No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500 - SUN

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Thread: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

  1. No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    Howdy...

    I recently bought a used Sun Blade 1500, and am having some trouble
    getting it to work. It looks like the bottom line is that the machine
    won't beep on boot (let alone display any video), which means either
    the keyboard is not being detected (doubtful, as I've tried 4
    different keyboards, all in the designated USB 1.1 slot on the back)
    or something else is wrong.

    The person I bought it from says the machine booted just fine and he
    was able to install solaris10 on it, but obviously I can't reproduce
    that. So my question is, what might have happened during shipping, or
    what else might I be getting wrong? I know suns can be picky with
    monitors, but is it possible I need a Sun branded keyboard as well?

    I've followed sun's troubleshooting guide here, and am still stuck
    with no beep.
    http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-7563-11

    Clearly there is power as the fans spin up and various LEDs come on
    including on the optical drive, but that's all. So far I've reseated
    the memory, USB, and video cards, tried removing the video card and
    keyboard to boot to a serial console, tried swapping out the memory 2
    sticks at a time, but all to no avail - no beep, no serial or video
    output. I've tried 4 different keyboards - 2 pc and 2 mac.

    I'd like to avoid shipping the unit back, but either me or this
    computer is doing something wrong... Any ideas?

    Thanks very much!
    Brian Szymanski

  2. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On 2008-10-28, skibrianski wrote:
    > Howdy...
    >
    > I recently bought a used Sun Blade 1500, and am having some trouble
    > getting it to work.


    O.K. I don't have personal experience with the 1500, but I am
    currently using a Sun Blade 2000, so we can consider how close they may
    be in behavior.

    > It looks like the bottom line is that the machine
    > won't beep on boot (let alone display any video), which means either
    > the keyboard is not being detected (doubtful, as I've tried 4
    > different keyboards, all in the designated USB 1.1 slot on the back)
    > or something else is wrong.
    >
    > The person I bought it from says the machine booted just fine and he
    > was able to install solaris10 on it, but obviously I can't reproduce
    > that. So my question is, what might have happened during shipping, or
    > what else might I be getting wrong? I know suns can be picky with
    > monitors, but is it possible I need a Sun branded keyboard as well?
    >
    > I've followed sun's troubleshooting guide here, and am still stuck
    > with no beep.
    > http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-7563-11


    O.K. First question -- did you try *all* of the suggestions in
    the above document? For example -- testing the monitor on another
    system?

    > Clearly there is power as the fans spin up and various LEDs come on
    > including on the optical drive, but that's all. So far I've reseated
    > the memory, USB, and video cards, tried removing the video card and
    > keyboard to boot to a serial console, tried swapping out the memory 2
    > sticks at a time, but all to no avail - no beep, no serial or video
    > output. I've tried 4 different keyboards - 2 pc and 2 mac.


    Hmm ... While I've not tried PC or Mac keyboards on the Sun Blade
    2000, I *have* used a Sun USB keyboard in a Mac Mini with no problems.
    You might have problems with either the Mac or PC keyboard in
    determining which keys to press for such things as the Stop-A
    functionality. It helps to have a known working system to test these
    things on.

    > I'd like to avoid shipping the unit back, but either me or this
    > computer is doing something wrong... Any ideas?


    Is the computer new -- from Sun, or is it eBay? (Oh -- never
    mind, you said "used" above.)

    Now -- aside from things like re-seating memory and cards, there
    are other things which can cause problems. I know that the SB-2K wants
    a minimum of four memory DIMMs in every other slot -- and if you add
    more, four more are required. (And the system *can* lock up with a
    bad DIMM, as I discovered with a set of four 1GB DIMMs. The vendor is
    shipping me a replacement for the bad DIMM.

    O.K. Looking at the FEH entry, it uses DIMMs 2 at a time, not
    four at a time like the SB-2K.

