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dirty SPARCstation 4

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    dirty SPARCstation 4

    Just picked up the dustiest SPARCstation 4 I've seen, "untested", and low and behold it works! I checked the voltages and they looked good. Moved the mobo jumpers to the RS232 setting. And then tried to boot. Love to see that Power-ON Reset text over the serial port! It's 110 MHz with a 32 MB stick. I programmed the dead NVRAM and tried booting off the 1.05 GB HD but I think the drive is cooked. Going to try netbooting next as I have a lengthy checklist for that and a Raspberry Pi setup for the task which I used on my SS10 and SS20.

    I really like this SS4. The power supply is physically smaller, and only 50W! I love the simplicity of this stripped down SS5 (coming from the dual proc SS20), only one SBus slot instead of 3, no MBus slots. Only one HD instead of two. 5 RAM slots instead of 8 -- though having more RAM would be nice... On-board video. Only other thing to strip out would be that video which would turn it into a SPARCserver 4 hah.

    Any suggestions on a drive to use? I'd like to use a 2.5" drive in hopes that it would be quieter. The SCSI connector is an 80-pin SCA. Is there an adapter that could be used to a commodity 2.5" SCSI drive? Is this SCA to SAS?
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    #2
    I get this on the 2nd "boot disk" attempt:
    SPARCstation 4, No Keyboard
    ROM Rev. 2.24, 32 MB memory installed, Serial #12648430.
    Ethernet address 8:0:20:c0:ff:ee, Host ID: 80c0ffee.

    Rebooting with command: disk
    Boot device: /iommu/sbus/espdma@4,8400000/esp@4,8800000/sd@3,0 File and args:
    Short read. 0x2000 chars read
    Read error.
    Short read. 0x2000 chars read
    Read error.
    Short read. 0x2000 chars read
    Read error.
    Short read. 0x2000 chars read
    Read error.
    boot: cannot open kernel/unix
    Enter filename [kernel/unix]:
    Last edited by agentb; May 26, 2021, 04:21 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      After netbooting the install, and quitting out of that, I was able to run the 'format' cmd, verify reports:
      Code:
      format> verify
      
      Primary label contents:
      
      Volume name = < >
      ascii name = <SUN1.05 cyl 2036 alt 2 hd 14 sec 72>
      pcyl = 2038
      ncyl = 2036
      acyl = 2
      nhead = 14
      nsect = 72
      Part Tag Flag Cylinders Size Blocks
      0 root wm 0 - 60 30.02MB (61/0/0) 61488
      1 swap wu 61 - 873 400.15MB (813/0/0) 819504
      2 backup wm 0 - 2035 1002.09MB (2036/0/0) 2052288
      3 unassigned wm 0 0 (0/0/0) 0
      4 home wm 874 - 1124 123.54MB (251/0/0) 253008
      5 unassigned wm 1125 - 1632 250.03MB (508/0/0) 512064
      6 usr wm 1633 - 1994 178.17MB (362/0/0) 364896
      7 var wm 1995 - 2035 20.18MB (41/0/0) 41328
      I did a read test in 'analyze' and the first pass went fine. So hard drive may still be ok..

      Comment


        #4
        hah this doesn't sound promising:
        Code:
        # fsck /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0
        ** /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0
        ** Last Mounted on /
        ** Phase 1 - Check Blocks and Sizes
        WARNING: /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@4,8400000/esp@4,8800000/sd@3,0 (sd3):
        Error for Command: read Error Level: Retryable
        Requested Block: 16272 Error Block: 0
        Vendor: CONNER Serial Number: PFTG
        Sense Key: Aborted Command
        ASC: 0x40 (ram failure), ASCQ: 0x0, FRU: 0x14
        <a bunch more of these...>
        WARNING: /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@4,8400000/esp@4,8800000/sd@3,0 (sd3):
        Error for Command: read Error Level: Fatal
        Requested Block: 16272 Error Block: 0
        Vendor: CONNER Serial Number: PFTG
        Sense Key: Aborted Command
        ASC: 0x40 (ram failure), ASCQ: 0x0, FRU: 0x14
        
        CANNOT READ: BLK 16272

        Comment


          #5
          I have some spare drives for these SPARCstations, 2.1 GB and 36 GB ones. Tested and no adapter needed, as they have the SCA connector.

          Where are you located?

          Comment


            #6
            2.5" SCA SCSI drives exist. Look for the Seagate Savvio line. Most often come in 36GB and 72GB models.

            Often available on eBay for reasonable prices.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ScutBoy View Post
              2.5" SCA SCSI drives exist. Look for the Seagate Savvio line. Most often come in 36GB and 72GB models.

              Often available on eBay for reasonable prices.
              That is SAS, not SCSI. 2.5" SCSI drives died in the mid-90s when Apple stopped using them in their early PowerBooks.

              I'm pretty sure no one ever made 2.5" SCSI drives with SCA connection. SCA was meant for high-end workstations and servers at a time when 2.5" drives were still very slow and unreliable.

              Comment


                #8
                Sure enough, it looks like if you search for "ultra scsi hard drive" and then narrow down to 2.5" there are some options. The 80-pin connector is as wide as the drive! Here's an example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264359258675

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
                  I have some spare drives for these SPARCstations, 2.1 GB and 36 GB ones. Tested and no adapter needed, as they have the SCA connector.

                  Where are you located?
                  Ahh great, I am in Philadelphia. Currently I'm trying a Solaris 2.6 netboot install, the hard drive is grinding away, not sure if this is going to work... will see!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hard drive seems to spinning right along. I setup a FTP server on my Linux box to get some files moved over. I imagine there was probably another way (rcp?) but FTP went pretty quickly. Bums me out there is no included C compiler but I found some links before for the Sun offering- May play around with that. Or try to track down gcc. Not sure what the easiest approach for gcc would be. Then again I have no idea what I’ll do with this machine and probably should just put NetBSD on it like I did a SS20.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It should run NextStep 3.3 as well, at least my SS5 does.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Timo W. View Post
                        That is SAS, not SCSI. 2.5" SCSI drives died in the mid-90s when Apple stopped using them in their early PowerBooks.

                        I'm pretty sure no one ever made 2.5" SCSI drives with SCA connection. SCA was meant for high-end workstations and servers at a time when 2.5" drives were still very slow and unreliable.
                        Search the 'bay for

                        26K5157

                        or

                        ST936701LC

                        Comment


                          #13
                          While you are right, strictly speaking, U320 is LVD, 16-bit only. These drives will not work. They are not compatible with "Single Ended SCSI", which is what SCSI is to me when talking about vintage systems and what the SPARCstation uses.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, I have Macs (with 50 pin adapters) and Suns that belie that, but your mileage may vary.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              From what I’ve read, it sounds like LVD drives can be used with a SE controller, you just end up running at the slower SE speed. Some info here: https://ask.adaptec.com/app/answers/...-controller%3F

                              Comment

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