AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test - VMS

This is a discussion on AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test - VMS ; Hello all, I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with video card installed. When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its self tests thanks to the LCD on the front ...

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  1. AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    Hello all,

    I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    video card installed.

    When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its
    self tests thanks to the LCD on the front panel.

    Some moments later, the blue screen appears on the monitor and I see
    that the remaining tests -- including memory -- are completed
    successful. The ">>>" prompt appears.

    Then, about 1 min later, the screen goes dark.

    Any ideas?

  2. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    alexandre.laguejacques@gmail.com wrote:
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    > video card installed.
    >
    > When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its
    > self tests thanks to the LCD on the front panel.
    >
    > Some moments later, the blue screen appears on the monitor and I see
    > that the remaining tests -- including memory -- are completed
    > successful. The ">>>" prompt appears.
    >
    > Then, about 1 min later, the screen goes dark.
    >
    > Any ideas?


    My guess would be that some sort of screen saver kicked in.

    Try typing a command; e.g. "HELP" or "BOOT".

  3. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 18, 3:48*pm, "Richard B. Gilbert"
    wrote:
    > alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    > > Hello all,

    >
    > > I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    > > video card installed.

    >
    > > When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its
    > > self tests thanks to the LCD on the front panel.

    >
    > > Some moments later, the blue screen appears on the monitor and I see
    > > that the remaining tests -- including memory -- are completed
    > > successful. *The ">>>" prompt appears.

    >
    > > Then, about 1 min later, the screen goes dark.

    >
    > > Any ideas?

    >
    > My guess would be that some sort of screen saver kicked in.
    >
    > Try typing a command; e.g. "HELP" or "BOOT".


    I should have added that I thought about that too. It will go blank
    anyway, even while I'm typing!

    Another detail is the LCD. Sometimes the LCD on the front is active
    and displays the self tests and beeps once. (If it turns on, I manage
    to get the blue console screen on the monitor. Of course it ultimately
    goes black!) More often than not, however, the LCD remains blank and
    there is no beep. Nothing is output to the monitor.

  4. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    alexandre.laguejacques@gmail.com wrote:
    > On Oct 18, 3:48 pm, "Richard B. Gilbert"
    > wrote:
    >> alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    >>> Hello all,
    >>> I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    >>> video card installed.
    >>> When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its
    >>> self tests thanks to the LCD on the front panel.
    >>> Some moments later, the blue screen appears on the monitor and I see
    >>> that the remaining tests -- including memory -- are completed
    >>> successful. The ">>>" prompt appears.
    >>> Then, about 1 min later, the screen goes dark.
    >>> Any ideas?

    >> My guess would be that some sort of screen saver kicked in.
    >>
    >> Try typing a command; e.g. "HELP" or "BOOT".

    >
    > I should have added that I thought about that too. It will go blank
    > anyway, even while I'm typing!
    >
    > Another detail is the LCD. Sometimes the LCD on the front is active
    > and displays the self tests and beeps once. (If it turns on, I manage
    > to get the blue console screen on the monitor. Of course it ultimately
    > goes black!) More often than not, however, the LCD remains blank and
    > there is no beep. Nothing is output to the monitor.


    Sounds like a hardware problem!

  5. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    In article
    ,
    alexandre.laguejacques@gmail.com writes:

    > > > I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    > > > video card installed.


    > Another detail is the LCD. Sometimes the LCD on the front is active
    > and displays the self tests and beeps once. (If it turns on, I manage
    > to get the blue console screen on the monitor. Of course it ultimately
    > goes black!) More often than not, however, the LCD remains blank and
    > there is no beep. Nothing is output to the monitor.


    Console set to serial?


  6. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On 18 okt, 20:22, alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I'm trying to do an installation on an old AlphaServer 1000a with
    > video card installed.
    >
    > When I turn it on, one can clearly see that the system performs its
    > self tests thanks to the LCD on the front panel.
    >
    > Some moments later, the blue screen appears on the monitor and I see
    > that the remaining tests -- including memory -- are completed
    > successful. *The ">>>" prompt appears.
    >
    > Then, about 1 min later, the screen goes dark.
    >
    > Any ideas?


    A couple of questions about the system:
    What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    How much memory does it have?
    Is that amount shown on the console?
    Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    Hans

  7. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 7:40*am, H Vlems wrote:
    > A couple of questions about the system:
    > What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    > How much memory does it have?
    > Is that amount shown on the console?
    > Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    > Hans


    My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?