    And -- it has a CPU which plugs into a socket like those on
    Windows systems, not a long high-density connector for a pre-assembled
    module which requires careful alternate tightening of the screws at
    either end with a supplied torque limiting screwdriver to properly seat
    the connectors -- and one not properly seated will lock up the system.

    Hmm ... have you checked whether the CPU is properly seated in
    its socket? It might have bounced loose in transit.

    The IDE drives shown in the FEH are 80 GB ones -- if you have
    ones above 120 GB you may not be able to use them properly in the
    system. I know that this is a problem with some IDE drives in some
    Suns. But I don't think that it should lock things up.

    I would consider the serial port connection with no keyboard and
    monitor to be the starting point for diagnostics. But is it possible
    that the options set for the serial ports might not work with your
    terminal and cable. With the CPU which you have (I'm familiar with
    SPARCs and UltraSPARCs, and I don't know your system) things may behave
    totally differently.

    Hmm ... could the framebuffer (graphics card) be in the wrong
    speed slot?

    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  3. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On Oct 29, 12:21*am, "DoN. Nichols" wrote:
    > On 2008-10-28, skibrianski wrote:
    >
    > > Howdy...

    >
    > > I recently bought a used Sun Blade 1500, and am having some trouble
    > > getting it to work.

    >
    > * * * * O.K. *I don't have personal experience with the 1500, but I am
    > currently using a Sun Blade 2000, so we can consider how close they may
    > be in behavior.
    >
    > > * * * * * * * * * * It looks like the bottom line is that the machine
    > > won't beep on boot (let alone display any video), which means either
    > > the keyboard is not being detected (doubtful, as I've tried 4
    > > different keyboards, all in the designated USB 1.1 slot on the back)
    > > or something else is wrong.

    >
    > > The person I bought it from says the machine booted just fine and he
    > > was able to install solaris10 on it, but obviously I can't reproduce
    > > that. So my question is, what might have happened during shipping, or
    > > what else might I be getting wrong? I know suns can be picky with
    > > monitors, but is it possible I need a Sun branded keyboard as well?

    >
    > > I've followed sun's troubleshooting guide here, and am still stuck
    > > with no beep.
    > > *http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-7563-11

    >
    > * * * * O.K. *First question -- did you try *all* of the suggestions in
    > the above document? *For example -- testing the monitor on another
    > system?


    Yes. Both monitors I've tried work just fine attached to other
    machines. I've tried both a 15" LCD and a 19" CRT, the latter of which
    supports a wide variety of video modes. But it seems to me from
    reading that Sun troubleshooting document that since I'm getting no
    beep on boot, there are deeper problems.

    > * * * * Hmm ... While I've not tried PC or Mac keyboards on the Sun Blade
    > 2000, I *have* used a Sun USB keyboard in a Mac Mini with no problems.
    > You might have problems with either the Mac or PC keyboard in
    > determining which keys to press for such things as the Stop-A
    > functionality. *It helps to have a known working system to test these
    > things on.


    Yeah, digging up a proper sun keyboard is one of the few things left
    to try on my list.

    > * * * * O.K. *Looking at the FEH entry, it uses DIMMs 2 at a time, not
    > four at a time like the SB-2K.


    Yes, 2 at a time are fine with this machine. There's a detailed info
    about which slots you can use 2 matching DIMMs in on the diagram
    inside the case cover, so I don't think that's the problem. Also I
    believe the seller when he says he had it working with the current
    configuration, so I'm focusing on things that might have gotten lose
    or broken in shipping.

    > * * * * And -- it has a CPU which plugs into a socket like those on
    > Windows systems, not a long high-density connector for a pre-assembled
    > module which requires careful alternate tightening of the screws at
    > either end with a supplied torque limiting screwdriver to properly seat
    > the connectors -- and one not properly seated will lock up the system.
    >
    > * * * * Hmm ... have you checked whether the CPU is properly seated in
    > its socket? *It might have bounced loose in transit.


