The collected works of Melkhior

I'm sort of idly wondering how much it would cost to ship one of those to France...
I only collect workstation-form factor Suns because shipping & handling are too much of a hassle for big iron :-( (well, I have a 4/330GX but that's technically a workstation, they called it a SPARCstation 330GX ultimately :-) ).

Even the smaller 4500 is pretty heavy - Sun claims 68 kg (72 kg shipping), but I assume that's a base model w/o all the trimmings (extra CPU boards & IO boards & ...).
strong_epoxy wrote: Bad news. I bought this chip: M48T08-100PC1 ... 48T0810PC1
...and my SS20 won't boot with it. Replacing the original chip works.

I replaced 4 nvrams in SS20 not four months ago with those chips, they work fine.

1) Make sure the chips is inserted the right way...
2) Start the system with keyboard & screen
3) keep the 'stop' and 'n' key down to force a nvram reset during startup until the screen comes up (can take a while due to the full system test)
4) once it's at the openboot prompt, reset the values with 'set-defaults' and set the hostid & mac address as per the nvram FAQ

Good luck,
strong_epoxy wrote: /sbin/startup: /dev/fbs: does not exist
...and drops to the console.

Try again, and look carefully at the messages. Did one of them mention something about 'devfsadm' failing in /usr/lib/devfsadm/linkmod ? (or something like that).

If yes, I've had something similar in 7 & 8 while net-installing from Linux NFS; for some reason devfsadm fails to load the drivers from the above location on NFS. Since /sbin/startup is a script on the server, you can patch it there to add something like:

mkdir /tmp/linkmod
cp -f /usr/lib/devfsadm/linkmod/* /tmp/linkmod/
devfsadm -l /tmp/linkmod/

somewhere in the script prior to the failing point. This will load the drivers, and you should get the missing devices.

Goog luck & cordially,

Edit: typo
strong_epoxy wrote: I, an anonymous internets user, hereby grant thee, Melkhior, 1,000,000 Internet points which makes you the winner of the Internet today! Just Wednesday mind you. Oh and there's only a couple hours left of the day. And there's no other prize.

... and since I'm in France it was already Thursday anyway :-)

That worked! I'm a little uncomfortable with all this 'modifying startup script' voodoo, but I'll get over it I think.

IIRC, for 7 i was able to do it interactively when the installer dropped me into a shell after not finding any drive. But for 8, the missing /dev/fbs made it worse and I had to patch the startup script... ugly yes but it works, so...

If you don't mind I'd like to post my problem and your solution to my blog. I'll reference this thread in the blog. Thanks for your help!

No problem & glad I could help.

man-x86 wrote: I tried to make a 13W3 to VGA cable based on the pinouts given in Sun's Ultra1 documentation.

I would suggest buying one, they are still being made. It will probably be more reliable than a homemade one :-) There's also adapters to VGA.

*beware* the Sun 13W3 is different from the SGI 13W3 and some other 13W3 (IBM?), so be careful.

After that, I get nothing more on the console and the hard drive doesn't makes any seeking noise (like it would normally do when loading an OS).

The NVRAM battery is dead, which is perfectly normal by now. Which means, the machine default to self-check mode and won't boot anything by default, unless you ask it with 'boot'. It doesn't have an hostid or MAC address, either.

As for the serial console, that is the default *if* there is no keyboard attached. In which case, it's likely the PROM won't bother with the screen, either. So if you have no keyboard, it's the expected behaviour.

For the NVRAM look at:

What you need to do, roughly, is:

1) let the machine get to an ok prompt;
2) reset the nvram values with 'set-defaults' and the magic incantations (mkpl) to set a MAC address and hostid as explained in the FAQ;
3) soft-reset with 'reset' to get a normal boot with the newly set values.

Unless you buy a new NVRAM (around $15-$20), you will need to do this at every power-up :-(

Last point: the regular TGX is limited to 1152x900 in 8 bits; I suspect this is an Ultra 1E and not a regular 1, and so you might have an UPA slot to put an FFB framebuffer (Creator / Creator 3D, horizontal version, see the Framebuffer FAQ ) if you can find (buy?) one. Those are officially supported at 1280x1024 in 24 bits, and you can get them to do 1920x1080 in 24 bits if you're willing to run NetBSD and hack the driver :-) They are much nicer than the TGX.

Keep us posted & good luck
man-x86 wrote: I'll probably try to use the composite sync instead of H/V syncs.

Most Sun framebuffers only do composite. The TurboGX is one of them - so you definitely need to use CSync, and a monitor that supports it (more common one would think, pretty much of my LCDs are willing to display the output of a TGX).

I'm about to install a fresh Solaris 2.6.

Ultra 1 will support up to 9 (10 doesn't support the UltraSPARC I cpu). I would suggest at least 8, since it's the first one with IPv6 support (which helps if you want to recompile newer stuff) and it's stills officially supported by gcc 4.7.
man-x86 wrote: Also when I run probe-scsi from the OpenBoot prompt, it detects the original Quantum/Sun hard drive with the ID 0.
But once I get a Solaris 7 ou 8 shell (NFS root), the format comand doesn't shows any hard drive at all.
Solaris 6 seems to detect the drive properly.
Is the Tools/Boot/usr/platform/ sun4u /lib/fs/nfs/inetboot not a right image for installing Solaris?

Sun4u, that's the one.

For the disk - weird, if probe-scsi sees the drive then Solaris should as well... unless it didn't load the driver for the SCSI controller. Which is known to happen at least when installing from NFS on Linux, see . The same trick might work from the install shell, but I would be surprised if Solaris failed to load the driver from the cdrom (unless there's some larger issue with the cdrom and/or drive).

But if your media has issue being read on the Sun, then a NFS install is probably your best bet. there's some resources out there to get you started: , , ...

Also, make sure the IDPROM content is completely fixed - the "IDPROM contents are invalid" from the PROM in your photo is probably an issue. Once properly fixed via 'mkpl', it shouldn't happen.

Good luck & cordially,
man-x86 wrote: This is actually the way I'm following, using RARP, TFTP, bootparam and a NFS server, all on Linux machines.
The devfsadm trick helps a lot, now Solaris 2.6, 2.7 and 8 all stop at the same point (nfs shares mounted, hard drive/partitions detected but the installer still hangs on "There were problems loading the media from /cdrom.").

Weird, it shouldn't try to access the cdrom IIRC. Everything is supposed to come from the NFS share. Perhaps some problem with the netboot setup?

This is not an issue anymore :D .

I never dared do that kind of thing, I'm not good enough at soldering. I just bought some new ones.

I would say they're still useful. I run this type of disks in my main SPARCstation 20s, since they run less hot than larger, higher speed SCA drives, and they have enough space for period OSes.