SUMMARY: Hostid changed itself after reboot

From: Karen Barrett (
Date: Wed Aug 09 2000 - 13:14:03 CDT

Lots of folks suggested that I use software or kernel changes to set the hostid
to be what I want it to be. It sounds good, but I'd rather not have to "fudge"
it that way and really get down to the bottom of the problem. Several people
pointed me to for help on how to change the hostid. I don't
think I'll use it but it's good to know anyway! Thanks!

What I'm starting to wonder is whether or not the Sun engineer really did
replace the nvram chip after all? Maybe he accidentally put the original one
back in (it was 4am when it happened). We both thought he did it correctly, but
I can't seem to find any other answer. Then again, we don't seem to be having
problems with the battery anymore either, which is why we replaced it to begin
with. ??

Thanks to:

Tim Carlson
Ravi Kuppanna
David Robillard
Bill Armand
Craig Raskin
Steve Turgeon
Rakesh S
Ron Giddings
Mike Salehi
Oliver Hemming
Rob Rheault

My original post...

>I was hoping maybe that someone could help explain to me how a hostid is
obtained when a system
>is booted. I know it is stored on a PROM chip on the clock board, but is that
>stored elsewhere? (ie, on the i/o boards as well perhaps?) I am talking about
a 4500 machine,
>Solaris 2.6.
>We had a situation here where a machine was rebooted last night and came back
with a different
>hostid! No kidding! I'm not crazy, it really did. I know because I now have
a bunch of
>software licenses that worked yesterday but are invalid today, plus we save
system configuration
>information for all our machines and I checked what it looked like yesterday.
>Here's a little history...
>The machine is a 4500, with 2 system boards, 3 i/o boards, Solaris 2.6. Two
months ago we had a
>problem when this system crashed and we lost all the nvram settings. Sun
recommended at the
>time that we replace the clock board since that's where the battery is that
holds those
>settings. When we did this, it also changed the hostid since the battery and
chip that holds
>the hostid apparently go hand in hand.
>We recovered our nvram settings by copying them from one of the i/o boards,
which from what I'm
>seeing in testing today should have brought the original hostid back onto the
clock board. But
>when we booted the problem system after replacing the clock board, we had a new
hostid and have
>been living with that ever since. After last night's shutdown however, I find
we are back to
>using the original hostid! What am I missing here? I don't really care what
the hostid is, as
>long as it doesn't keep switching on us because of license software.
>I spoke with Sun this morning and they are stumped. Any insight into how or
where hostid
>information is stored would be greatly appreciated.

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