Open VMS, help me please

Alpha Server 800
January 8, 2007 at 19:26:23
Specs: Open VMS, Risc 400
I've had a Alpha Server 800, it worked stable in 6 years. But now, when it's working, it restart suddenly. After that, it can not work anymore. I hear the beep 3-3-1 error and it show "Generic system failure". I'm not experience in Open VMS. I want to know where can i learn Open VMS and where can i buy a new pc that can run Open VMS 7.2-1.

Thank all very much.

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January 10, 2007 at 14:57:24
OpenVMS is now owned by hp (see "" or "") and is actively supported on Alpha and Integrity. This site will have links to the OpenVMS documentation. You'll be most interested in the "DCL Dictionary". You can also learn a lot just by entering "help" at the OpenVMS $ prompt.

OpenVMS cannot run *directly* on a PC. There are some emulators available to make a PC act like a VAX or Alpha. Search for "simh" and for "CHARON-VAX". If you use it only as a hobby, you can obtain the licenses you need free; there is a link to hobby information on the hp site above. If you want to use it for business, you need to talk to an hp representative.

You can buy old, small Alpha's on Ebay and elsewhere, probably for less than a PC. Same comments as far as licenses go.

You can also still buy a new, large Alpha from hp, but they will be discontinued very soon now. You can probably get hardware support for your AlphaServer if you're willing to pay for it.

By the way, the "generic system failure" message and the beeps are not OpenVMS messages. They must be AlphaServer 800 messages. If you want to troubleshoot this problem, you'll need hardware documentation on the AlphaServer.

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February 19, 2007 at 06:29:03
If you want to give an emulator a try, there is a free OpenVMS emulator at the link below:



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September 11, 2010 at 10:41:49
On the service manual of Alpha 800:
Beep: 3-3-1 Generic system failure.
Possible problem sources include the TOY NVRAM chip (Dallas
DS1287A) or PCI-to-EISA bridge chipset (Intel 82375EB).

Replace the TOY NVRAM chip (E78) on system motherboard
(Chapter 7).
If replacing the TOY NVRAM chip does not solve the problem, replace the motherboard (Chapter 7).

So I think the better is try to buy a new mother board, or even a used Alpha, as sugested ...

If you do not use to much the HW (eg, serial ports) maybe the emulator solves the problem...

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