Thursday, February 07, 2008

X4150: talk to me!

OK, so the first step is to connect up the cables, power the server on, and configure the SP.

So I do that - system and management networks, connect up the serial port, tip in, and apply power.

Silence. Not a peep. Not a sausage.

Come on, now. Talk to me!

Now I think this is OK, because the same tip session from the same host works flawlessly on every other Sun x64 server I have. But still I go through the motions - different host, different cable, various types of cable.

It's still sulking.

I give Sun Service a call. I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, so we'll see what they have to say - maybe I've got a faulty unit.

Turns out there's a problem with some units shipped with the wrong settings. If this happens to you, connect up a real keyboard and monitor, and power up the box (the real box, not just the standby power to the SP). Hit F2 to go into setup, and look through the settings. The "external serial port" should be set to SP. If it's set to system, hit F9 to restore defaults, and F10 to save (I think it's those function keys). I get back to my desk and there's the regular SP login prompt.

Thanks to James of Sun Support for tracking that one down for me.


Ben said...

I had a similar problem with an X2100 M2 after upgrading the BIOS and SP firmware. I had to work it out on my own though. :-(

On my X4150, I had fun trying to get into the BIOS from the SP (over ssh), and the documentation is wrong. Just in case you want to do it too, you actually have to do

set /SYS/CtrlInfo BootCtrl=BIOSSetup
set /SYS/CtrlInfo PowerCtrl=on

All good fun. The ELOM is amusingly different from the X2100 M2, just tiny differences which are quite bizarre.

Anonymous said...

we have 2 of these on trial from SUN. 2 weeks now no connections are possible. Sun dont even answer the phone for support. When we looked at it it is just a really expensive intel server with a sun badge on it. Not worth the money or the hassle and to think i was a massive sun fan before this.

Anonymous said...

Just spent two days getting an x4150
to boot Solaris 10. Without Peter's
blog it would have been longer!

Has anyone at Sun actually tried setting one of these up following their own manual instructions?!!

I have just decided to try Sun
servers again after about 4 years
away using Apple Xserves and am so far deeply unimpressed with Sun. Was about to order a
second x4150 but am not sure now.

My x4150 was also shipped with several wrong BIOS settings which
messed up the install & the DVD
drive doesn't work properly.
Almost every single step in the
install process failed in some
way or another & required research
to sort out. Very poor.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe how overly complex
the x4150 install is. Even if it worked ok (which it doesn't) surely in 2008 Sun can do better than this!

Anonymous said...

I've seen similar issues on many 4100's, 2100's, M2 and non M2 versions -- and now the 4150 and 4450 boxes. I prefer *LOM over IPKVM as *LOM gives more ability (power cycle for example). Having said this, it has always been interesting getting these things setup. I found a similar error in Sun's documentation and usually find better and more accurate information on sites like this. Thank You all for posting your solutions.


Anonymous said...

Hey great blog!

I've had one of these for a week now, it got all the latest flash updates, but still cant boot a vanilla Solaris 10 on it.

I've taken out the recovery CD after successful installation, it loads grub, then the screen flashes up Solaris 5.10 .... then bam it reboots back to the POST check.

Anyone find a way around this one ?

danny said...

I'm also facing the same problem, from some post stated that has to boot into 32-bit mode first.

how to boot into 32-bit mode, and please advise what patches needs to update before system can boot into 64-bit mode.

Jeffrey said...

Solaris 10/08 Installed perfectly. I had to download it from the website and burn it to a DVD. I went to register the OS and the website is completely down. YAY SUN!

Anonymous said...

Agree totally. Have all these problems with x4150... reading manual... after flash of BIOS everrything is fine, but a bad taste od solaris on his own machine still is very strong. We will never again have such problems, because we are switching to SuSE Linux. This OS on ordinary server and pc work as a dream. Solaris is for SysAdmins over 45 years old...