Summary to 8 3/50 questions

From: Jeff Wandling (
Date: Sun Nov 10 1991 - 00:50:13 CST

A brief summary of the replies..

Thanks to:

< (James Gardiner)
< (Steve Wingard)
<> (Steve Elliot)
< (Bob Finch)
< (Wolfgang Henke)
<> (Kathryn Smith)

>q1: On the back next to the aui/bnc ports is a little black
> rocker switch. What does it do?

This is the diagnostic switch... Its great when you have some low level
problems with your sun as it sends out all this diagnostic info through the
serial port A. Ie memory tests. MMU etc.

>q2: Where can I get documentation on the machine. (The standard stuff that
> was shipped with them when they were new, ie., the kind of stuff the
> maintenance guys would have on their desk)

You probably want the 'Hardware Installation Manual for the Sun-3/50
Workstation'. The Installation manual has pinouts and the like, but nothing
like schematics.

I found that the "little white hardware and installation manual" to be helpful.
Also, the "System and Network Administration Manual" seemed like a good
companion. I ended up borrowing a legal copy from a friend on campus.

>q3: I have a modem connected to ttya and when the machine boots, it
> reads a while on the modem, never boots and just sits hung. Why?
> This happens on ttyb as well. Do I need to modify /etc/ttys and
> set it for 'no-login' or something? If I disconnect it and reconnect it
> after it's done booting up, it works fine.

Sounds a lot like the diagnostic switch is in the DIAG position. When
you boot in the DIAG position, self test messages are sent to ttya
instead of the monitor, and it will prompt you with a menu of extended
tests. If you can get a hold of a terminal, try setting it to 9600
baud and hooking it to ttya (or just flip the diagnostic switch to the
NORM position).

>q4: I'm running 4.0.3. The online manuals don't explain how to make a boot
> tape. How is this done?

Basically, you don't. But what else do poor college students supposed to do?

[If you have access to a boot tape]

to read tape 1:

        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.0 bs=32768
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.1 bs=6144
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.2 bs=33280
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.3 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.4 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.5 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.6 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.7 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.8 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.9 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.10 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.11 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file1.12 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/rst8 of=file1.13 bs=1024

to read tape 2:

        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.0 bs=32768
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.1 bs=6144
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.2 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.3 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.4 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.5 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.6 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.7 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.8 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.9 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.10 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.11 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.12 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.13 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/nrst8 of=file2.14 bs=65536
        dd if=/dev/rst8 of=file2.15 bs=1024

To make a set of tapes, after using these commands to read the
tapes onto your disk, put your new tape in, and run them again,
swapping making of=/dev/nrst8 and if=file??.

The table of contents for these tapes is:

SunOS 4.0.3 700-2083-10 Rev. A* of Mon May 8 17:16:46 PDT 1989 from Sun Release Engineering.
ARCH sun3
 Vol File Name Size Type
   1 0 boot 32768 image
   1 1 XDRTOC 4096 toc
   1 2 copy 33280 image
   1 3 mini-root 6246400 image
   1 4 munix 754176 image
   1 5 munixfs 1536000 image
   1 6 root 204800 tar
   1 7 usr 18227200 tar
   1 8 Kvm 2560000 tar
   1 9 Install 1024000 tar
   1 10 Sys 3072000 tar
   1 11 Networking 1024000 tar
   1 12 Debugging 3276800 tar
   1 13 Copyright 1024 image
   2 0 boot 32768 image
   2 1 XDRTOC 4096 toc
   2 2 SunView_Users 1536000 tar
   2 3 SunView_Programmers 2048000 tar
   2 4 SunView_Demo 614400 tar
   2 5 Text 716800 tar
   2 6 User_Diag 3891200 tar
   2 7 SunCore 2969600 tar
   2 8 uucp 307200 tar
   2 9 System_V 5017600 tar
   2 10 Manual 6451200 tar
   2 11 Demo 2457600 tar
   2 12 Games 2867200 tar
   2 13 Versatec 6144000 tar
   2 14 Security 204800 tar
   2 15 Copyright 1024 image

[..] There is a book which came out this month by
Springer ISBN 382-972-501 for 39.95 or so with the title:
"System Administrators Guide to the Sun workstation" by Kathy Slattery
and George Becker. It may be a good idea for those who dont have a set
of the real manuals.

>q5: If its not on any network, do I need to terminate the bnc/aui ports?
> Are they "already" terminated if nothing is pluged into them?

Nope. No, but there is no need to terminate them if you don't have an
ethernet to plug into.

>q6: Is there a FAQ for this group? Is there a list floating around of
> third party vendors?

Not that I know of... Here is a short list of used Sun resellers:

    Polaris Service 800-541-5831
    Industrial Electrosurplus 508-768-3480
    Laser Source 313-358-0659 x420
    Apex 206-883-4910
    Spectron Corp. 206-827-9317
    Minicomputer Exchange 408-733-4400
    Equipment Remarketing 617-267-8600

There is no Sun FAQ. I asked Dave Taylor who just reorganises the
Sun newsgroups.. to no avail. But something is needed, in particular
for the Sun3s. My sales rep claims she hasnot been at Sun long enough.
Only three years, but then they sold the machines just 2 years ago?
They often seem just not to want to remember..
What concerns the third party vendors, just look in the magazines
like Sun Observer, Unix today and such. I got a pile from
spending an hour at Sun Expo.

>q7: Is there a formal explanation of the 'right to use license'?

None found.

>q8: What do those flashing red LED's in the window just next to the aui/bnc
> ports do? (They 'flash', i know.) Why? What are they used for?

During boot and self tests, they indicate errors. While Unix is
running, they should blink in sequence.

These LEDs provide hardware diagnostics if something goes wrong. The
"walking" pattern you see when the system is running is an indicator
that it's operating normally. If you look at them when the system is
powered up, but halted, you should see a single one blinking. This is the
"heartbeat" indicator. If you see any other pattern, it means you have
either something mis-connected, or a genuine hardware problem. They will
go through different patterns while the system is doing its power-up
diagnostics. This doesn't indicate a problem unless it persists more than
2-3 minutes. These are described in the hardware manuals. [..]

	Jeff Wandling   <>

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