IBM System/390 Integrated Server 3006 restoration


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We powered up the S/390 for the first time since IBM donated it to the RICM. We were happy to see the BIOS setup screen displayed, but then saw the little message that said that the setup battery was low. We configured the BIOS and rebooted, but it went right back to the setup screen. Most PCs will boot with a dead battery if the AC power is kept on. Oh well, we will order a M4T28-BR12SH1 Timekeeper Snaphat from Digikey and try it again next week.


We bought a new Timekeeper Snaphat from Digikey and installed it on the Pentium server board. The Pentium doesn't complain that the battery is dead, so we made some progress. We configured the SCSI controller, and the Pentium can see the DAT tape drive and the CDROM. The floppy is directly connected to the Pentium board and that works too.

The Pentium does not see any hard drives, so OS/2 doesn't boot. The indicator LED on the SSA controller is blinking, so that means that the SSA controller is not happy with the drive configuration. Mike Ross sent us a copy of the SSA configuration utility CDROM. We should be able to run that utility and then to tell the controller what we have for disks. Hopefully we can recover the existing disk configuration so we don't need to do a fresh installation of OS/2 Warp and OS/390.


We swapped a CAMAC to Unibus interface for SSA disks with the LSSM.

Two of the drives were formatted for 524 byes/sector and this system needs 512 bytes/sector.

Performing a low level format of all three drives made them all 512 bytes/sector.

We created a RAID5 and added all three drives to it.

We created three partitions on the RAID, one for OS/2, one for system dumps, and the rest for emulated disks for OS/390.

We installed OS/2 and the S/390 utilities on the C: partition, and formatted the e: partition.

The system is now ready for a mainframe operating system installation, and there are lots of choices.

The recommendation from the IBM experts is to start with VM/ESA operating system, and them try something more complicated.

We will give that a try next Saturday.


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We installed VM/ESA V2.4.0 and it actually booted!

We have no experience with IBM mainframe operating systems, so we have some serious learning to do.

We posted a call for help on our FaceBook page.

Hopefully we can get some help finishing the OS configuration, and creating some demonstrations.