SUMMARY: memory problems on sparc 5

From: Randy Olsson ISG (
Date: Tue Nov 29 1994 - 04:42:18 CST

Original Post:
> I have a sparc 5 running Solaris 2.3 and the 2.3Recommended patches.
> I run Sybase SQL server 10.1 on it. I had poor performance with 16MB
> of RAM so I upgraded it to 64MB of RAM. When I did this, Sybase started
> having all kinds of problems. Anything over 16MB seemed to cause problems.
> I tried 32MB, 48MB, and 64MB.
> I have run diagnostics and no errors are detected. I also configured a
> completely different set of hardware (sparc 5, disks, and all) and ran into
> the same problem with the new machine.
> It seems that Sybase will not run on the sparc 5 with more than 16MB of RAM.
> I tried a sparc 10 with 32MB RAM and it works fine.

Haven't fixed this one yet - but here are the responses so far.
Additional info:
I have 200MB of swap space on each sparc 5.
I have 2 separate sparc 5 hosts that I have problems with. Each came with
16MB of mem. I ordered 2 8MB SIMMS and 1 32MB SIMM. The hosts run fine
with 16MB installed - whether it is the original memory or the new. I
have problems when I go above the 16MB point. I have tried the 32MB SIMM
in the first slot.
The memory is from Sun - not 3rd party. Can't tell who makes the chips.
Haven't taken Patrick's suggestion of using the original SIMMS from both
Sparcs in 1 box. I'll do it when I can take both off-line at the same time.

Thanks for all the help.

From: johnm@thor (John McWillams)
I dont no what size SIMM's you are using to expand your memory but
if they are 8 meg simms they should just slot in ,but if they are
32 Meg simms these ones (32 meg) should be put in the first slots and the
8 meg simms should go in the remaining slots.

From: Dave Fetrow <>
 Do you have at least 2x the swap space as the RAM? Otherwise it
will be really nasty.

From: (Martin Achilli)
Did you increase swap space also ?

From: Patrick Buryk <>
        Clues?... Only one... Since you upgraded, I suspect the actual RAM
        (SIMMs) you used:

                - Are they indeed the same types of SIMMs that Sun uses for a
                - Did you use the same SIMMs in the "other" SPARC5 or different
                  (ie batch or manufacturer) SIMMs? This is significant as the
                  SIMMs used in the first system, if bad, would produce the
                  same type of error in the second system. But... if the -type-
                  of SIMMs you used in the second system are the same as the
                  first, then the same type of problem would exist iff that
                  particular type of SIMM was not compatable with the SPARC5
                  in general.

        What I would try... since you have -2- SPARC5 systems:

                Use the SIMMs from the second SPARC5 for the memory expansion
                in the first SPARC5. This you can verify whether your problem
                is based upon the type of SIMMs you chose, a bad SIMM or set
                of SIMMs or a general problem concerning the SPARC5/Sybase/
                memory upgrade combo.

        FYI... I've seen problems where certain "SPARC10 compatable" memory
        booted up... passed diags... but would fail (panic the system) when
        a certain application was used.

From: Gustavo Vegas <gustavo@UUCP>
There have been problems with a large number of SS5 SIMMS manufactured
with defective chips. I have seen the problem with Toshiba chips, but one
SIMM manufactured with chips other than Toshiba gave me problems also.
The problems are NASTY (machine crashes violently at different times, or
it even refuses to boot) but the usual diagnostics do not seem to identify
the problem(s).

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