The Question is:
I'm sitting in front of an AlphaStation 600 5/333. I have removed the 5 PCI
SCSI Cards, an E/ISA Modem and the network card. There are no internal hard
drives. There was never a graphics card installed.
I cannot seem to get a boot prompt using a term emulator attached to either
serial port, using a crossover cable (though I tried straight thru just to be
sure). The machine seems to refuse to recognize the outside world.
The unit never tries to look at the floppy for boot media. There is RAM in the
machine. I'm utterly confused (and a beginner with these systems).
On powerup, the front LCD displays "srom 1.2 XX", where XX counts down and
finally settles at "CD", after which nothing else happens.
Thanks in advance.
The Answer is :
That the AlphaStation 600 series system never had a graphics controller
installed is rather surprising, as AlphaStation series systems were (and
are) almost invariably always sold with a graphics controller installed.
"Try a couple of CTRL/P characters or a BREAK on COM1, and see if
you can get the attention of the console program. (The console
environment variable CONSOLE -- the mechanism that selects the
workstation or COM1 serial console -- may be set to GRAPHICS, not
The console wiring and the associated pinout information (pointers
to same) are contained in the OpenVMS FAQ.
"You can use the failsafe loader to load current firmware into the box,
if the firmware should be corrupted or of an antique version."
"With the I/O adapters to the left and the SIMM slots to the bottom,
there will be a clump of eight jumpers on the extreme right margin
of the [AlphaStation 600] motherboard. The third jumper down from
the top (W3) selects the failsafe firmware loader. Details on the
firmware failsafe loader operation for various systems ... are
available [here] at the Ask The Wizard website..."
"CD would be the diagnostic code. In the case of the AlphaStation
600 series, CD indicates that the SROM code execution is complete."
As for the Failsafe loader, the failsafe loader (FSL) is a method
used to reload good console firmware when the main console firmware
image is corrupted. Without the availability and use of a failsafe
loader, hardware will have to be replaced if the console image is
corrupted. There are various different implementations of the
failsafe loader available.
1 A jumper is used to select access to a FSL floppy on system
power-up, a floppy that must contain properly-formatted console
firmware for the particular platform.
2 A switch or jumper selects the FSL ROM which is pre-loaded
with a console image that allows a limited console command
set so you can boot the firmware media.
3 The console determines firmware is corrupt and requests a
special FSL floppy. In this case the floppy contains a
temporary SRM console that allows you to get to the console
prompt (three angle brackets) so you can boot the firmware.
4 The console determines firmware is corrupt and uses LED and/or
BEEP codes to indicate it requires a FSL floppy. This floppy
must include the console firmware, and will be loaded upon
the next system power-up:
Personal Workstation au Series
5 The console determines firmware is corrupt and will attempt to
load temporary console code from floppy on powerup. Can also
request the FSL by enabling jumpers or switches.
6 No FSL mechanism is available on the following systems; these
systems will require hardware service to reload invalid or
otherwise corrupted firmware.