Summary: PROM Password

From: Don Cary Grant (
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 08:18:46 CDT

Sun Managers,

Thanks to all who responded and offered their excellent advice. When we
first attempted to access the SS20 servers everything looked very grim.
But after reading Sun-Managers mailing list archives and reading through
the awesome responses we received, we where able to gain access to each
system and reset the eeprom security-mode to none.

Let me try to briefly summarize the responses we received and what
finally worked for our weird situation. The majority of the responses
recommend to login as root and then enter eeprom security-mode=none (to
disable eeprom-security) from the command line. And, if we would like
to set a new password set eeprom to security-mode=command.

Several people suggested we could blow away all the eeprom settings by
using STOP-D or by hold down the STOP-A + N for 10 seconds during
reboot. This was going to be our last resort before replacing the NVRAM
all together. A few mentioned that you can pull out the prom, remove
one of the little connectors on the prom and you won't be prompted for a
password, we didn't have the guts to try that.

Some suggested using the link
which will tell you how to reset the PROM password. This URL was very
informative and helped us understand a great deal about the NVRAM.

To add salt to injury we didn't have the root password for the SS20's as
well. The SS20's came to us with the internal disks not being
configured, so when the systems where powered up luckily it tried to
boot from the network. We found out very quickly when the PROM password
is set you do not have many options.

After reading all the information and seeing what options where left we
decided to configured a tftpboot server and add each SPARCstation 20's
ethernet address to the /etc/ethers file and ran the add_install_client
script located on a Solaris 7 CD. Once the systems booted off of the
network "tftpboot servers cdrom", we opened up a command tool terminal
and issued the eeprom security-mode=none command and rebooted. WOW!!! it

Again, thanks to everyone who responded, each response helped us a great
deal. It's commendable to know that even working on Mothers Day you can
receive so much support from this mailing list.

Special Thanx to:
Dennis Riddick
David Evans
Lee Trujillo
Dheeraj Jangalwa
Marco Greene
James Chen
Adrian Saidac
Chuck Smoko
Buddy Lumpkin
Gary Jenson
Moti Levy
Craig Whytock
Tom Crummey
Ken Weschler
Serg `Ice` Tsyganenko
Petersen, Dwight

Many, many more!!!!
Original message:

My company has just recently acquired two Sun SPARC 20's from a company
that sells used Sun equipment. Our problem now is that each system is
PROM password protected and the used Sun equipment reseller has
forgotten what the passwords are.

Is there anyway we can override or change the password to null?

Best Regards,
Don Grant

Unix is very user-friendly.  It's just picky who its friends are.
Don C. Grant                    G & A Networking/Consulting, LLC.
Senior Systems Engineer         7413 Six Forks Road Suite # 147
919.783.4141 (O)                Raleigh, NC 27615-6164
919.832.1561 (F)      

Please call or e-mail me if you have any other questions on this issue.

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