LISTSERV at Work L-Soft
Issue 4, 2013

   Tech Tip: LISTSERV

Q: What do the LISTSERV log errors "Error during virtual disk slot emulation" and "File/major entity not found" mean?

These two log errors in LISTSERV are relatively obscure, but they do crop up sometimes. This tech tip lets you know what these error messages indicate and the fixes that you will need to implement in order to resolve them.

Virtual Disk Slot Emulation Failure

From time to time we are asked to diagnose a problem that manifests itself as follows:

>>> Error during virtual disk slot emulation:
Invalid virtual disk slot designation - "".
>>> Error x'00000065' during virtual disk slot emulation for "" <<<
xxxxyyyyxxxx -> Severity: Severe error
xxxxyyyyxxxx -> Facility: Generic error codes
xxxxyyyyxxxx -> Abstract: Logic error detected
xxxxyyyyxxxx -> Rejected: Invalid virtual disk slot designation -
>>> Error from LSWDACCF - Invalid virtual disk slot designation - ""

LISTSERV uses virtual disk slots internally as aliases for physical locations on disk. For instance, the spool directory is known internally as the S disk. If you are a site with a very large traffic load, you may have been advised in the past to create a special virtual disk slot (which should be called "T") for your outbound spool directory. You may sometimes run across lists with settings like:

* Notebook= Yes,A,Monthly,Private

This means that the notebook archives for the list are kept in LISTSERV's A disk, which is normally \LISTSERV\MAIN under Windows, or /home/listserv/home under Unix.

In general, the error quoted above is thrown when the location parameter of the Notebook= or Digest= list header keyword is set inappropriately. In the particular case of the error quoted above, the problem was that the list header had:

* Notebook= Yes

But no other parameter was set, which made LISTSERV throw an error for a null disk slot.

It is sometimes difficult to determine which list contains the error. To get around having to look through what could be hundreds or thousands of list headers, LISTSERV has a special command to display just the settings for certain keywords. If you want to look at the Notebook= keyword settings across all lists, for instance, you would issue the command:


This would result in something like the following:


You should notice that the Notebook= keyword for MYBROKENLIST-L is set to just "Yes", which would result in the error with which we started this article.

File/Major Entity Not Found

This error can be confusing because while "file not found" is a fairly common error across all operating systems; "major entity not found" is not. For instance, we are asked about the following error on a regular basis:

An   error   occurred   while   logging   mail  to   the   archives  of the
MYLIST-L  list. An  incomplete  copy  of the  message might  be  present in  
the archive file.  The list is  being held to  prevent  further occurrences 
of this error.   Please take  corrective action and issue a "FREE MYLIST-L" 
command when you want the message to be reprocessed.

Serious error occurred - traceback follows
>>> Error X'00000011' opening file
-> Severity: Warning
-> Facility: Generic error codes
-> Abstract: File/major entity not found  
-> I/O mode: Record write
>>> Error X'00000011' logging message to archives <<<
-> Severity: Warning
-> Facility: Generic error codes
-> Abstract: File/major entity not found

This error actually means that the location parameter of the Notebook= or Digest= keyword is indeed set, and may be set correctly, but that the directory location (the "major entity") does not exist. LISTSERV does not usually make directories if they do not already exist (except in special cases at list creation time), so in this case the error can be easily rectified by creating the directory E:\NOTEBOOK\MYLIST-L, ensuring that LISTSERV has read/write/execute access to it, and then freeing the list as described in the error message.

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