AlphaStation 200 NVRAM Problem

Robert Jarratt robert.jarratt at
Sat Apr 23 11:33:57 CDT 2016

>  But from the discussion referred I gather DROM outputs its diagnostics to
> this port too and you might be able to learn what exactly about NVRAM it
> complains.  Also you might be able to correct configuration, e.g. by
poking at
> NVRAM or elsewhere appropriately; notice that the manual also suggests
> you might be able to bypass the DROM sequence and go to SRM/ARC
> directly, which might help recovery too.

Having checked the manual I think you may be referring to the following

" When the SROM code has completed its tasks, it normally loads the DROM
code and
turns control over to it. The SROM checks to see if the DROM contains the
proper header
and that the checksum is correct. If either check fails, the SROM code reads
a location in
the TOY NVRAM. The location indicates which console firmware (the SRM or the
should be loaded.
When the console firmware is loaded, the header check and the checksum are
checked. If
either is in error, the SROM code jumps to its mini-console routine. With
the appropriate
adapter, you can attach a terminal to the CPU's serial port and use the
Typically, this port is used in the manufacturing environment."

To get this sequence to work needs two things though. First I have to create
a DROM error. The DROM seems to be fine. Perhaps I could remove the DROM
chip as it is socketed to provoke the error.

However, then it says it checks the TOY NVRAM for which firmware to load.
The battery was flat, so the TOY NVRAM won't have this info. Hopefully it
will default to one of them.

Still, if I had the mini-console adapter, that would probably really help.



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