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Blade 1000 motherboard in Blade 2000.

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Dave, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I know this issue has come up before, but I've never seen a definitive

    I have a Sun Blade 2000 (2 x 1200 MHz, 8 GB RAM), which got hit by
    lightning. The Ethernet connector on the motherboard has blown up. I've
    got an Ultra 27 on order to replace this, but I'd like to keep a SPARC
    machine, so want to repair this. (As all the slots were used, and I had
    to pull out a PCI card so I could fit a quad fast ethernet card, I
    decided to try to repair this, rather than leave a QFE board in it.

    I bought a used Blade *1000* on eBay, with no disks and 1 GB of RAM. It
    cost me £43 which was less than I could buy a motherboard for!

    The part number on the motherboard is 501 4143. According to the 'Sun
    Blade 2000 - Full Components List'


    there are 4 different part numbers for the Blade 2000's motherboard.

    Option # ManufacturingPart# Description
    n/a 501-4143 0MB FRU (SCHIZO <=2.1)
    n/a 501-5938 0MB FRU (SCHIZO 2.2)
    n/a 501-6230 0MB FRU (SCHIZO >=2.2)
    n/a 501-6560 0MB FRU (SCHIZO 2.5)

    I assume the 'SCHIZO <=2.1' means this is an older design (not
    surprising, as I bought a Blade 1000, not a 2000).

    Should this support the 1200 MHz CPUs from my Blade 2000?

    Does anyone know what the differences between these 4 part numbers is?

    Were there any issues with the earlier boards for the Blade 2000?


    I respectfully request that this message is not archived by companies as
    unscrupulous as 'Experts Exchange' . In case you are unaware,
    'Experts Exchange' take questions posted on the web and try to find
    idiots stupid enough to pay for the answers, which were posted freely
    by others. They are leeches.
    Dave, Oct 14, 2009
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  2. Dave

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    O.K. Did it work with the QFE? It should, unless some other
    part of the system board was also damaged.
    The oldest of the system boards.
    If it is listed as one of the possible ones for the Sun Blade
    2000, then yes, it should work.
    Other than the different SCHIZO numbers -- no. I know that the
    SCHIZO is a chip on the board -- but I have no idea what it does, or
    what effect the older versions have.
    The board you have is the only one listed in my dead-tree
    edition of the FEH (Field Engineer's Handbook). The on-line one from
    SunShack in OZ lists five system boards, the four you have listed, and

    The board you have is not compatible with the Sun Fire 280R,
    presumably because it lacks the connector for the RSC/LOM card. This is
    no problem for the Sun Blade 1000 or 2000.

    But the most important ones are these from the UltraSPARC III Cu

    3) The 900 MHz "UltraSPARC III Cu" requires OPB >= 4.4 Version 6
    4) Support for 1 GHz processors is in OPB 4.5 Version 16
    5) The minimum recommended OBP for 1015/1050 MHz is 4.5 Version 16

    which suggests to me that the 1.2 GHz CPUs (which are also "Cu" type)
    need the same versions as the 1015/1050 MHz ones.

    I'm running the 501-6230 system board in all of my compatible
    systems (SF-280R, SB-1000, and SB-2000). All have been upgraded to
    OBP 4.16.4,POST 4.16.3,OBDIAG 4.16.4 using the following downloaded file
    from Sun: 118323-01.zip

    Does your used system come with CPUs? If so, I strongly suggest
    that you upgrade the firmware (flash it) using the old CPUs before
    moving the board to the SB-2000, as I get the impression that you can't
    run well enough with the old OBP firmware and the new CPUs to install
    the firmware patch.

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Oct 15, 2009
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  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Yes. The Blade 2000 was not the only item destroyed either - 5 bits of
    computer hardware all got hit.
    With a quad core 3.33 GHz processor the Ultra 27 should be a bit quicker
    than my Blade 2000. I just wish I knew when I was going to get the U27.
    I've not even got a delivery date yet. It is assembled to order, so I
    gather can take 4-6 weeks. The order was placed a couple of weeks ago.
    It had a SunPCi card too, which suffered the same fate - blown Ethernet

    But otherwise it works fine with the QFE card. I'm well aware lightning
    can cause latent damage that does not show immediately, but so far
    nothing has gone wrong.

