[rescue] Need help with SGI serial

Joshua Newton limelight at speakeasy.net
Fri Apr 25 07:17:52 CDT 2003

Found a place with super-cheap Mac modem cables, and gave it a whirl. 
Seems to work perfectly. Thanks!

Problem: When the Indy starts from cold power-down, I get the following 
two diag messages on serial (exact spacing not preserved):

"Data path test:	*FAILED*"
"	RTC path test:	*FAILED*"

I ran the full diagnostics from PROM. Everything checks out perfectly, 
or so claims the Indy. It boots fine (someone left IRIX 6.5.something on 
it), it keeps time (so, what's wrong with the RTC, exactly?), and 
everything in NVRAM seems cool.

(Apparently, this used to be igor.nist.gov. The DNS entry is still 
valid! Check it out.)

Now, I spent a while rebooting it yesterday as I relearned IRIX -- the 
joys of fx (give me cfdisk! fdisk! even dd! well, maybe not dd) and 
chkconfig and so on -- and I never got the diag messages again. Even 
cold-booted it a few more times, and still no diags. This morning, I'm 
getting the diags from cold boot again. Can anyone confirm for me just 
what these messages mean?

I'm guessing the RTC message means it's time to replace the Dallas clock 
chip. Unfortunately, Dallas no longer seems to offer RAMified 
Timekeepers with 8k and response time of 150ns. The closest they have is 
8k and 120ns. Any guesses as to what might or might not happen if I swap 
it for a 120ns chip? Or, just for kicks, a 32k/120ns chip?

If I do have to replace the chip, what are the procedures for restoring 
eaddr and any other critical variables? I'm seeing conflicting info 
about being able to reprogram from the PROM monitor, or having to do it 
on the command line.

And, finally, does the "data path" message mean that something else is 
flaking out?

Thanks for all the help!

Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
> On Mon, 21 Apr 2003, Joshua Newton wrote:
>>I'm assuming/hoping that someone on the list has had the same problem:
>>how do I go about connecting an SGI mini-DIN8 serial port to a peecee?
> Macintosh modem (md8<->DB25) cable, and a null-modem adapter is the
> absolute easiest way.
>>I tried a random crapshoot on eBay, bought a really cheap Indy with no
>>specs provided, and lucked out: 4600SC/133MHz, XL graphics, a 1GB
>>Seagate of some kind, and a 4GB/7200rpm Seagate Barracuda monster.
> Ooooh....SC.
>>No idea how much memory, yet,
> The memory is vanilla 72-pin 36-bit SIMMs, 70ns or 60ns, fast page mode.

More information about the rescue mailing list