    The configuration is fairly straight forward:

    pbxga-aa/an video card

    0x 0 MB bank 3
    4x 32 MB bank 2
    4x 8 MB bank 1
    4x 256 MB bank 0
    ECC bank not present on this motherboard

    The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.

    Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!

    - Alex


  8. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 09:28:58 -0700,
    wrote:

    > On Oct 19, 7:40*am, H Vlems wrote:
    >> A couple of questions about the system:
    >> What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    >> How much memory does it have?
    >> Is that amount shown on the console?
    >> Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    >> Hans

    >
    > My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    > that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    > not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    > output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    > of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    > everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    > to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    > somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?
    >
    > The configuration is fairly straight forward:
    >
    > pbxga-aa/an video card
    >
    > 0x 0 MB bank 3
    > 4x 32 MB bank 2
    > 4x 8 MB bank 1
    > 4x 256 MB bank 0
    > ECC bank not present on this motherboard
    >
    > The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    > boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    > some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    > Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.
    >
    > Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    > on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    > front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!
    >
    > - Alex
    >


    Remove cover and report the state of the LEDs in the upper left corner of
    MLB.



    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  9. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 09:28:58 -0700,
    wrote:

    > On Oct 19, 7:40*am, H Vlems wrote:
    >> A couple of questions about the system:
    >> What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    >> How much memory does it have?
    >> Is that amount shown on the console?
    >> Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    >> Hans

    >
    > My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    > that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    > not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    > output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    > of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    > everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    > to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    > somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?
    >
    > The configuration is fairly straight forward:
    >
    > pbxga-aa/an video card
    >
    > 0x 0 MB bank 3
    > 4x 32 MB bank 2
    > 4x 8 MB bank 1
    > 4x 256 MB bank 0
    > ECC bank not present on this motherboard


    There are only 2 memeory banks. Organized as follows

    connector to MLB

    0
    1
    0
    1
    0
    1
    0
    1

    The memory in each bank must be identical and Bank 0 must be populated
    first. List the DIMMs you have.

    >
    > The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    > boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    > some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    > Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.
    >
    > Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    > on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    > front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!
    >
    > - Alex
    >




    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  10. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 12:28*pm, alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    > On Oct 19, 7:40*am, H Vlems wrote:
    >
    > > A couple of questions about the system:
    > > What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    > > How much memory does it have?
    > > Is that amount shown on the console?
    > > Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    > > Hans

    >
    > My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    > that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    > not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    > output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    > of life. *Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    > everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    > to turn. *Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    > somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?
    >
    > The configuration is fairly straight forward:
    >
    > pbxga-aa/an video card
    >
    > 0x 0 MB bank 3
    > 4x 32 MB bank 2
    > 4x 8 MB bank 1
    > 4x 256 MB bank 0
    > ECC bank not present on this motherboard
    >
    > The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    > boot console). *There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    > some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    > Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.
    >
    > Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. *I've turned it
    > on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. *Still no output to the
    > front panel LCD. *Perhaps I'm just making things worse!
    >
    > - Alex


    Sorry, that's 4x 64 MB bank 0 (for a total of 256 MB).

  11. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 12:40*pm, "Tom Linden" wrote:
    > Remove cover and report the state of the LEDs in the upper left corner of
    > MLB.
    >
    > --
    > PL/I for OpenVMSwww.kednos.com


    No LEDs on the motherboard as far as I can tell. The service guide
    makes no reference to any LEDs besides those on the storage devices.


  12. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Sun, 19 Oct 2008 10:08:24 -0700,
    wrote:

    > On Oct 19, 12:40*pm, "Tom Linden" wrote:
    >> Remove cover and report the state of the LEDs in the upper left corner
    >> of
    >> MLB.
    >>
    >> --
    >> PL/I for OpenVMSwww.kednos.com

    >
    > No LEDs on the motherboard as far as I can tell. The service guide
    > makes no reference to any LEDs besides those on the storage devices.
    >


    Sorry, ignore my posts I thought you had an XP1000 should have read more
    carefully. No LEDs on a Digital box seems odd. How about beep codes?



    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  13. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 1:11*pm, "Tom Linden" wrote:
    > Sorry, *ignore my posts I thought you had an XP1000 should have read more
    > carefully. *No LEDs on a Digital box seems odd. *How about beep codes?


    Yes, odd that there are no LEDs but it seems that the "Operator
    Control Panel" LCD serves the same purpose...

    Ah, the beep codes... When it does a normal power cycle (as opposed
    to the far more numerous times when it refuses and just leaves the
    fans turning), it will emit 1 beep (yes, just one) during the SROM
    test. The service manual only lists beep codes in groups of three
    (e.g. 1-3-3 but never 1-0-0).


  14. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 5:28 pm, alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    > On Oct 19, 7:40 am, H Vlems wrote:
    >
    > > A couple of questions about the system:
    > > What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    > > How much memory does it have?
    > > Is that amount shown on the console?
    > > Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    > > Hans

    >
    > My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    > that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    > not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    > output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    > of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    > everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    > to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    > somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?
    >
    > The configuration is fairly straight forward:
    >
    > pbxga-aa/an video card
    >
    > 0x 0 MB bank 3
    > 4x 32 MB bank 2
    > 4x 8 MB bank 1
    > 4x 256 MB bank 0
    > ECC bank not present on this motherboard
    >
    > The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    > boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    > some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    > Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.
    >
    > Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    > on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    > front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!
    >
    > - Alex



    My vague recollection is that the LCD is driven by the main processor,
    there's no microcontroller or similar to drive the boot and diagnostic
    process, though some of the more upmarket Alphaservers do have this.
    Thus it's probably no great surprise that when the LCD doesn't do the
    expected thing, nothing else works further on than that. When you get
    something onscreen, what do you get? (I'd usually suggest using the
    serial console, except you're not getting that far... maybe disable
    the onboard VGA, *and* remove the PBXGA, as per User's Guide [1] Table
    9-7?)

    You did say "The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that
    far in the boot console)" - exactly what is leading you to think
    that?

    The Users Guide Chapter 6, Memory section, says that memory must be
    configured in groups of 5 SIMMs: "A minimum of one memory bank (five
    modules) is required.". This confirms my recollection that this system
    is intended to be used with ECC. Whether it will *work* (by any
    sensible definition of work) without ECC is a slightly different
    question, which others may be able to confirm if your Service Guide
    doesn't shed any light (especially anyone with real life AlphaServer
    1000A experience).

    In your situation I'd be looking for a SIMM to match any one of the
    existing ones, and reduce it to one bank of five identical SIMMs as
    the next step, just to see what the system does when not semi-
    permanently stuck in a tight loop handling uncorrectable memory errors
    (which *might* be what it's doing at the moment).

    Don't forget that once you do get it live, you might want to check
    your firmware is reasonably recent. You are also supposed to run the
    relevant EISA config utility for VMS. This may be important even if
    you are not using any EISA cards, unless you are 100% confident you
    don't need any changes from the current EISA config; EISA config
    values can in principle change with firmware changes and OS changes,
    so it's good to be confident. Incorrect EISA config values can cause
    Bad Things to happen at inconvenient times.

    Good luck
    John

    [1] ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/alphaserver/fir...PSV-OG-A02.pdf

  15. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 19, 8:56 pm, johnwalla...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    > On Oct 19, 5:28 pm, alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Oct 19, 7:40 am, H Vlems wrote:

    >
    > > > A couple of questions about the system:
    > > > What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    > > > How much memory does it have?
    > > > Is that amount shown on the console?
    > > > Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    > > > Hans

    >
    > > My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    > > that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    > > not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    > > output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    > > of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    > > everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    > > to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    > > somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?

    >
    > > The configuration is fairly straight forward:

    >
    > > pbxga-aa/an video card

    >
    > > 0x 0 MB bank 3
    > > 4x 32 MB bank 2
    > > 4x 8 MB bank 1
    > > 4x 256 MB bank 0
    > > ECC bank not present on this motherboard

    >
    > > The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    > > boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    > > some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    > > Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.

    >
    > > Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    > > on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    > > front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!