    I have not tried to reseat the CPU yet. Is it more or less like
    reseating the CPU on a x86 box?

    > * * * * I would consider the serial port connection with no keyboard and
    > monitor to be the starting point for diagnostics. *But is it possible
    > that the options set for the serial ports might not work with your
    > terminal and cable. *


    Me too! But like I said, I'm getting no serial out with the keyboard
    and video cards removed. The manual says 9600 8n1 is the default
    setting for the serial console, and I know that that setting works
    with the cable and computer/software on the receiving end, as I use it
    to tinker with my HPPA box.

    Thanks again,
    Brian

  4. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    skibrianski schrieb:
    > On Oct 29, 12:21 am, "DoN. Nichols" wrote:
    >> On 2008-10-28, skibrianski wrote:
    >>
    >>> Howdy...
    >>> I recently bought a used Sun Blade 1500, and am having some trouble
    >>> getting it to work.

    >> O.K. I don't have personal experience with the 1500, but I am
    >> currently using a Sun Blade 2000, so we can consider how close they may
    >> be in behavior.
    >>
    >>> It looks like the bottom line is that the machine
    >>> won't beep on boot (let alone display any video), which means either
    >>> the keyboard is not being detected (doubtful, as I've tried 4
    >>> different keyboards, all in the designated USB 1.1 slot on the back)
    >>> or something else is wrong.
    >>> The person I bought it from says the machine booted just fine and he
    >>> was able to install solaris10 on it, but obviously I can't reproduce
    >>> that. So my question is, what might have happened during shipping, or
    >>> what else might I be getting wrong? I know suns can be picky with
    >>> monitors, but is it possible I need a Sun branded keyboard as well?
    >>> I've followed sun's troubleshooting guide here, and am still stuck
    >>> with no beep.
    >>> http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-7563-11

    >> O.K. First question -- did you try *all* of the suggestions in
    >> the above document? For example -- testing the monitor on another
    >> system?

    >
    > Yes. Both monitors I've tried work just fine attached to other
    > machines. I've tried both a 15" LCD and a 19" CRT, the latter of which
    > supports a wide variety of video modes. But it seems to me from
    > reading that Sun troubleshooting document that since I'm getting no
    > beep on boot, there are deeper problems.
    >
    >> Hmm ... While I've not tried PC or Mac keyboards on the Sun Blade
    >> 2000, I *have* used a Sun USB keyboard in a Mac Mini with no problems.
    >> You might have problems with either the Mac or PC keyboard in
    >> determining which keys to press for such things as the Stop-A
    >> functionality. It helps to have a known working system to test these
    >> things on.

    >
    > Yeah, digging up a proper sun keyboard is one of the few things left
    > to try on my list.
    >
    >> O.K. Looking at the FEH entry, it uses DIMMs 2 at a time, not
    >> four at a time like the SB-2K.

    >
    > Yes, 2 at a time are fine with this machine. There's a detailed info
    > about which slots you can use 2 matching DIMMs in on the diagram
    > inside the case cover, so I don't think that's the problem. Also I
    > believe the seller when he says he had it working with the current
    > configuration, so I'm focusing on things that might have gotten lose
    > or broken in shipping.
    >
    >> And -- it has a CPU which plugs into a socket like those on
    >> Windows systems, not a long high-density connector for a pre-assembled
    >> module which requires careful alternate tightening of the screws at
    >> either end with a supplied torque limiting screwdriver to properly seat
    >> the connectors -- and one not properly seated will lock up the system.
    >>
    >> Hmm ... have you checked whether the CPU is properly seated in
    >> its socket? It might have bounced loose in transit.

    >
    > I have not tried to reseat the CPU yet. Is it more or less like
    > reseating the CPU on a x86 box?
    >
    >> I would consider the serial port connection with no keyboard and
    >> monitor to be the starting point for diagnostics. But is it possible
    >> that the options set for the serial ports might not work with your
    >> terminal and cable.

