SUMMARY: SPARC2 exhibits very strange behavior at boot time

From: Alek O. Komarnitsky (
Date: Fri Dec 06 1991 - 02:43:46 CST

I posted recently about a SPARCStation2 that had just returned from
Europe and exhibited some bizzare behavior at boot time.

Several people commented that the boot and/or ID rom/prom was scrogged
by X-rays. One person also commented to not believe the memory tests, but
I'm confident that's not a problem here. One person commented about SCSI
cable lengths, but there are no external devices on this machines.

I believe the majority has it. The machine now boots reliably from disk
with 48 Megs installed. With 64 Megs installed, it load vmunix, and then
before the kernal/ID/etc. message, the screen goes blank - this is
very repeatable. Finally, it has problems booting diskless: downloads the
boot program, but then says my IP address is Note that once the
machine is running, it seems to operate just fine, so I think this adds
credence to my thinking that it's in the boot ROM. BTW, I don't think (?)
it's the IDprom, since all the parameters look OK, etc (?!?)

Guess I'll have to talk with Sun. Thanx to all who wrote, alek (Earl Smith) (Geert Jan de Groot) (Eckhard Rueggeberg)
mstacy@mayo.EDU (Mahlon Stacy 4-4558)
Mike Raffety <> (Wolfgang Kuehnel )

P.S. Since we've sent machines through X-rays before, I'm wondering if this
is *really* what caused the problem ... and what we should do in the future
short of trying to ask for no X-rays. One also wonders what effect the latest
stuff in luggage bomb detection technology will have on computers ...

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