SUMMARY Re: Solaris 8 (04/01) and Ultra 1/200E incompatible?

From: James Noyes <>
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 23:00:45 EDT
Problem found, fix is pending - one additional question follows.

Thanks to all who offered suggestions.  Unfortunately, I was barking up the 
wrong tree, trying to blame software for a hardware issue.

Original problem, snipped for brevity:
> - Sun Ultra1/200E
> - ffb0 frame buffer
> - 448Mb RAM
> - Toshiba XM-5401B CD-ROM
> - Openboot prom 3.25
>    Tried to install the latest (04/01) Solaris 8, booting from the
> Software 1 
> of 2 CD, and I keep getting a recurring failure.  Failure always occurs
> during 
> boot, just before you would expect to see the "configuring /dev and
> /devices" 
> message.  Most of the time it is a "panic [cpu0] thread=xxxxxx" message
> and a 
> system lock-up.  Every so often, it gives a watchdog reset instead and
> drops to 
> the "ok" prompt, which remains responsive.
> Interestingly, I am able to boot Solaris 7 (10/98), Solaris 2.6 (5/98)
> and 
> Solaris 8 Early Access/Beta Refesh consistently, with NO signs of panic
> or 
> watchdog, regardless of the system's configuration!

After getting access to additional Ultra 1's today, I proved to myself without 
a doubt that there is no compatibility issue between Solaris 8 and Ultra 1's.  
Both my downloaded burns and the original Sun media were able to boot other 
Ultra 1 systems with no sign of problems.  Armed with that information, I went 
back and attacked the "problem" Ultra more dilligently.

It seems one particular hard drive from this system is having intermittent 
problems that Solaris 8 (release version) is triggering.  With this drive out 
of the system, all is well, and the machine is stable.  With this drive in the 
system, SCSI operation turns completely unpredictable.  The intermittent nature 
of the drive's problems unfortunately made it quite hard to isolate.  
Interesting to note, whatever is wrong with the drive is not triggered by 
Solaris 7, nor the Solaris 8 Beta Refresh, since they have no problems 
whatsoever installing and running with the drive in the system.

I have reason to believe Synchronous Transfers are involved, and now I'd like 
to confirm it.  I did install this drive in a conventional PC with an Adaptec 
2940UW, and was subjected to similar SCSI misbehaving and system lock-ups.
BUT - Setting the "Enable Sync Negotiation" option for the drive to "NO" in the 
adapter's BIOS appeared to eliminate them.  This leads to my...

Follow-up question:

Is it possible to make a similar setting in Solaris?  That is, to explicitly 
disable Sync Negotiation for a particular target on a particular SCSI 
controller?  If not, I'll probably be forced to retire & replace this drive.  
This isn't entirely a bad idea, I realize, but I hate to just throw away 4+ 
gigs of storage that CAN be used, even if it's just to get me by until I can 
requisition another drive.


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Received on Tue May 15 04:00:45 2001

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