    >
    > Me too! But like I said, I'm getting no serial out with the keyboard
    > and video cards removed. The manual says 9600 8n1 is the default
    > setting for the serial console, and I know that that setting works
    > with the cable and computer/software on the receiving end, as I use it
    > to tinker with my HPPA box.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    > Brian



    Hmm, sounds like a bad CPU. Be aware that it may take several seconds
    for the beep to come, and then if the speaker is not attached to the
    mother board correctly there will also be no beep...

    Swapping the CPU in and out doesn't really sound like a good idea. I
    once had a bad CPU in a Blade 2500, and Sun came and swapped the whole
    board. They don't even bother to swap CPUs in field. There are just too
    many things that can go wrong.

    Unfortunately, I don't have a good idea how to verify that it really is
    a bad CPU. Anyway, it also could be the motherboard.

    Before you start swapping CPU in and out, which really won't repair
    anything, I'd rather send the machine back to where you got it from.

    But before sending it back, you might want to make sure you have the
    right settings for the serial port and the correct cable. Cabling is
    described here: http://www.sunhelp.org/unix-serial-port-resources/.

    Good Luck!

    Thomas

  5. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On 2008-10-29, skibrianski wrote:
    > On Oct 29, 12:21*am, "DoN. Nichols" wrote:
    >> On 2008-10-28, skibrianski wrote:


    [ ... ]

    >> > I've followed sun's troubleshooting guide here, and am still stuck
    >> > with no beep.
    >> > *http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/816-7563-11

    >>
    >> * * * * O.K. *First question -- did you try *all* of the suggestions in
    >> the above document? *For example -- testing the monitor on another
    >> system?

    >
    > Yes. Both monitors I've tried work just fine attached to other
    > machines. I've tried both a 15" LCD and a 19" CRT, the latter of which
    > supports a wide variety of video modes. But it seems to me from
    > reading that Sun troubleshooting document that since I'm getting no
    > beep on boot, there are deeper problems.
    >
    >> * * * * Hmm ... While I've not tried PC or Mac keyboards on the Sun Blade
    >> 2000, I *have* used a Sun USB keyboard in a Mac Mini with no problems.
    >> You might have problems with either the Mac or PC keyboard in
    >> determining which keys to press for such things as the Stop-A
    >> functionality. *It helps to have a known working system to test these
    >> things on.

    >
    > Yeah, digging up a proper sun keyboard is one of the few things left
    > to try on my list.


    The system should not be sensitive to which keyboard is present,
    at least to the extent of not booting at all.

    [ ... ]

    > Yes, 2 at a time are fine with this machine. There's a detailed info
    > about which slots you can use 2 matching DIMMs in on the diagram
    > inside the case cover, so I don't think that's the problem. Also I
    > believe the seller when he says he had it working with the current
    > configuration, so I'm focusing on things that might have gotten lose
    > or broken in shipping.


    O.K. Reasonable.

    Hmm ... I wonder whether it would switch to diagnostic mode (the
    "OK" prompt) if you attempted to boot it with the disks unplugged? That
    is one way of forcing booting to the OBP on SPARC based systems, at
    least -- unless they are set up to boot via the net, in which case you
    get an endless list of complaints about not being able to reach the
    right address on the net. :-)

    >> * * * * And -- it has a CPU which plugs into a socket like those on
    >> Windows systems, not a long high-density connector for a pre-assembled
    >> module which requires careful alternate tightening of the screws at
    >> either end with a supplied torque limiting screwdriver to properly seat
    >> the connectors -- and one not properly seated will lock up the system.
    >>
    >> * * * * Hmm ... have you checked whether the CPU is properly seated in
    >> its socket? *It might have bounced loose in transit.

    >
    > I have not tried to reseat the CPU yet. Is it more or less like
    > reseating the CPU on a x86 box?


