[ntp:questions] Re: system boots with wrong time

Danny Mayer mayer at ntp.isc.org
Fri Jul 14 11:19:55 UTC 2006

Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
> Danny Mayer wrote:
>> Martin Burnicki wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> sbalaji79 at gmail.com wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I have a tru64 machine which always boots with wrong time(time is
>>>> always in future ie. 2007 or above).   After booting, ntp starts and
>>>> syncs time properly with the server and time is back to normal. Once
>>>> i reboot problem appears again. Is this a problem with a TOY chip or do
>>>> we
>>>> need to explicity set the time to TOY chip.  I believe ntp calls
>>>> settimeofday
> <snip>
>>> I don't know tru64, but settimeofday must not necessarily set the
>>> machine's
>>> RTC. For example under linux there's a special command which writes the
>>> time of the software clock to the RTC. Sometimes this is called
>>> periodically every few minutes, and im most cases it is run when the
>>> system
>>> shuts down.
>>> You must check which command tru64 provides to do so.
>>> Martin
>> Agreed. VMS had this problem every year in January where if it hadn't
>> been booted for a very long time the date would be wrong on the next
>> boot. The date was not being written back in any reliable way so the
>> date ended up way off. I don't know if the Alphas suffered the same
>> problem, this was on VAXen.
> The VAX and Alpha TOY clocks do not keep the year itself.  VMS stores
> the current year on disk.  I believe that it was actually a part of the
> executive image.  VMS updates this information every time a SET TIME is
> done. 

Right. The trouble was you rarely needed to reboot a VMS system so the
SET TIME was almost never done. It was a problem that happened every
January for reasons that I don't recall. I believe a SET TIME was done
in the SYS$SHUTDOWN code but it's been years since I looked at it and my
VAXstation is currently not running...

 Don't know what Tru64 does; I had the admin course for it about
> ten years ago and spent maybe a total of three days actually working
> with it.

More than I got. I was handed a CD, the installation manual and an
AlphaStation and told to get it up and running for my new boss who was
coming the following week.

> Since a lot of VMS engineers worked on Tru64, it's possible that the
> solution is to set the time with the "date" command.

Not as many as you might think. VMS was going hot and heavy and
migrating the VAX base over to Alpha was the top priority. Most of the
OSF/1 folks (as it was then called) came from the MIPS Ultrix group and
additional people were hired.


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