    >
    > > - Alex

    >
    > My vague recollection is that the LCD is driven by the main processor,
    > there's no microcontroller or similar to drive the boot and diagnostic
    > process, though some of the more upmarket Alphaservers do have this.
    > Thus it's probably no great surprise that when the LCD doesn't do the
    > expected thing, nothing else works further on than that. When you get
    > something onscreen, what do you get? (I'd usually suggest using the
    > serial console, except you're not getting that far... maybe disable
    > the onboard VGA, *and* remove the PBXGA, as per User's Guide [1] Table
    > 9-7?)
    >
    > You did say "The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that
    > far in the boot console)" - exactly what is leading you to think
    > that?
    >
    > The Users Guide Chapter 6, Memory section, says that memory must be
    > configured in groups of 5 SIMMs: "A minimum of one memory bank (five
    > modules) is required.". This confirms my recollection that this system
    > is intended to be used with ECC. Whether it will *work* (by any
    > sensible definition of work) without ECC is a slightly different
    > question, which others may be able to confirm if your Service Guide
    > doesn't shed any light (especially anyone with real life AlphaServer
    > 1000A experience).
    >
    > In your situation I'd be looking for a SIMM to match any one of the
    > existing ones, and reduce it to one bank of five identical SIMMs as
    > the next step, just to see what the system does when not semi-
    > permanently stuck in a tight loop handling uncorrectable memory errors
    > (which *might* be what it's doing at the moment).
    >
    > Don't forget that once you do get it live, you might want to check
    > your firmware is reasonably recent. You are also supposed to run the
    > relevant EISA config utility for VMS. This may be important even if
    > you are not using any EISA cards, unless you are 100% confident you
    > don't need any changes from the current EISA config; EISA config
    > values can in principle change with firmware changes and OS changes,
    > so it's good to be confident. Incorrect EISA config values can cause
    > Bad Things to happen at inconvenient times.
    >
    > Good luck
    > John
    >
    > [1]ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/alphaserver/firmware/retired_platforms/servers/A...


    Just in case it's not obvious: "I'd usually suggest using the serial
    console **for troubleshooting like this** (etc)" was what I was
    thinking, but was not quite what I tryped.

  16. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    In article <10c31b02-6193-4103-ae68-25470a98f6be@d31g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>, johnwallace4@yahoo.co.uk writes:
    >On Oct 19, 5:28 pm, alexandre.laguejacq...@gmail.com wrote:
    >> On Oct 19, 7:40 am, H Vlems wrote:
    >>
    >> > A couple of questions about the system:
    >> > What is the hardware configuration of the system?
    >> > How much memory does it have?
    >> > Is that amount shown on the console?
    >> > Did you try to reseat each pci board and memory module ?
    >> > Hans

    >>
    >> My initial message was misleading in the sense that I did not mention
    >> that most of the time, the fans turn on but the front panel LCD does
    >> not. This means that there is no diagnostic. Moreover, I only get
    >> output to the monitor *if* the front panel has already given some sign
    >> of life. Then, when it finally gets as far as output to the monitor,
    >> everything goes black after a minute or two whilst the fans continue
    >> to turn. Maybe this suggests that there is some poor contact
    >> somewhere or a bad power supply perhaps?
    >>
    >> The configuration is fairly straight forward:
    >>
    >> pbxga-aa/an video card
    >>
    >> 0x 0 MB bank 3
    >> 4x 32 MB bank 2
    >> 4x 8 MB bank 1
    >> 4x 256 MB bank 0
    >> ECC bank not present on this motherboard
    >>
    >> The memory appears to be recognized (when I can get that far in the
    >> boot console). There is one slot in bank 1 that has visibly suffered
    >> some abuse but with some play, one manages to insert the SIMM.
    >> Reseating the SIMMs has not helped.
    >>
    >> Right now I'm taking apart the machine piece by piece. I've turned it
    >> on without the RAM and the CPU daughterboard. Still no output to the
    >> front panel LCD. Perhaps I'm just making things worse!
    >>
    >> - Alex

    >
    >
    >My vague recollection is that the LCD is driven by the main processor,
    >there's no microcontroller or similar to drive the boot and diagnostic
    >process, though some of the more upmarket Alphaservers do have this.
    >Thus it's probably no great surprise that when the LCD doesn't do the
    >expected thing, nothing else works further on than that. When you get
    >something onscreen, what do you get? (I'd usually suggest using the
    >serial console, except you're not getting that far... maybe disable
    >the onboard VGA, *and* remove the PBXGA, as per User's Guide [1] Table
    >9-7?)


    It's been quite a while since I touched a 1000 but I believe that pulling
    the kbd and mouse would make it default to serial console.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    .... pejorative statements of opinion are entitled to constitutional protection
    no matter how extreme, vituperous, or vigorously expressed they may be. (NJSC)

    Copr. 2008 Brian Schenkenberger. Publication of _this_ usenet article outside
    of usenet _must_ include its contents in its entirety including this copyright
    notice, disclaimer and quotations.

  17. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:

    > It's been quite a while since I touched a 1000 but I believe that pulling
    > the kbd and mouse would make it default to serial console.


    And wouldn't the graphical display go blank during serial console bootup
    until decwindows was started and started sending billions and billions
    of colour pixels to it ?

  18. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 20, 1:16 am, JF Mezei wrote:
    > VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:
    > > It's been quite a while since I touched a 1000 but I believe that pulling
    > > the kbd and mouse would make it default to serial console.

