Question

This technote describes how to boot into Maintenance Mode on AIX systems to perform maintenance on the rootvg volume group, or to restore files from a mksysb backup.

Answer

There is a variety of media that can be used to boot an AIX system into Maintenance Mode. These consist of:

  1. A non-autoinstall mksysb taken from the same system or another system running the same level of AIX, either on tape or CD/DVD media.
  2. AIX bootable installation media (CD or DVD).
  3. A NIM server with a SPOT configured, and set up to boot this machine for maintenance work.

For certain work it is important to have the exact same level (AIX version, Technology Level, and Service Pack) on the boot media as is installed on disk. In these cases if the system is booted with different levels, the rootvg filesystems and commands may not be available to use.These instructions are for pSeries systems with PCI architecture.

Assuming the media is in the optical drive, or a NIM spot has been set up we can boot off that media in this manner:

For Systems Managed by an HMC (such as an LPAR or full system partition)

  • Log on to the HMC as a user who has authority to start or stop systems (usually user “hscroot”).
  • Go to Systems Management -> Servers -> choose the server containing the LPAR you wish to boot.

Check the box to the left of the LPAR’s name, and from the menu to the right of the name select
Operations -> Activate -> Profile. Make sure the check box is checked to open a console window.

  • If you have a profile that is configured to boot to SMS, choose that.
  • If you have a profile that is configured to boot to normal mode, choose that one, and click the “Advanced” button.

  • Choose “SMS” as the boot mode temporarily

  • Click “OK”, then OK again on the previous window to activate the LPAR.
  • After the firmware is started, the console window should show the power up screen and then the SMS menu:
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM
IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM IBM

1 = SMS Menu 5 = Default Boot List
8 = Open Firmware Prompt 6 = Stored Boot List

Memory Keyboard Network SCSI Speaker

PowerPC Firmware
Version SF240_358
SMS 1.6 (c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2005 All rights reserved.
—————————————————————————-
Main Menu
1. Select Language
2. Setup Remote IPL (Initial Program Load)
3. Change SCSI Settings
4. Select Console
5. Select Boot Options

—————————————————————————
Navigation Keys:

X = eXit System Management Services
—————————————————————————
Type menu item number and press Enter or select Navigation key:5

  • Select “5″ to access the boot options menu

PowerPC Firmware
Version SF240_358
SMS 1.6 (c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2005 All rights reserved.
—————————————————————————-
Multiboot
1. Select Install/Boot Device
2. Configure Boot Device Order
3. Multiboot Startup <OFF>

—————————————————————————-
Navigation keys:
M = return to Main Menu
ESC key = return to previous screen X = eXit System Management Services
—————————————————————————-
Type menu item number and press Enter or select Navigation key:1

  • Select 1 to choose your boot device.

PowerPC Firmware
Version SF240_358
SMS 1.6 (c) Copyright IBM Corp. 2000,2005 All rights reserved.
—————————————————————————-
Select Device Type
1. Diskette
2. Tape
3. CD/DVD
4. IDE
5. Hard Drive
6. Network
7. List all Devices

  • If you know what your boot device is, you can drill down to it from these device types. For a NIM boot choose 6 “Network”.