The collected works of matt2079

I'm having a serious problem booting an SGI Fuel. I believe it is running IRIX 6.5 and the PROM is version 6.144.

The system was working but no one knew the root password. Of course I tried getting into single user mode by typing 'single' at the PROM console which started a boot then the screen went blank and the system became nonresponsive. I tried using 2 different overlay installation CD's (can't find original OS) to boot but both appear to lock up the graphics after copying files to the harddrive (before any menus even come up).

I've tried connecting a null-modem cable to COM1 from an XP PC running hyperterminal (9600 8-N-1) but have never been able to get any output to the terminal. I've tried with and without the keyboard and mouse plugged into the Fuel. In an attempt to get this working I was playing with environment variable in the PROM and may have changed something that's caused my current situation. I set the following:

When the Fuel is turned on, the 3 lights on the keyboard flash as normal; the LED on the case flashed white for a bit then goes solid white (normal I think); but the monitor never turns on! Usually the monitor would come on maybe 10 seconds after the flashing keyboard lights, just in time to see the graphical display prompting to enter Maintenance Mode.

If I press the power button on the Fuel at this point it shuts down immediately.

The last thing I did in the PROM console was run 'init' which froze the screen. After a hard reset I haven't been able to get the monitor to come on at all.

Will removing the PROM battery reset all PROM variables or only reset the password?

Any help would be much appreciated.

maxsleg wrote:
Hi - for the console at the rear of the Fuel I use 9600,n,8,1 connected to the serial #1 port and use a null modem cable.
Joerg is right that the other O3xxx family members use 38400 baud.
The keyboard/mouse removed should get you to a console menu

Those are the same settings I've used but I've never seen a single character display on the console! I've tried all 3 ports (2 on the back and 1 on mainboard) with 2 different serial cables (1 straight through and 1 with pins 2 & 3 crossed over). I've also tried with and without the kb/mouse plugged in.

Is it possible that the problem is on my PC end of the connection. I'm running HyperTerminal on WinXP.
joerg wrote:
Connect with a terminal to the L1 controller to find out if there is system activity left. The connector is ON the systemboard, so you have to open the case (left panel). You can find the DB9 pin port 5cm right from the middle.

About the terminal settings.... you tried it with 9600baud but i thing you need 19200 or 38600. My other 3xxx devices use 38600/8/1/n. So check the manual or try an error.

Thanks Joerg. I tried your suggestion and still nothing on the serial console!
joerg wrote:
I dont mean the console.... i'm talking about the l1 controller. I cant verifed the settings because my fuel is at $home, but i dont believe that it used the old 9600 baud settings. After search 10min on techpubs i cant find the info.... grrrr. :(

Whats the status of the Front LED?
My Fuel needs more than 30sec befor the screen get a signal. I know it depends on the amount of memory how long it takes :)


I understand. I tried the L1 controller as well - no results.

The front LED turns red for about 2 seconds immediately after the power button is pressed. Then it flashes white 18-20 times over about 1 minute. Then it is solid white.
maxsleg wrote:
Hi - you say the light bar flashes red a bit then goes solid white - I would just double check all is OK with your PCee terminal - have you got the terminal 'ONLINE' and in the right serial port at the back of the PCee?
It is a null modem cable and 9600,n,8,1 you need for the serial port 1 connection..I think I agree with Joerg that the L1 is 38400...

Everything seems fine on the PC end. It only has one serial port (COM1) which is the only DB-9 port on the PC. I've tried 2 cables:
DB-9M to DB-9F marked 'null-modem' on the connectors with a DB-9F to DB-9F adapter - pins 2 & 3 are crossed
DB-9M to DB-9F with same DB-9F to DB-9F adapter - pins 2 & 3 are 'straight-thru'

I'm using HyperTerminal on WinXP. Is it possible that's where the problem is? Should I try a different terminal emulator?


joerg wrote:
matt2079 wrote:
I'm using HyperTerminal on WinXP. Is it possible that's where the problem is? Should I try a different terminal emulator?

Hyperterm works fine for me and i use it since years. But if you have another system around test it.


I managed to get a connection to the L1 controller!

Now what do I need to check?
Is it possible to reset the PROM to defaults from the L1 console?
joerg wrote:
Try some simple commands like "env" or "version". Check the output. Getting output is the first good sign. Now if you know that you have a working cable connect it back to the console and see if you get anykind of output. Some times you have to press <enter> serveral times in your terminal.


Thanks for the quick replies Joerg!

I was getting output from the L1 but couldn't find anything useful to me. I powered down and tried the same settings on the console with no results!

For the L1 I used 38400-8-N-1, no Flow Control. I tried the same settings on the console as well as 9600 and the different flow control options. I did all these test on one boot - should I be rebooting every time I try a new setting?