[rescue] Sun NVRAM - was Sun Enterprise 3500 Wont Boot Solaris

Peter Stokes peter at ashlyn.co.uk
Wed Sep 20 05:07:56 CDT 2017

Hi All

Thought I would update this thread which has moved onto the Sun NVRAMs, a
whole world of confusion given some are obsolete. I supply a lot both as
separate chips or on system/boards which normally have dead ones when

First word of warning do not buy from China/Far East, usually crap/dead or
downright fraudulent product in my experience. Buy from distis such as
Mouser/GigiKey/Farnell if possible.

Sun4c - SS1, SS2 etc used M48T02, you can still get I think a version, BUT
with some OBP versions the clock gets reset during poweron, I have seen this
on SS2 and IPX, early SS2 OBP however seemed to work ok.

Sun4m - SS5, SS20 etc used M48T08 or M48T18, these are still available as
M48T08 which work in all applications.

Sun4u with OBP 3.X - Ultra 1, 2, 5, 10 etc (inc E450), these used M48T59, no
longer available, use M48T58 as alternative.

All the above can use the mkp, mkpl commands as per

Sun4u with OBP 4.X AND using NVRAM Blade 100, 150, V120 etc (not later EEPROM
such as Blade 1000 etc), these also used the M48t59 BUT the M48T58 will not
work, with these use the DS1553, though there is now limited availability on
it. The OBP 4.X does not have the mkp, mkpl commands, so the trick is to use a
3.X based system, I use an Ultra 5, setup the MAC and Hostid, then setup the
hardware type, normally to 83 using

83 1 mkp

Then recompute the checksum, again see above writeup. Then transfer it into
the 4.x machine. It often takes a while as diags will be enabled, but
eventually comes to the OBP screen.

What we do when the DS1553 have been exhausted, no idea yet!

Peter Stokes
Ashlyn Computer Services
Mbl: 07977 532320

On 20 Sep 2017, at 02:35, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:

> On 2017-09-19 8:50 PM, Carl R. Friend wrote:
>> On 09/19/2017 08:34 PM, Toby Thain wrote:
>>> On 2017-09-19 8:13 PM, Carl R. Friend wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> B B B  There's also the annoyance of a flat "N"VRAM battery (I want to
>>>> find the guy who came up with that and hurt him), but that's just
>>>> that -- an annoyance.
>>> It was a little more than an annoyance on my E450 -- it ceased to boot
>>> when the NVRAM died. At least I hope that's all it is.
>> B B  There would likely have been a way to put the stuff into it that
>> needed replacing before trying to boot the thing.B  That's what I have
>> to do with my operational Indys until I get around to doing the hack
> I think this is not possible on the E450, but I forget the details of
> the problem I had. I'll have to try again.
> Thanks for the moral support...
> --Toby
>> involving cutting into the top of the "N"VRAM chip and soldering in
>> an external battery holder...
>> B B  Was there no way to access the memory space and write to it?
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