    Yes, I thought that.
    A Google did not help me find what this SCHIZO thing is


    is a patch needed for specific SCHIZO's, and the link above even shows
    how to get the version of the SCHIZO from prtdiag -v, for some systems.
    But it does not work on my Blade 2000, so I don't know what I have in
    here. I will at some point open the case, but I obviously need to shut
    the machine down for that.
    The type of CPUs in the Blade 2000 is 'Cu' too - it says that on them.
    I'm told they are 900 MHz, but I have not verified that yet. It appears
    to have OpenBoot 4.5 installed. I'm a bit puzzled by the 'zPU seeprom
    format: 0000.0000.0000.0002' A google shows references to 'CPU seeprom
    format: 0000.0000.0000.0002' which tend to appear when people have
    problems with booting. This hoots ok from CD-ROM, so it will boot.

    [email protected]:[~] $ tip hardwire

    CPU seeprom format: 0000.0000.0000.0002
    SUNW,Sun-Blade-1000 (2 X UltraSPARC-III+) , No Keyboard
    Copyright 1998-2002 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
    OpenBoot 4.5, 2048 MB memory installed, Serial #16457033.
    Ethernet address 8:0:20:fb:1d:49, Host ID: 80fb1d49.

    after typing reset-all, there is no such message.
    I'll do likewise before trying this with the 1200 MHz CPUs.
    Yes, it has a pair of 900 MHz CPUs. I've got some other FCAL disks
    around, so will install the latest firmware before trying it with the
    newer CPUs.

    I had to decide which Blade 1000 to buy. There was this one with a pair
    of CPUs but no disks for £43


    and this one, with a 36 GB disk, but only one CPU for £603.


    Perhaps the seller of the latter auction is hoping to find a Sun fan
    that has escaped from a lunatic asylum. Who else would pay around $1000
    for a used Blade 1000?

    It's strange this system. Its either not been used, or been used in a
    very clean environment, as there is no dust inside it at all. Also, the
    number of power cycles is only 25, and I reckon 5 of them must have been
    me. So for a used machine to have only been power cycled 20 times seems
    quite low. (Most I have bought have been in the hundreds).


    I respectfully request that this message is not archived by companies as
    unscrupulous as 'Experts Exchange' . In case you are unaware,
    'Experts Exchange' take questions posted on the web and try to find
    idiots stupid enough to pay for the answers, which were posted freely
    by others. They are leeches.
    Dave, Oct 15, 2009
  4. * DoN. Nichols:

    SCHIZO is the "Northbridge" that connects the expansion slots and the
    other I/O ports (i.e. USB) to the CPUs. Older revisions had some strange
    bugs which could drive you crazy if you fell into them (which however
    was quite rare).

    Benjamin Gawert, Oct 16, 2009
  5. * Dave:
    It is the Northbridge (connects the I/O ports to the CPUs).
    Considering that there often still are offers for Sun Ultra 250 and 450
    in the high hundreds or even over 1k I think this offer is a real
    bargain ;-)

    Benjamin Gawert, Oct 16, 2009
  6. Dave

    Dave Guest

    OK, thank you for that. I think I'll check the version of the board in
    my Blade 2000 and if it is newer, I might decide not to replace the
    board for a working, but older one, and put up with the non-functional
    Ethernet port. I do not wish to swap one problem for another.

    However, I think my Blade 2000 was made in 2002, and I believe the Blade
    1000 I bought was also made in 2002, so its possible they have the same
    board anyway. I'll check my board version first.

    I quite like my Blade 2000, and want to keep it working, despite the
    fact I should soon have a quad 3.333 GHz Xeon Sun. I spend some of my
    spare time helping on the Sage open-source project, and particularly on
    Solaris support, so I must have a SPARC box. The Blade 2000 is the best
    SPARC I have.

    I respectfully request that this message is not archived by companies as
    unscrupulous as 'Experts Exchange' . In case you are unaware,
    'Experts Exchange' take questions posted on the web and try to find
    idiots stupid enough to pay for the answers, which were posted freely
    by others. They are leeches.
    Dave, Oct 16, 2009
  7. [snip]
    I have a SF 280R which suffered the same fate as your Blade 2000. There
    was a thunderstorm, maybe five years ago, which took out my cable modem,
    a couple of ethernet switches, and the ethernet port in the SF 280R.
    Fortunately for me, the ethernet port in the RSC card survived, and the
    machine had a gigabit ethernet card installed but not connected. I
    reconfigured it to use the gigabit card and it has worked ever since.

