Subject: Re: curiosity killed my alpha?
To: None <>
From: Brian S. Zurbach <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 07/13/2003 21:56:18
> -----Original Message -----
> From: Sean Davis <>
> To:
> Sent: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 19:43:58 -0400
> Subject: curiosity killed my alpha?
>Ok, so I was bored, tinkering around in SRM. I had just halted NetBSD, which
>is (was?) installed and working perfectly.
>I typed help, got a list of commands. So, out of curiosity, I typed 'nt'.
>It said something about ARC and the screen went black and it rebooted. Now
>the screen never comes on, nor does it boot. I have no idea what 'nt' does,
>but does anybody on this list have a clue as to how I can get it working
>again? Its configuration is:
>AlphaStation 600 5/266
>266mhz 21164, 128MB RAM
>Monitor hooked up to the video card that came with it, keyboard hooked up t
>the keyboard port. On the scsi bus there is a plextor ultraplex wide scsi
>cd-rom and a western digital sca hard drive connected to the fast-wide bus
>via an sca->68pin adapter.
>Any help is very much appreciated. I had this thing working before I went
>and got curious. :\
>PS: HP no longer distributes the firmware for the 600, only the 500 then th
>600a, so that isn't an option unless somebody has it lying around
>somewhere... But I'm not sure how that'd be an option anyway, seeing as I
>can never get anything to come up on the screen anymore.
>/~\ The ASCII
>\ / Ribbon Campaign                   Sean Davis
> X  Against HTML                       aka dive
>/ \ Email!


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.  

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 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).........


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


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

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.

Best Of Luck.  Most Alpha firmware crashes are salvagable.


Brian S. Zurbach

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