IBM Support

Problems with HMC terminal window on new p5 or p6 managed system

Technote (troubleshooting)


Terminal window to the default partition is unusable on new managed systems due to system being in MDC


Users receive "garbage" characters on terminal window to newly added p5 or p6 managed systems or do not get a login prompt once default partition is activated


The p5 or p6 managed system is in MDC (manufacturing default configuration) mode

Diagnosing the problem

Once a new p5 or p6 managed system is recognized by the HMC and the default partition is activated, users will see "garbage" characters on terminal window (HMC vterm) or the terminal window will be blank and will not display an AIX login prompt even though the partition shows a state of "Running"

Resolving the problem

When a new managed system is ordered from IBM, it is shipped in the manufacturing default configuration (MDC) mode. MDC is the initial partition setup of the managed system as delivered by the service provider. The HMC displays the managed system as having one logical partition with one partition profile. All of the physical hardware resources on the system are automatically assigned to this logical partition. The name of the logical partition is the serial number of the managed system, and the name of the partition profile is default.

To check if the managed system is in MDC mode, on the HMC select that system and choose "Properties". In the first tab called "General", you can see whether "Manufacturing default configuration" is set to TRUE or FALSE:

If the properties of the managed system show FALSE for "Manufacturing default configuration" but there is still no AIX login prompt displayed on the vterm when the partition is running, it is possible that the console is set incorrectly in the AIX ODM. Follow the steps outlines in document #T1010609 to set it properly:

If "Manufacturing default configuration" shows TRUE, the user will need to take extra steps in order to exit MDC mode. The steps to do this will require managed system to be in partition standby (with the default partition in a "Not Active" state.)

If the managed system is powered off, for HMC V5.2.1, 6.1.x and V7 up to 7.3.4, select that system and then choose "Power on" and then choose "Partition Standby" (NOT "Partition Autostart").

Note: Beginning with HMC V7.3.5 and above, the Power-on options are "Normal" and "Hardware Discovery".

When you select the "Normal" power-on option, the Partition Start Policy defines how the managed system powers on. So once again you can check the current setting for the Partition Start Policy for the managed system under Properties in the "Power-On Parameters" tab. Make sure to that "User-Initiated" is selected so the system will not start any partitions as it powers on.

If the managed system has already been powered up and the default partition is running, you can also select the system and then choose Properties again, then in the General tab uncheck the option that says "Power off the system after all the logical partitions are powered off". Then shutdown the default partition.

Once the system is in partition standby with the default partition in a "Not Activated" state, select the default partition and choose "Activate", you will receive a window as follows:

Select the option to "Exit MDC using partition profile activation" and click OK.

You will then get the normal partition activation window.

You can then select the option to open a terminal window and when the partition activates, you will be prompted to select console. Your HMC vterm should work as expected from this point.

Document information

More support for: Other Operating Systems

Software version: 7.3

Operating system(s): Other

Reference #: T1010949

Modified date: 06 April 2013