SUMMARY: Invalid Format Code in IDProm

From: Mika Tuupola (
Date: Thu Feb 05 1998 - 14:04:06 CST

        This summary comes late but here it is at last.Thanks to
        all who responded:
        "Edward C. Zimmermann" <>
        Andre Saile <>
        Steve Wardle <>
        Harry Levinson <>
        John Reynolds <>
        Mark Henderson <>
        Chris Phillips <chris@luna.Canada.Sun.COM>
        Joel Lee <>
        Bismark Espinoza <bismark@alta.Jpl.Nasa.Gov>
        The original question was:
> I received a phone call from a friend of mine who uses
> an old sparcstation 1+ at home. Yesterday it stopped booting
> and dies at bootup time giving an error message:
> "Invalid Format Code in IDProm"
> What does the "Invalid Format Code in IDProm" mean?
> What might have caused it?
> What are the possibilities to fix it?
        Basically the cause of this error message is that the contents
        of the NVRAM is junk. That is caused because the battery of NVRAM
        is empty. Because the battery is integrated in the NVRAM you
        will have to replace the chip.
        In this case we first tried resetting the NVRAM. This is done
        by pressing "L1" and "n" key simultaneously at powerup time and
        releasing them once banner appears. Then new values were
        programmed into NVRAM. This seemed to work first, but allways
        after poweroff the contents of the chip were junk again.
        The solution was buying a new chip. Problems arise when we
        couldnt restore the old ethenet address or the hostid and
        the serial number of the chip was not found from Suns
        databases. We made the values ourselves as found in
        instructions in Sun NVRAM/hostid FAQ.
        The problems are now solved.

Mika Tuupola                  
Appelsiini Networks               

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