SUMMARY:SUN 4/390 server develops Alzheimers - The saga of Kerplop continues.

From: Daniel_D'
Date: Thu Jul 29 1993 - 19:02:09 CDT

Thanks to all who wrote in with an answer. Kerplop The Wonder Server now
computes happily in its hutch.

I will not be taking up comedy writing. I am writing down my life experiences
in the event that I make billions on television. Kerplop is a big improvement
over duh.

-- dan
Story Ending:
A Bell Atlantic Rep came over and replaced our CPU Board with a new one. Some
flipping of ID proms, recording of parameters from the older device, and
power up. On boot sequence, when coming thru fsck, the message on the screen
was" Bad SUMMARY DATA ( SALVAGED)" and would go on to show the disk
statistics. It did this for each disk on the machine, but not for each
partition. I am keeping the last backup for two months to see if any
problems develop. All our backups have been level 0 since this whole mess
began in July of 1991, and I will not fail kerplop now.
Original Post:
Howdy all!

I have a Sun 4/390 named kerplop which appears to be plagued by a number of
problems, all of which I have received good advice on from this noble
gathering. I have got a new one.

Kerplops last problem was that it was booting off the wrong disk. This became
corrected by an erstwhile Sun Field rep and a steady hand at the console. The
corrupted EEPROM parameters were corrected, kerplop booted correctly, and
cries of joy rang out in the computer center while fsck fsck'ed.

Well, as life would have it, I had to turn off kerplops power for one
weekend, so the Blue Elves could dabble in piped lightning. On power up,
kerplop, ever faithful to its name, tried to boot from the wrong disk. It
spun out on a nasty gram, and hung at the monitor prompt. I typed in b
id(0,0,0), hit return, and kerplop rose again to meet new challenges.

The problem shouuld be summarized as folows - EEPROM parameters appear to
change after a power cycle. Once corrected, multiple reboots do not seem to
affect the parameters. One power down, and its amniesa-ville. I have yet to
call in sun on this, as busy is busy right now, but next week looks like
prime time for answers. I need to stop this condition from recurring, as I
really would like kerplop to be a good server.

In times past, one of you had mentioned that there is no eeprom in a sun, but
there is a battery. Could my battery be dead? Does Duracell make that size?
I have Jumper cables, and I am not afraid to use them!

Please send replies to

All replies are being accepted, but flames unaccompanied by useful advice will
not be read.

answers from far and wide --

From: (Dan A. Zambon)
I don't have any information for you, but I must make a suggestion.
You should consider forgoing this computer stuff and turn your
obvious talents to writing! I reference "so the Blue Elves could
dabble in piped lightning" and "kerplop rose again to meet new
challenges" as examples to back up my case.....:>)

Sometimes we netters forget our humor with messages and replys reeking
of stiffness. It is very refreshing to read ones like yours. Keep it

and good luck with kerplop...

From:!tkw@bagate.uucp (Terry White)

That's exactly what is sounds like a bad battery. If your you have a
maintenance contract I would request to have the cpu replaced.
From: (Michael Baumann)

Suns do indeed have batteries, (actually cells, but why pick nits right now?
However, if this were indeed the problem, I think you would notice that
the clock has a unique sense of time. Not to mention that the cell in
question is a lithium cell, only used when the system is powered off,
and generally speaking have a shelf life of 6-10 years.
But if you want gory details read on...

Sun NV storage comes in 2 flavors that I am familiar with.
1) The MosTEK Cmos/clock timer with piggyback battery. These are used in
    most of the newer sparc systems (since the SS1), and have NV cmos ram
    onboard with the RTC. If the battery croaks in this beast, you get to
    replace the whole thing! Look for something that looks like a DIP on
    steroids (about 1/4" thick, maybe more).

2) EEPROM (fairly sure that this is real EEPROM, not some sissy RAM w/ an
   integral battery) Used in sun 3 series, and possibly in the early SPARC
   systems. This cell is about the size of a quarter, and looking at a
   sick 3/260 board the name/number is Matsushita/BR2325 3V lithium cell.

Hope this helps:
From: Geert Jan de Groot <>

I'd suggest that you have the CPU board replaced. Since the server
is in maintenance (or should be anyway). This is a easy step.
Don't mess around with jumper cables. If the battary is dead,
have it replaced by SUN.

Also, if you start to work on the machine, I'd suggest to measure
the voltages on the backplane.

From: (John R. Kilheffer)Definitely one of the more
entertaining requests for assistance I've read in
quite a while on this list.

As for a potential battery problem, one sure fire way to tell is if your
time of day clock is also losing it's frame of reference across power offs.
If the clock needs to be reset, you definitely need a new battery. Otherwise,
it may jsut be something with the EEPROM that's hosed.

Good luck finding your problem. BTW, if I remember correctly, Sun was kind
of soldering these things in place for a while making them not a user
kind of part replacement.


May I suggest a very simple change. Perhaps you could give this computer a
respectable name. One it would be proud to broadcast throughout the network.
One that it could hold it's monitor up high when someone comes in to log on.
A name that would bring up feelings of pride and responsibility. In the middle
of the night when the load is low, a computer must be able to analyze its
cron jobs and whirl contentedly knowing that it is well loved and that it is
admired by those who it works for. Part of this is having an appropriate

One can only live up to one's name.

Sincerely, and without any constructive help whatsoever,

From: ( Rosalinda Solorzano )

There are two locations that needed t be changed;

        0x18 s/b 12 (this will tell the system to boot using the eeprom
specified boot device, not default)
        0x17 s/b 12 (will cause system to automatically reboot, otherwise will
go wait at prompt monitor)
        0x19 s/b 69
        0x1a s/b 46 (these last two locations set the boot device to be 'id')
        0x1b s/b 0
        0x1c s/b 0
        0x1d s/b 0 (these last three will set the controller,unit,partition to
be booted from device).

Check these locations, it could be possible that 0x18 may not be set properly.

End of MailReplies:SUN 4/390 server develops Alzheimers - The saga of Kerplop
continues. --------------------------------------------------------------
"Let the Maallox flow and the meat roast! The time has come to celebrate the
return of a good and kind friend - Kerplop , The Wonder Server, has
returned!! Alleluia!!" -- Tech Staff

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