[SunHELP] SS5 headaches

Peter Stokes peter at ashlyn.co.uk
Wed Jan 18 17:11:35 CST 2017

Hi Mark

I suspect that you have a memory issue.

Try just running with a couple of sticks and try to get to s stable boot. I
would always go back to Solaris for testing as you know 100% what should
happen. For the SS5 suggest 2.6 through to 8 as options.

Also try enabling the diag-switch? in OBP to true which will run through the

Lastly make sure the NVRAM has consistent data including a sensible Ethernet
value, eg for the SS5 8:0:20:19:33:00. I have seen odd results with dying
NVRAM giving weird values and the O/S gets upset.

You can setup the NVRAM when powered if the battery is on its way out by
running the following commands at the ok prompt

88 1 mkp
8 0 20 19 33 00 193300 mkpl

^D  is cntrl D and ^R is cntrl R

The 8 1 mkp is purely to invalidate the NVRAM checksum which gets recomputed
on boot and  stops you setting a new value for the ID.

Peter Stokes
Ashlyn Computer Services
Mbl: 07977 532320

On 18 Jan 2017, at 18:05, Mark Benson <md.benson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> Been a looong time since I posted to this list, but here goes.
> I am trying to revive my SPARCstation 5 and a few things seem to be bugging
> Firstly the RAM seems to be very patchy, some banks seem to flake out with
very little physical disturbance. I've reseated all 8 banks (256MB total)
several times and it works for now but even just moving a RAM card will cause
it to not show on POST.
> Secondly I get the dreaded 'IDPROM contents invalid' message after POST
which I assume means the IDRPOM battery had died and I should replace it. I
can't remember, was there an issue wit hthem forgetting the MAC address if the
IDPROM dies. That seems to still show up on the OBP boot start screen?
> Thirdly OPENSTEP 4.2's installer (OS 4.2 works just fine on SS5s, by apples
recommendation, and this is a 110MHz, not a 150MHz) won't boot. The installer
runs through the initial questions then, whil loading the hardware drivers, I
just get a 'Watchdog reset' and it drops to the OBP prompt (I take it that
means it's crapped itself and the OBP assumed it had crashed?).
> The SS5 is bare apart from a 9GB hard drive, S24 (tcx?) SS5 framebuffer, and
a QE card. Using an external DVD-ROM drive which is known to work okay and
works well with Suns (it's in a Sun 711 case, so auto-terminates also)
> All help appreciated.
> --
> Mark Benson
> twitter.com/MDBenson
> _______________________________________________
> SunHELP maillist  -  SunHELP at sunhelp.org
> http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/sunhelp

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