DECstation 5000/240 Running Ultrix

Having recently fixed the DECstation 5000/240 PSU, I wanted to see that the machine actually runs properly and can run an operating system. I had previously had another DECstation 5000/240, which I had swapped for something else, but I had kept the disks where I had installed Ultrix and two versions of NetBSD, so I decided to try these first.

I found that the NetBSD 5.0.3 disk will no longer spin up, which is a shame, but may be fixable, so I will look at it again at some point. The NetBSD 1.5.3 disk would boot up to a point and then hang. The Ultrix 4.4 disk booted but the screen went blank once it went to the graphics mode. I suspect that the NetBSD 1.5.3 and Ultrix 4.4 installations don’t like the PMAG-JA graphics card.

I found another spare SCSI disk, a Seagate ST12400N, and installed Ultrix 4.5 on it successfully. Sadly, when I switched it on again later the disk would not initialise. I could hear it seek a few times and then spin down. So I decided to overwrite the Ultrix 4.4 disk, an RZ56, with a new installation of Ultrix 4.5. Here is the setup I used:

DECstation 5000 Model 240 Ultrix Installation Setup

I used an RRD43 that I have. The tray won’t stay closed properly, so you can just about see the head of a screwdriver that I propped against the tray to keep it shut!

The first attempt failed after what looks to have been a file copy verification error, so the disk can’t be too good. A second attempt succeeded, here is the machine working:

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