Sun SPARCstation LX boot from CDROM?

Tom Hunter ccth6600 at
Sun Aug 30 08:32:58 CDT 2020

 I removed the PCB off the CDROM drive and on closer inspection noticed a
region of substantial corrosion of solder joints on the component side.
About 70% of the PCB had solder joints that were nice and shiny like brand
new. The remaining section near the front of the drive was quite badly
corroded and it also looked like there was some liquid spilled over that
section of the PCB (component side).
When I tried to re-solder a few of the worst affected components they just
fell off and the copper track below them was gone.
When heating the solder joint the solder wouldn't melt it was just pure led
& tin oxide.
Interestingly as I heated the solder joint there was a faint smell like rat
I now wonder if 25+ years ago during production of the CDROM at the Sony
factory some rodent relieved itself over one or more PCBs and next morning
the PCB got assembled into a CDROM drive.
It worked for a few years before I put it away in my display cabinet.
Slowly over the next 20 years the uric acid corroded solder and tracks.
This could not have happened after the assembly because of the small
opening in the unit where the caddy is inserted and also because the
component side is facing down.
Anyway this is the sad end of my Sun CDROM drive.   :-(

Tom Hunter

On Sun, Aug 30, 2020 at 1:23 PM Tom Hunter <ccth6600 at> wrote:

> I have now installed an old Adaptec AHA-2940 Ultra SCSI card with
> micro-SCSI interface in a Windows XP PC. Windows successfully installed the
> device driver and sees the Sony drive. If I attempt to read from the drive
> I get a generic I/O error.
> So it appears that the drives SCSI interface, positioning and eject
> circuitry is working but there is maybe a problem in the optical circuitry
> or the LASER optics.
> Thanks for all the feedback.
> Tom Hunter
> On Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 9:58 AM r.stricklin via cctalk <
> cctalk at> wrote:
>> On Aug 28, 2020, at 3:01 PM, Alan Perry via cctech wrote:
>> > My collection is primarily sun4c and sun4m machines. I have been having
>> problems with the CD drives that I have been acquiring (purchase or rescue)
>> in the last year or so. 4-5 drives, none worked. It has all been drives in
>> 411 cases or going into them, no failures with internal drives. Haven’t
>> investigated why.
>> 95% likelihood of faulty miniature electrolytics.
>> ok
>> bear.
>> --
>> until further notice

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