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Replacing NVRAM on a Sun Microsystems Ultra 80 (525-1430).

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by lakem72, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. lakem72

    lakem72 Guest

    Hi all,

    I am new to Sun Microsystems hardware. I have a Sun Microsystems Ultra 80, with
    four Gigabytes of memory and four 400 MHz processers. Just recently the NVRAM
    (525-1430) chip has given up. I have purchased a new replacement chip part
    number 525-1430.

    But I would really appreciate an idiots step by step guide on taking out the
    current NVRAM (525-1430) chip and replacing it with the new one. Please note I
    do not have the Host id or MAC address of the machine. I would also need help
    on the open boot commands to re-program the new chip.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards.

    Matthew Lake.
    lakem72, Aug 9, 2012
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  2. lakem72

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    From Sun? Then you probably just need to unplug the old one, and
    plug in the new, unless you have license keyed software installed on the

    If you do, you should have pulled the NVRAM before ordering, and
    ordered quoting the barcode number on the chip (which with Sun's
    database would allow them to look up and duplicate the HostID and MAC

    If you don't have license keyed software, and if the chip is
    specific to the Sun 80 (thus has a valid HostID and MAC address, even if
    not what you had before), just unplug and replace.

    Note, that I have never had an Ultra-80, so I don't know how
    difficult it is to gain access to where it is on the board.

    If you don't have a copy of the Sun Field Engineer's Handbook
    (FEH) I would suggest that you visit the Sunshack web site in Australia


    I can't reach there at the moment for whatever reason, so I can't be
    sure whether I made a mistake in typing that URL. My browser only
    presents it from the bookmarks when I have reached it, or when I'm
    hovering the mouse over the bookmark to read it and type.

    Anyway, I *do* have a dead-tree FEH, so I can tell you that the
    NVRAM is close to the keyboard connector, and it's long dimension is
    parallel to the back edge of the system board. It should be in a black
    holder with ears at each end of the chip to grip and pull up on.

    The drawing which I have here does not show whether the chip's
    socket is hidden under the power supply, but given the location of the
    power connector on the board, I suspect that it may be -- in which case
    you will probably need to unplug the power supply at J4107 (and perhaps
    some others to disk and/or tape drives and unscrew the power supply from
    the back panel and pull it out to gain access. (I've encountered
    similar problems with the Ultra-60, which I have owned a couple of.

    O.K. I've found a "service view" and I see that the chip is
    visible off the end of the second of four CPU boards, with a yellow
    label with a barcode. The power supply is under the system board, like
    that on the Sun Blade [12]000, so it is out of the way.

    I hope that your hand is fairly small -- that looks like a tight
    place to have to reach for it. (Unless the cooling shroud and the CPU
    boards are all removed).
    For this -- if needed -- check out:


    which seems to have information up through the Sun 4u (UltraSPARC)
    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Aug 10, 2012
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  3. lakem72

    lakem72 Guest


    Thanks, that a great help.



    lakem72, Aug 10, 2012
  4. Doug McIntyre, Aug 11, 2012
  5. lakem72

    lakem72 Guest

    lakem72, Aug 11, 2012
  6. lakem72

    ChrisQ Guest

    If you have lost the mac address, then it should be on a label on the
    outside of
    the case somewhere, or even on the mainboard.

    The devices themselves are standard parts, which can be bought from
    Farnell or
    similar distributors, though they will come unprogrammed...


    ChrisQ, Aug 12, 2012
  7. lakem72

    Matthew Lake Guest

    Thank ChrisQ

    Matthew Lake, Aug 12, 2012
  8. lakem72

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    On Suns? Only if someone else has added it.

    Sun puts a barcode on each NVRAM chip, which can be used to look
    up the proper MAC address and hostid in their database. (Now Oracle.)

    And the lower part of the MAC address should match the lower
    part of the hostid, while the top-most byte of the hostid will define
    what particular system it is for the use of the OS when booting. (It
    tells the OS where to expect that interfaces).

    However, there is no true requirement that the MAC address match
    the hostid -- as long as you don't have any licensed software which
    needs that to match the key. One technique for getting a unique MAC
    address was to pick up an ancient ethernet card for a PC, take the MAC
    address from it (usually listed on it), and then pull the small ROM chip
    which contains the lower part of the MAC address and destroy it, so
    nothing else will have the same MAC address.
    IIRC -- he already had bought the chip from somewhere. If it
    was bought from Sun/Oracle -- and if they knew that it was for an
    Ultra-80, it should already have a valid hostid and MAC address in it --
    though not the original one.

    DoN. Nichols, Aug 13, 2012
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