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The Question is:

Dear OpenVMS Wizard,
I bought an Alpha Digital PWS 500au and want to install OpenVMS OS (using
 hobbyist license) but I am experiencing some difficulties related to the
First of all, when I turned the machine on for the first time it showed
 AlphaBIOS Firmware and a beautiful banner saying Digital Personal Workstation
 500a not 500au. The front panel cover shows a 500au logo however. Then, I
 updated the firmware to include
 SRM console and could switch it to OpenVMS option. Now it says Digital
 Personal Workstation 500au at bootup. Searchig for information about this
 somewhat oddity I found out a document that explains that there are two
 versions of Miata: MX5 and GL. Newer
versions of PWS comes with a MiataGL motherboard which is able switch from "a"
 to "au" versions. So, I conclude that my machine is a MiataGL.
Next, I tried to install OpenVMS from cdrom but Jumpstart seems to enter in a
 infinite loop. Then, I learned that OpenVMS can not be installed from a IDE
 Atapi cdrom on the Miata MX5. Indeed, the machine's chipset is not CYPRESS but
 Intel. Furthermore, th
e machine's hard disk interface is a SCSI QLogic 1040B.
I am a little bit confused here in order to determine if my machine is in fact
 a MiataGL.
How can I effectively determine what model of motherboard I have and will it
 install OpenVMS 7.2-1 ?

The Answer is :

  Please use a SCSI CD-ROM here, as discussed in the OpenVMS Frequently
  Asked Questions (FAQ) -- the FAQ has discussions specific both to the
  Personal Workstation (PWS) series and to the Intel SIO IDE controller.
  OpenVMS does not support the Personal Workstation -a series.
  You may or may not be able to get such an -a series system to
  bootstrap OpenVMS, as is discussed in the OpenVMS FAQ.
  Certain members of the -au series are not supported by OpenVMS Alpha
  as well, as you have found.  Your system is apparently one such
  You may or may not be able to get your particular and apparently
  unsupported system to bootstrap OpenVMS -- in this case, various
  folks have found the configuration to operate, but with limits
  around the IDE support.  (Again, as discussed in the OpenVMS FAQ.)
  You will also want to ensure your key I/O hardware is supported
  by OpenVMS, with cases such as the IDE controller (Intel SIO v.
  Cypress) and the graphics controller and the storage being of
  central interest.  It is quite possible to have unsupported
  hardware configured within a supported platform, for instance.
  Again, the OpenVMS Wizard would encourage you to please review
  the OpenVMS FAQ.
  Related topics include (3044), (3119), (3132), (3820), (3977), (4490),
  (4934), (5011), (5118), (5584), (5604), (7162), (7770), (7945), and
  (8379), (9216), (9296), and the various discussions of third-party
  hardware support, the Personal Workstation -a and -au series, and
  the IDE/ATAPI Intel SIO v. Cypress discussions all in the OpenVMS

answer written or last revised on ( 6-AUG-2004 )

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