Subject: Re: curiosity killed my alpha?
To: Brian S. Zurbach <>
From: Sean Davis <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 07/13/2003 22:29:57
On Sun, Jul 13, 2003 at 09:56:18PM +0000, Brian S. Zurbach wrote:
> > -----Original Message -----
> > From: Sean Davis <>
> > To:
> > Sent: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 19:43:58 -0400
> > Subject: curiosity killed my alpha?
> >
> Ouch.
> Most Alphas have a failsafe jumper that will automatically reload the SRM from a floppy disk.  I don't know if your machine has a large enough NVRAM to accomodate both ARC and the SRM at once;  my 164LX machines did not.  

If I read the manual correctly, this machine has something like four megs of
flash for srm/whatever to be in. But in the motherboard diagrams i saw
nothing about a failsafe jumper - only console test jumpers and a jumper to
force using serial console, among some others that enable/disable the
ability to write to flash.
> A search of Goole should yield some pdf docs or a manual for your machine that will let you find the appropriate failsafe and BIOS protect jumpers.  I can't help much with the SRM flash, but somebody should have it.

I found the user's guide for the machine which documents everything down to
the jumpers, but it didn't help any as far as restoring srm goes.

> I don't have a lot of experience with ARC on the older machines, I guess it is analogous to the newer AlphaBIOS in that it can load NT.  I know I used it once on an old 4/233 but I can't for the life of me recall the actual experience (maybe that's for the better).........

Only experience I have with ARC is seeing something like "loading ARC" and
then black screen, I'd rather I had none :P

> Unless 
> a) your NVRAM only has room for ARC or SRM and not both at the same time, 

Beats me.

> *or*
> b) the kb is unplugged or plugged into the mouse port <lol>, 

Checked that. Actually tried reversing them just to see if I could get it to
complain at me. No dice.

> I can't understand why you'd be black-screening after what you've done.  In the worst case, the console port pinouts are probably in the same manual you'll find failsafe juper info.  That's your next option if the failsafe jumper and SRM reload doesn't help out.  But I've never had to go that far.

Neither can I. The SRM manual says that the nt or arc commands load arc from
a floppy. I don't even have a floppy drive installed in this machine right
now. I would think that it would check for a disk before hosing itself...

> Best Of Luck.  Most Alpha firmware crashes are salvagable.

I hope so... thanks anyway,

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