    I'd recommend that you do the same with your Blade 2000. Save yourself a
    pile of work, and keep the Blade 1000 as a fully working spare machine.
    Tristram Scott, Oct 16, 2009
  8. Dave

    Huge Guest

    Dave, I'm sorry I missed the original posting, but I have a S/B 2000 with
    2x1.2GHz Cu processors, 2Gb (or it might be 4Gb, I forget!) of memory and
    2 x 73Gb disks here not doing anything that you're welcome to for a price
    which we can discuss. You'll have to collect, though, you know how much the
    damn things weigh...
    Huge, Oct 16, 2009
  9. Dave

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    Which suggests that the phone line (if your net connection comes
    in via phone) or cable (if that is the path for the net connection) is
    what really got hit, instead of the power line -- though a power line
    hit still is most likely to take out the items connected between the
    phone line and the power line).
    Only things close to the ethernet are very likely to have been
    Hmm ... was that "prtdiag -v | grep -i 'schizo'" ? In my
    Sun Fire 280R system, I get:

    Schizo 8 ok 5

    While the Sun Blade 2000 gives nothing.

    However -- to find your current system board, try this:

    prtfru | grep "Sun_Part_No: "

    and the first number returned will be the system board. Other part
    numbers include each DIMM. and I forget the rest.
    But just to find the part number for the system board, the above
    will work.
    O.K. Though the auction which you show has some interesting
    things based on the photos:

    1) Only one of the two CPUs is a "Cu" type -- the second one is
    missing the green sticker. (Though it could still be "Cu", and
    examination of the orange barcode on the CPU module will be
    needed to be sure -- and that requires a shutdown and removal of
    the CPU modules to be able to see that.

    2) The color of the case is that of a SB-2000. The SB-1000 has a
    gray front panel, and a lighter size color. But the Bezel
    around the DVD-ROM drive is SB-1000, both by marking and color.

    3) The Torque screwdriver supplied is that for the SB-1000 (second
    photo -- the green thing between the two FC-AL disk slots is the
    carrier for the formed loop torque driver supplied with the
    SB-1000. The SB-2000 usually comes with the later
    torque-limiting screwdriver style which lives in a bright green
    clip in the compartment were the DVD-ROM drive is mounted.

    4) The screen shot says "Sun-Blade-1000", but it does so even on
    SB-2000 systems, so that is no true indicator.

    5) The screen shot does say OBP 4.5.
    If you can simply swap the disks into it from your current one,
    you can boot that and use the prtdiag to get the list of CPU numbers,
    and look them up by that. 5016002 are the 900 MHz ones which I am
    running in my SF-280R. 5016485 are the 1200 MHz ones which I am running
    in my SB-2000.
    Probably it was moved into that system board from another. You
    found the cure with your reset-all.
    Though your 4.5 will probably work, since it does with the 900
    MHz CPUs. (If only one is a "Cu" 900 MHz, then you are using a mix of
    Cu and non-Cu types, which the FEH says is not supported. (But I do know
    that a mix of 900 MHz Cu and 1200 MHz Cu works for me, even though it is
    listed as not supported. :)
    Good practice, even if not needed.
    Comments above about that after examining the auction.
    And -- he does not say whether it is a "Cu" or non-Cu type. The
    900 MHz speed is the only one made in both styles.

    I presume that you were limiting your searches to those auctions
    local to the UK?
    Or -- it has been built up using components from multiple boxen,
    and each has been blown free of dust before re-assembly. The very old
    system board, the SB-1000 bezel, and the front panel and side panel
    colors matching the SB-2000 suggest this. Hmm ... while the colors are
    for the SB-2000, the logo is for the SB-1000. I wonder what may have
    been done in PhotoShop with those images.

    It also looks as though it has two framebuffers -- likely the
    Creator-3D ones, leaving all four PCI slots free.
    From the OBP prompt, type:

    setenv #power-cycles 0

    and see what that does. If not that, you can reset it from the eeprom
    command from a booted Solaris. (I forget which actually works, or
    whether both work.)
    Most have not had the count reset as part of the testing. (And
    perhaps the "reset-all" reset it too.

    DoN. Nichols, Oct 17, 2009
  10. Dave

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Aha! Thanks much. And the name actually makes sense that way,
    being the joining of the PC world (PCI) and the SPARC world.

    Again, thanks,
    DoN. Nichols, Oct 17, 2009
  11. Dave

    David Lesher Guest

    I always put a switch between the modem, be it the DSL or Cable ilk,
    and the rest of the LAN. It's a good sacrifice to Murphy.
    David Lesher, Oct 17, 2009
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Sorry, but I did not see your post until now.

