYRIGHT (c) 1988, 1993 by Digital Equipment Corporation.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No distribution except as provided under contract.
Copyright (c) Digital Equipment Corporation 1989, 1994. All rights reserved
OP/SYS:     OpenVMS
SOURCE:     Digital Equipment Corporation
The VMSINSTAL command procedure is the primary tool used by DIGITAL
to install OpenVMS updates and optional layered software products.
VMSINSTAL lets the OpenVMS developer create installation procedures
that conform to uniform standards and are compatible with other VAX
products.  Digital Equipment Corporation recommends that others who
design layered products observe these same standards.
For whatever reason, while doing an system update, the system crashed.
When it rebooted a message was displayed indicating the system was
doing an update before the crash.  This article explains how to
proceed with the update from that point.
During an installation or upgrade, VMSINSTAL writes information to
(or VMI$MARKER.DAT in older versions of OpenVMS), so that it knows
where it is in the event of a system failure.
SYS$STARTUP:VMS$BASEENVIRON-050_VMS.COM is one of the command
procedures that is automatically invoked at boot time.  This procedure
looks for the presence of the temporary file, VMIMARKER<pid>.DAT (or
VMI$MARKER.DAT), during the boot of any OpenVMS system.
If the file is present, the system bypasses much of the usual startup
activity by invoking VMSINSTAL.COM via this command:
  $ @SYS$UPDATE:VMSINSTAL "" "" options B "" "" "<marker file name>"
Option B stands for the "booting" option.
The booting option is used only during startup to recover from a
system failure that occurred while VMSINSTAL was running.  Once
invoked, VMSINSTAL looks at the marker file, referred to by the
logical VMIMARKER<pid>.DAT (or VMI$MARKER_FILE), to see what stage
it was in at the time of the system failure.
You will receive messages on your console depending on what stage
VMSINSTAL was running at the time of the system crash.  If the
installation was not far along, you will be instructed to simply begin
the installation over again.  If the installation was farther along and
files have been modified on your system disk, you may be instructed to
recover a library file or possibly your entire system disk.
In any case, be sure to follow the instructions you receive from
For further details about troubleshooting an installation problem or
more details regarding the Steps involved in VMSINSTAL, see other
VMSINSTAL articles in this database.  More information may also be
found in the "VMS Developer's Guide to VMSINSTAL," (AA-LA99A-TE),
April 1988.
NOTE:  To order the "VMS Developer's Guide to VMSINSTAL", April 1988,
       through Electronic Stores/DECDirect, use order number
       AI-LA99A-TE.  "AA-LA99A-TE" is listed as the order number in
       the actual documentation.

answer written or last revised on ( 13-AUG-2000 )

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