[rescue] E450 Console puzzler

Jerry Kemp sun.mail.list47 at oryx.us
Fri Jan 12 10:36:22 CST 2018

Hello Steve,

I dont have a direct answer to your E450 question, but I hopefully have a couple of bits that can help.

First, your console.  Others have already jumped in to assist, and hopefully you can get your built in console port operational. 
OTOH, if you do determine that those console ports are non-recoverable, plan B might be to acquire a RSC card, or Remote System 
Control card.

These were popular back in the day, and can provide an ethernet based console you your system.  Again, food for thought.

Regarding your dead NVRAM issue, first, assuming you have already hit up duckduckgo, or your favorite search engine and have looked 
at the NVRAM FAQs.



Final comment, with the qualifier that I am speaking in general, not specifically to your E450.

I have assisted many friends, and also small businesses who had Sun equipment with dead NVRAM batteries, but also had a desire to 
get every drop of life out of them.

I cant speak for all, but most Sun equipment, with a dead NVRAM battery, will still boot, but will complain when booting about the 
NVRAM issues, and also, have no MAC address once booted, so the ethernet card will not function correctly.

Its generally a pretty easy task to either create a SYS V rc script, or an SVC XML manifest file if you are so inclined and are 
using Sol 10, to set a MAC address at (every) boot time for your ethernet adapter.

Obviously the best answer is to find a new/functional NVRAM or to replace the battery in your existing one.  That said, I have had 
good luck with this option also.


On 11/01/18 21:02, Steve Hatle wrote:
> All,
> Thanks to Dan Sikorski and Christopher Bachmann, I'm playing with my new-to-me Sun E450. I'll play with it's little brother E250 
> later :-)
> I've run into something that has me stumped, however.
> The machine has no framebuffer. If I hook up a serial console that's known to work on other Suns (VT320), I get output to the 
> screen, but no keystrokes are recognized.
> Christopher had mentioned that there was "something funny" with the console, and they had to run it with a Sun keyboard connected 
> along with the serial terminal. Lo and behold, I plugged in a Sun keyboard, powered up, and I was getting output on the terminal, 
> and keystrokes on the Sun keyboard were recognized.
> I reset all the nvram defaults. With the system working in this mixed mode, printenv shows input device as "keyboard" and output 
> device as "screen". The startup banner does say "keyboard detected".
> devaliases shows the device tree I would expect, but there is an alias "keyboard!" with the same tree as "keyboard", but with 
> ":forcemode" appended. I have not checked another of my machines (or Google) to see if this is normal.
> If the Sun keyboard is not plugged in, the login banner gives the expected 'no keyboard' message and that input/output is going to 
> ttya. However, as I said, while I get output, I can't input anything on the terminal keyboard.
> Googling this, I come up with a reference to a similar situation where the problem was an "incorrectly wired cable". Since my 
> terminal/cables work OK on a SparcClassic and LX, I would assume it would be OK on the E450, but I've been wrong before.
> I can certainly work with the machine in this mode to get an OS installed enough to ssh in, but even if it's only for my education 
> I'd like to figure this one out. If anyone has any insights, please pass them along.
> Thanks,
> Steve

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