IBM RS/6000 Help / advice wanted

Sridhar Ayengar ploopster at
Mon Sep 29 15:16:31 CDT 2008

Josh Dersch wrote:
> On Sep 29, 2008, at 8:49 AM, John S <john_a_s2004 at> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Last year I bought an RS/6000 Model 34H as I wanted a cheap example of 
>> an old Unix/AIX workstation. Having sorted out a monitor (with 3W3 
>> lead) the machine appears to be faulty.
>> So far whenever I power it up, I see:
>> - a series of numbers on the front LED display (got them listed on a 
>> piece of paper somewhere, sorry not got it to hand).
>> - Nothing on the monitor
>> - No activity on either of the 2 serial ports (using an RS232 
>> break-out box to a PC running terminal emulator)
>> The machine didn't come with a manual, looking on the net I haven't 
>> found a source to buy a suitable manual let alone download one.
>> Currently the machine is sitting out of the way doing nothing, I would 
>> like to see what the problem is before deciding whether to scrap it or 
>> try and repair it (assuming it is something like a failed SCSI hard 
>> drive).
>> Can anyone advise what to try, or a list of what the LED numbers mean? 
>> Should for example the external SCSI connector have a terminator?
>> I think next time I buy an RS/6000, I will look for one that comes 
>> with a manual!
>> Regards,
>> John
> If I recall correctly,  you will get nothing (aside from a few numbers 
> on the front panel) on these early machines unless you have bootable 
> media on the hard drive or in the floppy drive.  I recall doing an 
> install from floppy and you get nothing on the display or serial ports 
> until several floppies have been loaded -- the front panel numbers chane 
> to indicate when to switch floppies, etc!
> I'm at work so I can't send it now, but there is a PDF of the manual 
> that describes this process.
> I also have images of the startup floppies,  but you're on your own 
> finding an aix distro...

Yes, indeed.  The video and console aren't talked to until the OS starts 
to boot.

The manuals are available online.  If you have trouble finding them, let 
me know and I'll dig them up for you.

Peace...  Sridhar

More information about the cctalk mailing list