SUMMARY: Solaris doesn't recognise RAM upgrade.

From: Hickey, George <>
Date: Tue Mar 15 2005 - 14:43:41 EST
Hi Gurus,
Firstly, a big, BIG thank you to all who replied to my original posting and
updates.... this is a great forum.  Again, a quick summary of the original
problem was that, after inserting  4 x 1GB DIMMs (3rd party) into a Sun Fire
280R, the server was only seeing 1GB (i.e. 4 x 256MB DIMMs).  
It has taken three weeks to get in a second kit from the company who
supplied the original one, install it, find exactly the same problem, source
original Sun memory and, having received that this evening, install that.
Guess what, where both 3rd party kits failed, the Sun kit worked.
So, to summarise:
a) The SimpleTech STS7050/4G (4x 1GB DIMM) memory kit is not recognised as
1GB DIMMs in a Sun Fire 280R with a single 900MHz UltraSPARC III+ (v2.3)
installed - the DIMMs are picked up as 256MB.  I think this is some sort of
compatibility issue with this particular CPU.
b) The Sun X7063A (4x 1GB DIMM) memory kit is recognised just fine on the
same machine.
c)  I have a hunch that the Sun X7052A (4x 1GB DIMM) memory kit may not work
properly with this server as it is configured.  For your information, that
is the Sun kit for which the SimpleTech STS7050/4G is offered as a
replacement.  Unfortunately, it's only a hunch - there isn't any
documentation on the SunSolve site that would back this up except for the
fact that Sun released 3 different versions of the 4x 1GB DIMM memory kit
for the 280R - the X7052A was the first kit they released and the X7063A
(which is what we just bought) is the third and last release of the kit.
d)  The company who originally supplied me with the SimpleTech memory said
that they had supplied 8 other customers with the same kit in the last 12
months and none of them had any problems - unfortunately, I have no idea as
to their CPU configurations and wasn't able to find out.
Anyways - the problem is now solved and one benefit of this whole process is
I now have a server which is patched right up to date!  
Thanks once again and best regards
-----Original Message-----
From: Hickey, George 
Sent: 22 February 2005 11:58
To: ''
Subject: UPDATE 2: Solaris doesn't recognise RAM upgrade.

Hi Gurus,
I haven't had the chance to get back to this problem until yesterday - a
quick summary of the problem is that, after adding  4 x 1GB DIMMs to a Sun
Fire 280R, the server is only seeing 1GB (i.e. 4 x 256MB DIMMs).  
On the recommendation of the company who supplied the memory, I installed
the Solaris Kernel patch 108528-29... this involved having to install a
whole bunch of other patches but the net result was that it didn't make a
difference, the problem was still there afterward.
I tried adding in the original 4 x 256MB DIMMs into Bank 1 to see if it
would force it to recognise the 4 x 1GB DIMMs in Bank 0 - no difference.  At
the same time, I double checked that all of the DIMMs were in the correct
slots and they are.
I also updated the firmware to the latest available revision (118323-01),
again this didn't make a difference.
The oddest thing is that the POST sees the 1GB DIMMs, as well as the
original 256MB DIMMs....
0:0>Basic Memory Test.....
0:0>Probe and Setup Memory
0:0>INFO:   2048MB Bank 0
0:0>INFO:    512MB Bank 1
0:0>INFO:   2048MB Bank 2
0:0>INFO:    512MB Bank 3
but once you get to the OBP level, it is only seeing 256MB DIMMs...
Sun Fire 280R (UltraSPARC-III+) , No Keyboard
Copyright 1998-2004 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
OpenBoot 4.16.4, 2048 MB memory installed, Serial #53719168.