    I'd rather not thank you. I've got a pair of 147 GB disks, 8 GB RAM, XVR-1000,
    etc etc. My insurance company wrote it off after it got hit by lightning, but if
    I can sort out a suitable motherboard, I can get it back to a working condition.

    The Ultra 27 they replaced it with is faster and uses less power, but I'd like
    to keep a decent SPARC box.
    Dave, Oct 31, 2009
  13. Dave

    Dave Guest

    I'm 99% sure in my own mind the phone line was hit. I do not think it was power
    lines, though they are overhead.

    That is what I thought. It seems ok.
    It certainly looks a 1000 to me. The colour is very different to my 2000.
    They are both Cu, but I've decided not to swap the motherboards. The fact these
    have much older motherboards is a bit worrrying. Also, since the Ultra 27 has
    Gigabit ethernet, it would be nice to connect it to the Blade 2000 via Gigabit
    ethernet. Hence I have since bought a quad gigabit card. I'll take the QFE card
    out I put in it, and put a quad Gigabit card.
    Carriage costs on complete systems are very high. Too high to make it economical
    on a Blade 2000 now. I originally bought the Blade 2000 from the USA, but that
    was when they were a lot more expensive than they are now, so carriage was a
    reasonably small fraction of the overall cost. In 2009, the carriage costs would
    exceed the cost of buying the machine.

    I'm a bit worried about buying just a motherboard - you never know how carefully
    it has been removed - anti static precautions etc. Static (and lightning) can
    cause latent damage, which does not appear immediately.

    I recall about 25 years ago making a small radio frequency pre-amp for amateur
    radio use. I had a Saturday job, but the GaAS FET cost about a months working in
    the Saturday job. I sure made damm sure I took all the anti-static precausions I
    could with that. Given it worked to 40 GHz or so, the capacitance on the gate is
    very small, and so a small charge can produce a large potential.

    I doubt most dealers removing motherboards take too much care. Hence is some
    ways, advantage in buying a complete working machine.
    Having got the machines, I am pretty convinced they have not been used. For
    example, the power cables which go to the DVD etc were tied proporly behind the
    panel. It is clear they have never been connected to a DVD drive, as they would
    not reach.

    The panels are all Blade 1000. They are not 2000. I suspect the seller got one
    of the photos from elsewhere, as it shows the front panel, which he states is
    missing. You can see that in the more detailed photographs.

    Anyway, I'm not quite sure what I will do with these. I suspect they are worth
    more in parts than as complete systems actually, and they are a damm lot easier
    to shop as parts.

    Dave, Oct 31, 2009
  14. Dave

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]

    [ ... ]
    O.K. You mean what you received, not the auction photos I

    The SB-2000 systems come out with two appearances in eBay
    auctions. One if photographed by ambient light, and the other if
    photographed by electronic flash, which almost causes the blue/purple
    front panel to *glow*. :)

    [ ... ]
    O.K. But you still have the spare system board just in case.
    it should work with no problems -- especially if you have updated the
    OBP firmware.

    [ ... ]
    Yes -- they are extremely heavy machines for their size. Same
    for the Sun Fire 280R, which I tend to lighten for moving by first
    unplugging the drives, the CPUs, the two hot-swap power supplies and the
    top cover. Maybe even the system board, with its mounting bracket.
    Yes -- though a reasonable vendor of used equipment should know
    how to prevent static damage.

    One thing which I have been displeased with when buying
    replacement system boards via eBay is that while my first one (for the
    280R) came still screwed to the metal reinforcing frame and even with
    the CPU cage, the later ones had been unscrewed from the metal
    reinforcing frame -- making them cost less to ship, but to be a bit more
    vulnerable to damage from flexing.

    The number of screws needed to be removed and replaced
    (exclusive of the CPU cage screws) if shipped with the metal frame is
    three. It is closer to ten or so if the board has been removed from the
    frame -- with a greater chance of dropping screws into the chips and
    perhaps leading to static damage.

    But all things considered, I have had good luck with purchased
    system boards, even when shipped separate from the metal frame.
    There is that -- but most of the dealers stand behind DOA boards
    (at least for a month or so), so I suspect that at least minimal care is
    observed. One thing which helps a lot is if the room where they are
    removed and bagged has high humidity, which tends to minimize static

    It may have been a spare -- waiting for another machine to fail,
    and before enough machines failed, the company had moved to SB-2000 or
    something later.

    [ ... ]
    O.K. It sounds as though you got some good buys.
    There is that. It also might be a good idea to keep the parts
    in anti-static bags against future needs. That is what I tend to do.

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Nov 1, 2009
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