    >
    > And wouldn't the graphical display go blank during serial console bootup
    > until decwindows was started and started sending billions and billions
    > of colour pixels to it ?


    My recollection is that the VGA BIOS on the graphics card is executed
    fairly early on in the powerup sequence, before the usual text output
    from the console code, and maybe even before keyboard and mouse are
    probed. On my PBXGA (aka ZLXp? aka???) the VGA BIOS does a small set
    of tests which draw basic colour bars and the like. So although I
    think VAXman's right re defaulting to serial console if kbd and mouse
    are missing, I also think there's still some limited dependency on the
    PBXGA during early powerup, so for safety it may be best to eliminate
    it from the picture at least temporarily.

  19. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On 20 Oct, 08:14, johnwalla...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    > On Oct 20, 1:16 am, JF Mezei wrote:
    >
    > > VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:
    > > > It's been quite a while since I touched a 1000 but I believe that pulling
    > > > the kbd and mouse would make it default to serial console.

    >
    > > And wouldn't the graphical display go blank during serial console bootup
    > > until decwindows was started and started sending billions and billions
    > > of colour pixels to it ?

    >
    > My recollection is that the VGA BIOS on the graphics card is executed
    > fairly early on in the powerup sequence, before the usual text output
    > from the console code, and maybe even before keyboard and mouse are
    > probed. On my PBXGA (aka ZLXp? aka???) the VGA BIOS does a small set
    > of tests which draw basic colour bars and the like. So although I
    > think VAXman's right re defaulting to serial console if kbd and mouse
    > are missing, I also think there's still some limited dependency on the
    > PBXGA during early powerup, so for safety it may be best to eliminate
    > it from the picture at least temporarily.


    The AlphaServer 1000A that I have will turn the screen blue "a while"
    after the system is powered up and will then send two character
    diagnostic codes to the screen as it tests parts of the system.
    There are no colour bars on the 1000A that I'm aware of during power
    on self tests. I used to get that on my DEC 3000m600 though.

    If the console is set to serial, the graphics display will go blue but
    won't issue a three chevrons prompt unless/until the machine gets to
    console level and the return key is pressed on the keyboard - it will
    just stay blue untill it gets to the motif login screen if it's set to
    serial console.

  20. Re: AlphaServer 1000a screen blanks after self test

    On Oct 20, 11:16 am, etmsr...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    > On 20 Oct, 08:14, johnwalla...@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > On Oct 20, 1:16 am, JF Mezei wrote:

    >
    > > > VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:
    > > > > It's been quite a while since I touched a 1000 but I believe that pulling
    > > > > the kbd and mouse would make it default to serial console.

    >
    > > > And wouldn't the graphical display go blank during serial console bootup
    > > > until decwindows was started and started sending billions and billions
    > > > of colour pixels to it ?

    >
    > > My recollection is that the VGA BIOS on the graphics card is executed
    > > fairly early on in the powerup sequence, before the usual text output
    > > from the console code, and maybe even before keyboard and mouse are
    > > probed. On my PBXGA (aka ZLXp? aka???) the VGA BIOS does a small set
    > > of tests which draw basic colour bars and the like. So although I
    > > think VAXman's right re defaulting to serial console if kbd and mouse
    > > are missing, I also think there's still some limited dependency on the
    > > PBXGA during early powerup, so for safety it may be best to eliminate
    > > it from the picture at least temporarily.

    >
    > The AlphaServer 1000A that I have will turn the screen blue "a while"
    > after the system is powered up and will then send two character
    > diagnostic codes to the screen as it tests parts of the system.


    Indeed. Typical Alpha behaviour for boxes of that class from that era.
    Somewhere there should be magic decoder rings to get from codes to
    tests (and thus to problems), but the situation in this thread aiui is
    that we aren't getting that far (and I'm still betting that the lack
    of a fifth SIMM is relevant).

    > There are no colour bars on the 1000A that I'm aware of during power
    > on self tests. I used to get that on my DEC 3000m600 though.
    >


    Indeed. The colour bars relate to the ZLX family graphics chips/cards/
    code. You don't have one of them, you have the relatively low-end
    integrated graphics on the server motherboard.

    > If the console is set to serial, the graphics display will go blue but
    > won't issue a three chevrons prompt unless/until the machine gets to
    > console level and the return key is pressed on the keyboard - it will
    > just stay blue untill it gets to the motif login screen if it's set to
    > serial console.


    Sounds right to me.


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