[rescue] Sun 386i

Josh Dersch derschjo at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 12:32:11 CST 2019

On 2/11/2019 9:28 AM, Walter Belgers wrote:

> Hi,
>> On 11 Feb 2019, at 17:03, alan at alanlee.org wrote:
>> Does anyone know where I can get the latest SunOS 4.0.2 for 386i and
> I can help you with that (see private mail).
>> accompanying SunView and VP/ix software?  Would be an interesting box to
>> play around with.  Also is there any technical information about the
>> pin-out for video/keyboard?  It did not come with a cable adapter for a
>> Type 4 + RGB(+HV?)
> Hm. I also have a model 250. I can not really recall how I used it, but it
> came with a 19b
 screen, so probably with a keyboard. I would take a look,
> but the system is behind a huge pile of electronics (working on a TTL
> microcomputer-without-microprocessor project called Gigatron).
> Mine came with the original boxes with SunOS for 386i (on floppy). I think
> SunOS for 386i was also available on tape. SunOS 4.0.2 is the latest, it is an
> upgrade to 4.0.0 (as is 4.0.1).
> I found out the hard way that if your NVRAM battery has died on a 386i, the
> hostid and ethernet address will not be reset to 0xffffff / ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff.
> So you might think the battery is still okay, but it is not and result is that
> you get all kinds of weird problems like the system booting ok but the network
> not working.

I'll add that if the NVRAM/RTC battery has died, SunOS installation will 
not work -- it will hang indefinitely after prompting for the next 
floppy in the set.

You can also run the system headless over the serial port if you remove 
the video board, but there is a program used to display a cute progress 
bar on the framebuffer during startup -- if you run this program with 
the video board removed you'll get a kernel panic.B  It's pretty easy to 
work around, just edit the rc scripts to remove the invocations of the 
program (alas I've forgotten its name, but I recall it being fairly 

- Josh

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