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issuess with alt_disk_install and AIX and above…..

when “migrating” to this version of AIX using the alt_disk_install, you may be presented with this unwelcomed message

0301-150 bosboot: Invalid or no boot device specified!
usage:  bosboot {-a | -v} [-d device] [-p proto] [-k kernel] [-l lvdev]
                [-b file] [-M primary|standby|both] [-D|-I] [-LTq]
        -a              Create boot image and write to device or 
        -v              Verify, but do not build boot image.
        -d device       Device for which to create the boot image.
        -p proto        Use given proto file for RAM disk file 
        -k kernel       Use given kernel file for boot image.
        -l lvdev        Target boot logical volume for boot image.
        -b file         Use given file name for boot image name.
        -D              Load kernel debugger.
        -I              Load and Invoke kernel debugger.
        -M primary|standby|both Boot mode - primary or standby.
        -T platform     Specifies the hardware platform type.
        -q              Query disk space required to create boot 
        -L              Enable MP locks instrumentation.
0505-120 alt_disk_install: Error running bosboot in the cloned
root volume group.
Cleaning up.

Executing lspv or lsvg will show you that there is no altinst_rootvg. If you check the state of the current bootlist you most likely will find it in a questionable state….

# bootlist -m normal -o
hdisk0 blv=hd5

Why “questionable”? Because the output of the last command should really look like this

# bootlist -m normal -o
hdisk1 blv=hd5 pathid=0

Searching the net for 0505-120 alt_disk does not returned nothing for me. One short call to IBM SUPPORT and the issues was identified and resolved. Apparently there is a bug and for the alt_disk_install to work you have to install the appropriate fileset – in my case the one included in the AIX collection. A quick nfs mount of the file system on our NIM server containing the AIX filesets followed with smitty install_all and selection of the bos.alt_disk_install.rte from among the available file sets

# lslpp -l | grep alt_disk
bos.alt_disk_install.rte COMMITTED Alternate Disk Install
bos.alt_disk_install.rte COMMITTED Alternate Disk Install

resolved the issues and the follow up execution of

# alt_disk_install -C -F update_all -I acNgX \
              -l /ptfs/tl8_sp3_update hdisk1

resulted (after a few minutes) in this very welcomed display:

install_all_updates: Log file is /var/adm/ras/install_all_updates.log
install_all_updates: Result = SUCCESS
Modifying ODM on cloned disk.
Building boot image on cloned disk.
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var/nmon
forced unmount of /alt_inst/var/nmon
forced unmount of /alt_inst
forced unmount of /alt_inst
Changing logical volume names in volume group descriptor area.
Fixing LV control blocks...
Fixing file system superblocks...
Bootlist is set to the boot disk: hdisk1 blv=hd5
You have mail in /usr/spool/mail/root

# bootlist -m normal -o
hdisk1 blv=hd5 pathid=0

After the reboot this host shows the expected new version of AIX. By the way, before I migrate the next machine to, I wll first upgrade its bos.alt_disk_install.rte ….. 🙂

Today, I witnessed my upgrade from 7100-01-06 to 7100-03-01 fail just the same way. So I installed the bos.alt from 7100-01-06, restarted the process and watched it work = install_all_updates: Result = SUCCESS

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4 Responses

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  1. Michael Felt says

    multibos – have you ever looked at that? With rootvg disk usually being much larger (or even much much larger) it is easy to fit two versions of rootvg on a single disk.

    multibos is installed by default if I recall correctly. Just enter “multibos -?” for the poor-mans manual (aka Syntax help).

  2. MarkD:-) says

    Hi Michael,

    yes, I think sometimes about multibos. I have to admit that I have not done this recently and/or for a while.
    What really bugs me though is how to incorporate SUMA with either multibos or alt_disk
    I really think that NIM for patching is kind of ….. and how to stick to a patch schedule when NIM is down?

    Thanks fro your comment!

    MarkD 🙂

  3. Ajay Singh says

    Really Great 🙂

    I also having the same issue and the solution provided simply WORKED fine .

  4. Prashant says

    Really Good find, I called IBm and the support guy , was not bright, I had to feed him this answer, BTW, do you know there is a APAR IV26697 .
    Strange part is , although my aix6.1 TL8SP1 system had this APAR it still had issues untill I installed those filesets. I asked support guya s to why it wont work inspite of te APAR being there , he is looking for answer.

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