Subject: Re: error when running boot disk
To: None <,>
From: Ross Harvey <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 08/25/1998 17:07:39
> From: John Barbee <>
> Loading netbsd.gz
> 3849336+882560 [85
> and then the screen blanks.  the floppy is no longer being read and the
> computer hangs.  is something supposed to happen here or am i supposed
> to do something.  nothing i type seems to make a difference.
> this is an alphastation 200

> i'm trying to run freebsd on an alpha, so i got the netbsd installation
> disk and it hung.  i sent mail to but it seems to
> be an extremely quiet list.  so i figured somebody here might be able to
> help.
> From: John Birrell  <>
> Try pulling out the graphics card, disconnecting the keyboard and
> connecting a serial console before powering up. If the machine boots,
> you've got the "unsupported graphics card" problem.

Well, you only waited three hours for a response from the NetBSD list, and
you weren't even trying to run NetBSD. :-)

I've had several people tell me they had to unsubscribe from port-alpha
( because of the high volume, so I guess it is at just about
the right point...some people say it is too high and some say it is too

Anyway, NetBSD supports that particular system quite well. A lot of the
NetBSD developers have one or even more than one of that exact AlphaStation.
The boot code doesn't actually ever touch your drive or display hardware
directly...everything is done with console callbacks. So, it shouldn't
really matter at that point what graphics card you have, unless the SRM
console doesn't support it either and has some bizarre failure mode where
it can interact and print but still manages to die early on.

Switching to a serial console is something you should do anyway, for other
reasons, but right now it looks like you just have bad floppy media, or
some other problem affecting your hardware and/or console firmware. It
definitely doesn't look like a problem in the NetBSD boot code itself. How
much RAM is in that system? Which version of the NetBSD install floppy did
you use?

  -- Ross Harvey