Summary: SS 2 Crashes starting vmunix

From: Ian MacPhedran (
Date: Thu Sep 26 1991 - 20:48:13 CDT

I'm sorry to have delayed so long in sending this summary out. I was
intending to do it at the start of this week, but things have been hectic.

My query was about a SparcStation 2 which appears to be normal, but would
crash when booted. All the prom tests would work, and the boot file and
vmunix would load, but when vmunix started to run, the screen goes black,
and the machine is DEAD.

I am not in a position to confirm what the problem is exactly, the Sun
has gone off to be repaired. The majority of the respondents felt it may
be a software problem, but we now feel it is a hardware problem. The
suggestions were:

1) kernel doesn't have the driver for whatever frame buffer built in?
> No, the kernel has the required devices in it.

2) Try Patch-ID# 100232-01.
> I did this, and should have tried it earlier, after rereading the
> bug description. Unfortunately, it didn't work.

3) recompile VMUNIX or restore it from a backup - make sure important
   binaries are not corrupted.
> As I had to recompile a new vmunix to try (2), this wasn't the problem.

4) swapfile created with mkfile -n can cause similar problems when the
   swap space is increased.
> No, originally the only swap space was on the hard disk's b partition.
> This is something I will keep in mind for our diskless clients.

5) hardware fault, phone an engineer
> This appears to be the proper answer. :-)

6) same problem results from a bad or marginal SIMM module
> It appears that this type of problem is not detected by the prom tests,
> and I'm "betting" on it to be our problem.

I wish to express my thanks to: (Anthony A. Datri) (Emmett Hogan) (Kevin W. Thomas) (Angela Thomas Hoynowski) (Rick Dipper) (Chuck Foley)
for their help with this problem.

Ian MacPhedran, Engineering Computer Centre, University of Saskatchewan.
2B13 Engineering Building, U. of S. Campus, Saskatoon, Sask., CANADA S7N 0W0
macphed@dvinci.USask.CA macphedran@sask.USask.CA

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