[rescue] Rescued RS/6000

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Sat Oct 4 14:53:28 CDT 2003

On Sat, 4 Oct 2003, Mark T. Valites wrote:

> My brother came across an RS/6000 at work & was kind enough to give me the
> box. The outside of the case says it's a 43P Model140 with a 200Mhz
> processor - my knowledge of the machine doesn't extend much beyond that.

That's a nice machine.  It'll run AIX up to 5.1, and will run modern
version of Linux and (I think) NetBSD.

> I hear I'm fortunate in that the case was unlocked. The machine takes a
> while to boot, but eventually wakes the monitor. After hitting any key,
> I'm greeted by a grey screen with 8 empty boxes, an icon of a open lock
> with a screwdriver, and another of a key with a red x next to it,
> prompting for a password that I of course don't know.

Sounds like the machine is stuck in "service" mode, and it's asking you
for a service password.  It hasn't, BTW, booted yet.  RS/6000s take
-that- -long- to run diagnostics. :)

> Does anyone have any suggestions for rooting it? What can I expect from
> the machine - is it half way decent or does it do anything exciting?

You're going to need a key to put it in "Normal" mode, or else it'll
never automatically boot to the OS.  Since finding the exact key can be
difficult, you'll probably be best off trying to find a keyswitch/key
replacement set on eBay.

But, as to getting past the service password?  I have no idea.  IBM is
-really- anal-retentive security-wise, so I wouldn't be surprised if
it's written to NVRAM and only clearable by some secret field-engineer

Jonathan Patschke   )  "Gamer weenies...are the sludge at the bottom
Elgin, TX          (    of the user swamp."           --Gary Nichols

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