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SPARCstation IPX TOD/NVram trouble

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Thomas Skyt, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Thomas Skyt

    Thomas Skyt Guest


    my SPARCstation IPX is complaining about its POST not succeeding and tells
    me to check the TOD or replace the NVRAM. Scroll-lock is also lit during
    POST, so I changed the NVRAM and coded a new MAC-adress and hostid using
    the guide found on obsolyte.com.
    Furthermore it only scans 1 MB out of a total 16 MB (it won't recognize
    the 8 MB SIMM's I've installed, but I already thought that might happen).

    I've been following this guide to try to get the clock up and running, but
    somehow I manage to not get it running.

    Does anybody know what I might have done wrong?

    Thomas Skyt, Sep 28, 2003
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  2. Thomas Skyt

    Guest Guest

    Its hard to tell what your question is - are you saying that you are getting
    POST not succeeding and tells me to check the TOD or replace the NVRAM
    after putting the new NVRAM in? I guess. You arent doing anything wrong.

    Unless you have EXACTLY the same replacement NVRAM as the original you
    are stuck with the error. I get it too. These parts arent made anymore
    and the substitutes dont have the exact same internal timings hence the

    As for the "only scans 1 MB" well put the right RAM in.

    Use xntpd to set your time, and if you cant live with that annoying
    message disect the original NVRAM and solder a battery on it. See:

    Guest, Sep 28, 2003
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  3. Thomas Skyt

    Thomas Skyt Guest

    Yup - I replaced the NVRAM but am still getting that error, which is
    bugging me, so I thought that somebody out there might have encountered
    the same problem.
    No, I use a DS1742, it should be the same, but judging from some webpages
    and mailinglists, it seems that this chip does not support "kickstarting"
    it's clock and clock-memory.
    How I'm supposed to have it remember the time, I don't know, but I'll
    probably end up wiring a small lithium-battery to the old NVRAM.

    Thomas Skyt, Sep 28, 2003
  4. Did you set the IDPROM checksum correctly? The forth command to calculate
    and store the IDPROM checksum value is:

    0 f 0 do i [email protected] xor loop f mkp

    If the checksum isn't correct you'll see error messages at power-on
    You should avoid using the Dallas parts because they are
    'almost-but-not-quite' compatible with the Mostek/ST parts. I've heard of
    people using DS1642's in some systems with limited success. Obtain a genuine
    ST-Microelectronics 48T02 NVRAM and you should overcome all the problems.

    On the rare occasion where the RTC won't start in one of the ST parts,
    Solaris and most other OS's supporting Sun hardware have code to work around
    the problem and make the RTC's oscillator work properly. If the Dallas parts
    don't support kickstarting the RTC, then you'll still be able to use them,
    but of course the RTC function will be unavailable so your system will have
    no operating system tic capacity.


    Kralizec Craig, Oct 7, 2003
  5. Thomas Skyt

    Roel Guest

    Not necessarily. If you google, You'll see that there are problems
    concerning replacement chips. It seems that around 2000-2001 there was a
    slight change (they now adhere exactly to specs or something like that -
    they didn't before) in the nvram chip. It's reported throughout that
    replacement chips

    Like this:
    In June, 2000 ST Microelectronics changed the operation of the
    M48T02/MT48T12 "Timekeeper" NVRAM chip that older Sun boxes use. The new
    version requires strict adherence to the chip specification, the older
    version does not. Sun PROM apparently does not initialize the chip
    properly, per the spec so newer chips will report an error on startup:

    FAILURE: TOD (f20007fa) Bit Failure, Exp =3D 000000ff, Obs =3D 0000007=
    Well, there might be a trick: I have a M48t02-70 in my PIX, with
    aforementioned FAILURE: TOD (f20007fa) Bit Failure, Exp =3D 000000ff, Obs
    =3D 0000007.

    Yet with some nvramrc tricking it is possible depite that error message to
    get the Pix to auto-boot. Is that yout problem - getting it to auto-boot?

    Roel, Oct 29, 2003
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