SUMMARY: SS10 won't boot "Can't open boot device" (fwd)

From: Mark Herberger (
Date: Tue Aug 10 1993 - 04:49:54 CDT

Thanks to all for the responses. I have had this problem before, and have tried
all of the things suggested (included below).

Usually, a tap on the side of the drive (with drive in-hand) will result in the
system booting (continued tapping will result in disk damage, believe me). The
probe-scsi will reveal the presence of the drive, but at boot time, the device
will not spin-up.

I have heard the "lubrication" recommendation before, but that was in
relationship to the old 105 Meg drives, not the 1.05 G's. Sun said that they had
not heard of this problem before on the 1.05 G.

The problem will come and go, but ultimately the drive will fail. Seems
like a mechanical problem, IMHO.

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1993 20:44:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Herberger <>
Subject: SS10 won't boot "Can't open boot device"


The system was not shutdown clean, and will not boot (someone yanked the


SCSI device 3,0 is not responding

Can't boot device

The device is a 1.05 G internal disk.





 There are a couple things to try.

 While the machine is off, give it a lateral whack on the side and try
 again. Some disks have a striction problem.

 Leave it off and unplugged for a minute ot two before trying again,
 I don't know why this works...

 (Ugly) open up the box and make sure everything is plugged in right,
 if the box was jerked hard enough a cable could work lose (unlikely).

   -dave     fetrow-		INTERNET:
   FAX: 206-543-3286		BITNET:		fetrow@uwalocke


Presumably you have given this machine an alternative boot up strategy such as booting from a server somewhere else, just in case you trashed the local disk?

Henry Katz

Guess - the disc has been damaged. Try opening th ebox and reseating the cables?

jeff Tate


Does the disk show up in probe-scsi?

Can you boot from cdrom, and look at the filesystem?

Dan Stromberg - OAC/DCS _______________________________________________________________________________

Reboot off cdrom and re-run installboot to fix the possibly damaged bootblock. See installboot(8)

Then run fsck on the root and usr file systems before rebooting.

Regards Peter ---------- Peter Samuel Email: Telstra - OTC Australia Phone: +61 2 339 3953 Fax: +61 2 339 3688 Computer and Network Services Snail: GPO Box 7000, Sydney 2001, Australia _______________________________________________________________________________

Type from the new-bootprom (the one with the 'ok'-prompt):


It should give you a list of found scsi-devices. If the disk with target-id 3 is not in this list, this could mean 3 things (I think):

1. Broken scsi-bus. 2. Broken disk. 3. It might be that there is just a fuse blown on either the motherboard (but then the system should not come up), or on the scsi-controller.


- Try to power-cycle the machine. If the scsi-bus is hung, this somethimes helps. - Put the disk in another Sun (watch your target-id's), see if it responds to probe-scsi in that machine.

Hope this helps,

Edward *----------------------------------------------------------------* | Edward Kroeze | University Of Twente, | | | Dept. Of Computer Science, B&O-group, | | | P.O. Box 217, | | | 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands | *------------------------+---------------------------------------* I'm just your average Usenetter: I want it all, I want it now and I want it for free... _______________________________________________________________________________

There is a possibility that the disk drive head is sticking to the spindle causing the drive not to spin up. I neat trick that can be used to correct this is take the drive in hand and tap the top with an end of a screw driver. This has worked for me alot.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+ |Ted Whitely Unix Tech. Support | |System Administrator Ford Motor Company | |TSD Systems Group Danou Technical Center | |Internet: 16630 Southfield Rd. | |Phone: (313) 390-5259 Allen Park, MI 48101 | |FAX #: U.S.A. | +------------------------------------------------------------------------+ _______________________________________________________________________________

are there any other scsi devices on the chain? if not, put a terminated device out there and try it again. to save a little time, use probe-scsi at the okay prompt. if it isn't seen there, unix sure won't see it.

good luck,

bill _______________________________________________________________________________

Try to bring up single user, then fsck the disk, or try to install the 'mini-root' from your CDROM SunOS disk, then try to fsck the disk.

Ronald Donnelly Fuji Capital Markets (UK) Ltd Sys Admin London, UK +44 71 628 9333


Mark, You didn't say what kind of system you had, but you can try some obvious (and not so obvious) things:

1) Check SCSI fuses on motherboard. They may look OK but still be bad. Try switching them for each other (on my Sparc 1+ there are two) and see if the symptom changes. (The fuses don't look like regular BUS fuses. They look like little 1/4" light bulbs.)

2) Check for damaged/loose cords or cables inside cabinet.

3) Take the internal disk out of the cabinet, give it a firm smack on the back (not the side with the circuit board!) and put it back in. Strange I know, but it has worked on a couple drives we had. The "lubricant" on the drive motor actually causes it to stick, and not spin up. A good smack frees it up.

Hope these help.


******************************************************************************* * John D. Schneider Internet: * * Research Computing Consortium Telephone: (314)537-6808 * * Monsanto Company - Mail Zone GG3I _________________________________________* * 700 Chesterfield Parkway North | "No sciences are better tested than * * St. Louis, Missouri 63198 | the religion of the Bible." * * | - Sir Isaac Newton * ******************************************************************************* _______________________________________________________________________________

Check to see if you can at least:

ok probe-scsi

and get a recognition from the disk. If not, then you could either need a new SCSI controller or a new disk. If a sun disk, you may get sun to just replace the card on the disk.

If you do get a recognition from the disk and it still can't boot, then you may need to reformat unless you can boot off of the cd and try fscking with a backup superblock (I've never tried this before but it might work).

Ciao for now, Kevin _______________________________________________________________________________

Sounds like the disk is not responding to signals on the SCSI bus. I would try shutting power off to the system for 3 minutes and then powering it back on again and see if the problem goes away.. possibly you restored power too quickly and the disk logic was left in a confused state. While the system is powered down, shut down any external SCSI devices also.

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