    I honesty don't know, because I've never seen one these in the
    silicon. But the drawing in the FEH looks like a PC CPU socket. Look
    for a lever to unlock the socket's grip on the CPU. If you move the
    lever to the "unlocked" (straight up) position, and the cpu settles a
    bit towards the board, that makes it likely that it was the problem. It
    looks (in the drawing) as though it is a CPU with a big fan hung on it,
    so it would be heavier than the CPUs in the CPU modules in the SB-2000
    and similar -- which are very firmly clamped down by heatsinks which are
    cooled by fans mounted in other parts of the system.

    >> * * * * I would consider the serial port connection with no keyboard and
    >> monitor to be the starting point for diagnostics. *But is it possible
    >> that the options set for the serial ports might not work with your
    >> terminal and cable. *

    >
    > Me too! But like I said, I'm getting no serial out with the keyboard
    > and video cards removed. The manual says 9600 8n1 is the default
    > setting for the serial console, and I know that that setting works
    > with the cable and computer/software on the receiving end, as I use it
    > to tinker with my HPPA box.


    The default serial setting can be changed -- assuming that this
    has an EEPROM setting like the SPARC based systems have. With those, at
    least. it is possible to switch (temporarily) to default settings by
    waiting for the power LED to start to blink during boot and fairly
    quickly pressing the power button twice. (Some systems seem to want you
    to have a second delay between the first and the second press, but that
    first press must be very soon after the LED starts to blink. Again, I
    don't know how your system (with a non-SPARC CPU) behaves.

    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  6. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    DoN. Nichols wrote:
    >
    > On 2008-10-29, skibrianski wrote:
    >>
    >> Yeah, digging up a proper sun keyboard is one of the few things left
    >> to try on my list.

    >
    > The system should not be sensitive to which keyboard is present,
    > at least to the extent of not booting at all.


    Hrmph. Yeah, it doesn't explain whey I have no system beep.

    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    > The default serial setting can be changed -- assuming that this
    > has an EEPROM setting like the SPARC based systems have. With those, at
    > least. it is possible to switch (temporarily) to default settings by
    > waiting for the power LED to start to blink during boot and fairly
    > quickly pressing the power button twice. (Some systems seem to want you
    > to have a second delay between the first and the second press, but that
    > first press must be very soon after the LED starts to blink.

    I was going to try this, but then I noticed the LED never blinks. It
    just comes on, and nothing else happens. I've tried pressing the power
    button more or less continuously on a boot, which (unsurprisingly)
    doesn't help.
    >
    >>> And -- it has a CPU which plugs into a socket like those on
    >>> Windows systems, not a long high-density connector for a pre-assembled
    >>> module which requires careful alternate tightening of the screws at
    >>> either end with a supplied torque limiting screwdriver to properly seat
    >>> the connectors -- and one not properly seated will lock up the system.
    >>>
    >>> Hmm ... have you checked whether the CPU is properly seated in
    >>> its socket? It might have bounced loose in transit.

    >> I have not tried to reseat the CPU yet. Is it more or less like
    >> reseating the CPU on a x86 box?

    >
    > I honesty don't know, because I've never seen one these in the
    > silicon. But the drawing in the FEH looks like a PC CPU socket. Look
    > for a lever to unlock the socket's grip on the CPU. If you move the
    > lever to the "unlocked" (straight up) position, and the cpu settles a
    > bit towards the board, that makes it likely that it was the problem. It
    > looks (in the drawing) as though it is a CPU with a big fan hung on it,
    > so it would be heavier than the CPUs in the CPU modules in the SB-2000
    > and similar -- which are very firmly clamped down by heatsinks which are
    > cooled by fans mounted in other parts of the system.
    >

    Thanks for this, I think I'll give this a shot.

    Thomas Maier-Komor wrote:

    > Hmm, sounds like a bad CPU. Be aware that it may take several seconds
    > for the beep to come, and then if the speaker is not attached to the
    > mother board correctly there will also be no beep...


