AlphaServer 1000A not booting

Peter Coghlan pcoghlan+cctech at
Fri Apr 30 06:50:14 CDT 2010

>> I have an AlphaServer 1000A 4/266 that is not booting. When I power it up,
>> nothing shows up on the control panel LCD and there are no beep codes. I
>> know that the motherboard is receiving power because the "link active" light
>> on the Ethernet adapter comes on. Is there anything that I can do to fix it,
>> or should I just try to find another Alpha (I don't seem to have much luck
>> with Alphas - I have a DEC 3000/300X with a bad RAM slot).

>There's every chance the LCD is hosed, do you get anything out of a console
>connection? From what I remember the A1000A doesn't beep on successful POST,
>first machine to do that was the DS20.

My AlphaServer 1000A 5/333 and 5/400 both beep during or after the POST.

>The strange thing is that it was sitting for a few months, and it worked
>fine the previous time I turned it on.

I also have a number of DEC machines that failed after sitting for a few
months. I posted about them around the time of the "Leaving computers on..."
thread about a month ago but I never saw my mail make it to the list for
some reason.

>Does the floppy drive light come on? I'm wondering if the SROM has gone bad
>and it needs a Failsafe Load, but I guess before that point you should at
>least get the POST displaying on the LCD. Do the PSU fans start up? I'm not
>near a 1000A till tomorrow so I won't mention reseating the CPU module until
>I know it has a removeable one :)

The CPU module is removable and I have had trouble with one of my machines
fixed by reseating it. However, the symptoms were different - there was
activity on the display and there were beeps giving error codes.

I have also had a problem with a failed Bcache on the CPU module (it seems
this can be a weak point on the AS1000A) and I had memory failures. However,
neither stopped the POST displaying on the LCD nor the graphics console from

I would suggest reseating the CPU module and removing any PCI cards present.
(I have an Alphaserver 800 which became a complete brick while a combination
of PCI cards were present that it didn't like.) If there are any EISA cards
present, I would leave them in place because there may be issues with the
config utility that has to be run when the EISA bus configuration is
modified. Other than that, I suggest trying the system with just the bare
essentials present and seeing what happens.

It would be useful to know if the fans start. Fan problems on some alphas
cause the whole thing to shut down. Also, there is an interlock microswitch
to prevent power up when the cover is open. This is probably not the problem
here though as the symptoms are as if the front panel power switch is off.

Peter Coghlan.

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