Re(2): [SunRescue] SS2 Problems

Tim Hauber Tim_Hauber at
Thu Jul 22 10:49:57 CDT 1999

rescue at,Internet writes:
>Even with the bad IDPROM you can get the system to boot.
>By default it is trying to boot off of the net.
>Assuming that you have a single hard drive in the unit, that drive will be
>either disk0 or disk3.
>from the OK prompt type :
>boot disk -- if this does not work, try:
>boot disk0 -- or
>boot disk3 -- one of these should work if you have a bootable drive.
>You can type : devalias from the OK prompt to see a list of what the
>names are.
>also the setting that has been lost is:
>boot-device    -- so the command to reset this which will probably be lost
>(bad IDPROM)
>setenv boot-device disk
>or disk0 or disk3
>this should get you to boot off of the internal hard drive...

This is a symptom of Sun's philosophy about workstations.  The machines
have two boot modes, the normal one (which is usually local disk) and the
diagnostic one, which happens when you either boot to diag mode
intentionally, or the machine finds errors trying to boot.  The ROM
default for diag mode is to netboot, which is what your machine is trying
to do.  When you get the NVRAM problem resolved, you can actually set the
diag mode boot to be from another local partition (I believe, from playing
with NVRAMS  with a friend) so the machine will try to boot from your
normal partition, but if it can't it will try from a backup partition you
set up.  These things can be extremely resilient if set up properly, as
close to unstoppable as a computer can get.

The NVRAM problem is most easily solved by replacing, but if you are a
cheapskate you can hack the one you have.  Normally all that is wrong is a
dead internal battery, and with a hacksaw (no pun intended) and a
soldering iron you can substitute an external battery.  I've done this
with 4 or 5 IPCs and IPXs, and it really isn't difficult.  The battery is
on the end away from pin 1, be careful of the pin 1 end that has the clock
crystal on it.  When I did it I even managed to save my first experimental

Tim Hauber

"Proximity to wonder has blunted our perception and appreciation of it"
--Tim Hartnell in 'Exploring ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE on your Commodore 64'

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