    Just about every time I gave the machine a few *minutes* to beep or
    otherwise show a sign of life. The speaker is attached to the mobo as
    in the diagram on the inside of the cover.


    >
    > Swapping the CPU in and out doesn't really sound like a good idea. I
    > once had a bad CPU in a Blade 2500, and Sun came and swapped the whole
    > board. They don't even bother to swap CPUs in field. There are just too
    > many things that can go wrong.
    >
    > Unfortunately, I don't have a good idea how to verify that it really is
    > a bad CPU. Anyway, it also could be the motherboard.
    >
    > Before you start swapping CPU in and out, which really won't repair
    > anything, I'd rather send the machine back to where you got it from.


    Hmm. I guess, since I'm probably shipping it out, I'll see if the
    owner minds me swapping the cpu. Thanks for this note of caution!

    Thanks very much for the ideas...

    Cheers,
    Brian

  7. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On Oct 31, 3:30 am, skibrianski wrote:
    > DoN. Nichols wrote:
    > > If you move the
    > > lever to the "unlocked" (straight up) position, and the cpu settles a
    > > bit towards the board, that makes it likely that it was the problem.

    >
    > Thanks for this, I think I'll give this a shot.


    Yeah, no dice. The lever was in the full down position, no settling at
    all.

    > Thomas Maier-Komor wrote:
    > > Before you start swapping CPU in and out, which really won't repair
    > > anything, I'd rather send the machine back to where you got it from.

    >


    Welp, I guess I have to send it back. Darn, it was a pretty good deal,
    too. Oh well, I still have my alpha and my hppa boxen to keep me
    company, even tho they don't run Solaris.

    Thanks again all.

    Brian

  8. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On 2008-11-01, skibrianski wrote:
    > On Oct 31, 3:30 am, skibrianski wrote:
    >> DoN. Nichols wrote:
    >> > If you move the
    >> > lever to the "unlocked" (straight up) position, and the cpu settles a
    >> > bit towards the board, that makes it likely that it was the problem.

    >>
    >> Thanks for this, I think I'll give this a shot.

    >
    > Yeah, no dice. The lever was in the full down position, no settling at
    > all.


    I was assuming that it started in the full down position -- but
    that you would raise it to the UNLOCK position, watching for the CPU's
    possible settling back to where it should be, and then would move it
    back to the LOCK position.

    It is not clear that you moved the lever at all -- just looked
    at it from what you said.

    Sorry that I am a bit behind in replies here. I was out
    shooting a wedding with a friend for a lot of yesterday, and then she
    came back home with us to do the initial offloading of the images.

    I've now got a lot of GIMP work to do -- about 950 images
    between the two of us. :-)

    >> Thomas Maier-Komor wrote:
    >> > Before you start swapping CPU in and out, which really won't repair
    >> > anything, I'd rather send the machine back to where you got it from.

    >>

    >
    > Welp, I guess I have to send it back. Darn, it was a pretty good deal,
    > too. Oh well, I still have my alpha and my hppa boxen to keep me
    > company, even tho they don't run Solaris.


    Good Luck,
    DoN.

    --
    Email: | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
    (too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
    --- Black Holes are where God is dividing by zero ---

  9. Re: No video/console out on Sun Blade 1500

    On Nov 2, 8:55*pm, "DoN. Nichols" wrote:
    > On 2008-11-01, skibrianski wrote:
    >
    > > Yeah, no dice. The lever was in the full down position, no settling at
    > > all.

    >
    > * * * * I was assuming that it started in the full down position -- but
    > that you would raise it to the UNLOCK position, watching for the CPU's
    > possible settling back to where it should be, and then would move it
    > back to the LOCK position.
    >
    > It is not clear that you moved the lever at all -- just looked
    > at it from what you said.


    Yeah, my post was unclear - it should have read "no settling at all
    when I moved it all the way up and down again", so still no dice :-
    ( Thanks though!

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