The 1GB DIMMs were purchased as a kit from by the company who
supplied us - the kit number is STS7050/4G and it is supposed to be the
equivalent to the Sun X7052A (501-5031) memory kit.  On the SimpleTech site,
the STS7050/4G kit is listed as being compatible with the Sun Fire 280R
running a UltraSPARC IIi at 750MHz - we are running an UltraSPARC III+ at
900MHz and that is not listed on their compatibility matrix.  I've sent a
support request to them asking them whether or not that is a problem.... I
was wondering if anyone else had an opinion?  
There isn't any mention on the Sun site as to whether or not the X7052A kit
only applied to certain versions of the Sun Fire 280R but the kit has been
replaced twice by newer versions and is no longer available... this would
give me a niggling suspicion that the X7052A may only apply to earlier
versions of the 280R - again, does anyone know for definite one way or
The only other possibility at this stage that I can see is faulty hardware
but it's the oddest hardware fault I've ever come across!  Any feedback you
may have will be gratefully appreciated and, of course, I will summarise.
Thanks and best regards
-----Original Message-----
From: Hickey, George 
Sent: 16 February 2005 12:47
To: ''
Subject: UPDATE: Solaris doesn't recognise RAM upgrade.

Hi all,
Firstly, thank you to Casper Dik, Santhan Perampalam, Richard Winfield, Neil
Quiogue and David Harrington for your prompt replies.  The general consensus
confirms what I originally thought, that it should be just plug and play and
that the machine should simply have recognised the new RAM.  I am going to
have to wait until later on this evening before I can bring down the server
and have another look inside.  I will post a summary of what I find.
Thanks again Gurus!
ps. I had found this in my searches but it was also recommended by several
of the above mentioned.... that is the 'memconf' utility. It is a Perl
script and it's available on the developer's website at: <> 

-----Original Message-----
From: Hickey, George 
Sent: 16 February 2005 09:28
Subject: Solaris doesn't recognise RAM upgrade.

Hi gurus,


We have a SunFire 280R (1x 900MHz SPARC) here that we recently upgraded the
memory on - we replaced 4x 256MB DIMMs with 4x 1024MB DIMMs.  We just did a
straight swap of the DIMMs, did a "boot -r" and brought the system up... the
following came up in the POST:


0>Memory in non-interleave config:........... OK1.0            par f

0>      Bank 0   2048MB : 00000000.00000000 -> 00000000.80000000.

0>      Bank 2   2048MB : 00000002.00000000 -> 00000002.80000000.plication
Server ............................. OK                


As it had been recognised at the hardware level, I assumed that we had been
successful as I wasn't aware of any configuration changes that would need to
be done on the OS.  Silly assumption to make as it turns out - I was away
last week and when I got back, our DBA told me that Solaris was only seeing
1GB of memory.


Sure enough, looking at the system using the 'prtconf' and 'prtdiag'
commands, the output is showing that there is only 1024MB (4x256MB DIMMs)


# prtconf

System Configuration:  Sun Microsystems  sun4u

Memory size: 1024 Megabytes


# prtdiag

System Configuration:  Sun Microsystems  sun4u Sun Fire 280R

System clock frequency: 150 MHz

Memory size: 1024 Megabytes


========================= CPUs


          Run    E$    CPU     CPU

Brd  CPU  MHz    MB   Impl.    Mask

---  ---  ----  ----  -------  ----

 A    0    900   8.0  US-III+  2.3


========================= Memory Configuration


           Logical  Logical  Logical

      MC   Bank     Bank     Bank         DIMM    Interleave  Interleaved

 Brd  ID   num      size     Status       Size    Factor      with

----  ---  ----     ------   -----------  ------  ----------  -----------

 CA    0     0       512MB   no_status     256MB     2-way        0

 CA    0     2       512MB   no_status     256MB     2-way        0



I've searched this and several other forums, run google searches all to no
avail - my question is, how do I get Solaris to recognise that we have
changed the memory? We are running Solaris 8 2/02 - output of 'uname -a' is
as follows:

# uname -a

SunOS ibtsfinance 5.8 Generic_108528-21 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Fire-280R

Any help you can offer will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks and best regards

George Hickey
Unix Systems Administrator
Irish Blood Transfusion Service
National Blood Centre
James's Street
Dublin 8
' 00 353 1 432 2845
Fax 00 353 1 432 2930



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Received on Tue Mar 15 14:44:19 2005

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