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
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