AlphaStation 200 NVRAM Problem

Rob Jarratt robert.jarratt at
Sat Apr 30 11:59:09 CDT 2016

Just spotted a typo in my email. If anyone has a known good AlphaStation 200 I will be able to supply a VMS program to read the DROM, and there is *no* need to take the DROM chip out and *no* need to have a programmer. Just VMS running on the box. If anyone can help with this please get in touch.



Sent from my Windows 10 phone

From: Maciej W. Rozycki
Sent: 30 April 2016 18:36
To: General Discussion: On-Topic Posts
Subject: RE: AlphaStation 200 NVRAM Problem

On Tue, 26 Apr 2016, Robert Jarratt wrote:

> It turns out that I only needed to flip the bit in the bank 8 config
> register and I can now access the flashbus. I can write to the LEDs, it
> turns out that writing a 0 turns the LED on, rather than off, which is why I
> thought it hadn't worked.

 Oh, I thought you would try 0x55 or suchlike pattern -- given that you 
did not know whether it is active-high or active-low logic being used by 
the circuit.  And active-low is actually what I'd expect here given that 
you get all the LEDs lit at reset.

> I can now do test code for the NVRAM, I will start with repeated reads to
> see if I get different values on different occasions. Then I will save it
> and write patterns etc. It may be a checksum that is failing of course. Or
> the DROM itself, which I can't verify until I get the PLCC adapter for my
> PROM programmer and someone else to read their DROM.

 I just hope it's not a heisenbug of some sort and with NVRAM supposedly 
now eliminated as the cause it is DROM contents indeed.  The DROM part at 
least can be fixed without soldering, which is always a bit of a challenge 
with finer pitch components.

> Thanks for all the help I have a way forward for a little while now.
> Although anyone with one of these machines who could read the DROM would be
> helpful. I will be able to supply a VMS program to read it, so need to
> remove it from the machine or to have a programmer.

 You are welcome!  Good luck tracking down a DROM image soon -- that's 
beyond me I'm afraid, I only have TURBOchannel stuff really.


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