Subject: Another one (Multia) bites the dust....
To: None <port-alpha@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg Oster <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 04/30/1997 11:51:08

Well, after happily singing the virtues of my rock-solid Multia it appears 
that I too must join in the chorus of folks saying "mine died" :-(

Until last Friday night, the machine was solid.  I compiled up an 1.2D
kernel (-current as of April 19) which ran fine.  I started the world 
compiling, and went to bed.  When I got up, the machine had hung, and
I've been unable to get it to work properly since.  :-(

The things I'm seeing include:
1) "exception context saved starting" message at the SRM console (this was 
after a "ls" at the console prompt produced a really garbled output on the 
screen (it only scrolled the one line at the bottom of the screen, and then
it spewed "pixel garbage" all over the rest of the screen))

2) "unexpected exception/interrupt through vector 00"
Again, this was at the SRM console, whilst running the "test" program.

3) NetBSD kernels will boot, but none of them (1.2B, 1.2C, or 1.2D)
will survive very long.  All will lock up in single-user.  Both the 1.2B and 
1.2C kernels had been quite solid before...  (The 1.2B kernel is on a 
completely separate bootable disk which I keep especially for occasions 
where / might get corrupted.  This disk has not been written to in the
last 54 days...)

The SIMMS seem to be fine...  I played mix'n'match with them, but I get the 
same behavior no matter which ones I use... (The memory test done at SRM
console startup indicates they are fine..)

Does anyone know of *anything* the 1.2D kernel might have done to 
cause this strange behavior?  My guess is that this is just a very unhappy 
coincidence that the machine died shortly after installing a 
1.2D kernel.... :-( :-( :-(  (No, I don't blame the 1.2D kernel at all...)

Might it be worth it to install newer firmware? (I'm running 3.5-72 right now, 
and it's a '94 vintage...)  I'd do that, but I don't want whatever it is 
that's wrong to fail part-way through the installation, and leave the system 
completely hosed (like it's not scrambled badly enough already)...

I suspect the poor machine just overheated, and that there is nothing
I can do to fix it...  Unless some of you folks have a miracle cure for my 
multia, it looks like I'm in search of new hardware :-(


Greg Oster
Department of Computer Science
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA