SUMMARY: 280R broken console settings

From: Christina Plummer <>
Date: Fri Jul 15 2005 - 11:37:21 EDT
Thank you to everyone who responded, especially Matt Ungaro, Bernd
Schemmer, and Barry L. Freese who zeroed in on the RSC card.

It turned out that the system did have an RSC card that had been
previously set up with an IP address, and so we were able to telnet in and
bring up the console that way.  (The system was waiting for an fsck, and
was able to boot normally after that was completed.)  Connecting to the
serial port on the RSC with an RJ45 adapter probably would have also

Apparently, if we hadn't been able to get in that way (I was shocked that
the owner actually found the username/password that had been set up to log
in to the RSC), we also could have pulled out the RSC card, powered up,
and connected to the regular serial A port.

Now that the machine is up, I can run eeprom and see the input and output


Thanks, everyone!

  -- Christina

Original note:

I've been asked to help try and fix a 280R that was inadvertently shut
down and now won't come back up.  I am guessing that it is just waiting
for a manual fsck, but I cannot get to the console to check.  It has been
running headless for a long time, and no one seems to know how the console
had previously been set up.  There does seem to be a PCI graphics card
with a VGA port installed.  The serial A port had been connected to a UPS.

So far, we have tried the following:

1. Connecting a monitor to the VGA port and USB keyboard/mouse.  Result:
no signal to monitor (amber light).

2. Connecting a serial null modem cable from the serial A port on the 280R
(I unplugged the cable to the UPS first) to the serial B port on an old
Ultra 1 and running 'tip hardwire'.  Result: The tip command says
"connected", but hitting return does not give any output.

In terms of equipment, I have a long null modem cable, an ASCII (WYSE)
terminal, and a "DB-25 to ethernet" adapter thingy.  I haven't tried the
ASCII terminal yet, because it isn't easy to get over to where the machine
is, and I thought that the tip should work.  But I'm not sure whether the
OBP is set to send console output to the graphics card or the TTYA port.

The next thing I was thinking of trying was to do the "stop-N" equivalent
of hitting the power button twice quickly after powering off and powering
back on again.  I understand that this should temporarily set the NVRAM
settings back to the "defaults" -- but I don't know what those defaults
might be.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!

Christina Plummer	       christina dot plummer at rochester dot edu
UNIX Systems Administrator		  Information Technology Services
University of Rochester			 		    (585)275-2239
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Received on Fri Jul 15 11:37:50 2005

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