Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

New to SGIs? Need help getting things going? This is the forum for you!
Forum rules
Any posts concerning pirated software or offering to buy/sell/trade commercial software are subject to removal.
Andega
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Andega » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:56 pm

Hi everyone !
After some time in the retro computer hobby with refurbish of many hardware brands i got for the first time an opportunity last week to take over
my first SGI. It is a Beautiful rack mounted Origin 3200 with One I-brick/two c-bricks/one d-brick/PSU followed by an L2 controller/touch screen and a variety of PCI-cards, manuals, software and spare parts. The setup is in a very good condition and i have the ambition to refurbish it and maintain it for the coming generations. However with new brands comes new challenges so as a new member i reach out for some guidance, i powered it up for the first time yesterday, Everything booted up fine with one flaw (There is Always at least one with retro computers :-), i get an error message from one of the C-bricks stating "”PIMM0 VCPU low fault limit reached at 0.000V” after that the unit Power down as part of fail safe protocol. I have tried to read as much as i can on the SGI-communities and as newbie i have reached the following as possible causes:

1, One of the Voltage Regulator modules (VRM) has failed, there are 7 in total in my C-brick, (One 48V/1,5V and one 48V/2,5V per PIMM) plus Three 48V/2,5V in the backend of the Mother board. I have disassembled and cleaned all of them but the problem remains. I have also shifted the PSU-Connection Cables between the bricks and PSU and have measured that i have the correct voltages into the brick.
I got five spare VRM units with the machine (Delta manufactured with SGI nbr 060-0107-001) but i have no schematics on those and have not tried to replace any of the VRM´s (Yet) It is interesting to see that you can twigle the VRM´s in it´s positions horizontally and that appears to affect the error codes a bit in my case, complaining about 2,5V low voltage . When the position of all VRM´s in my perspective is good i am back to the original error message "PIMM0..." as stated above.

2, My PIMM 0 processor board is faulty, this path is beyond my level of knowledge and i am doubtful that theese can even be found as replaceables anymore ?

Since i am in an enthusiast mode to bring this wonderful machine up running again i am most thankful for any tips that you SGI enthusiasts can provide me with to get her started again. Thank´s in advance for all hints and tips and have a nice weekend.

Regards from Anders in Sweden

User avatar
Irinikus
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:25 am
Location: Between Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Irinikus » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:33 pm

Hi, and welcome!

I hope someone around here will have some good answers for you, as not many people have such machines in their possession.

You will more than likely have to solve this one through a process of elimination.

Do you know which PIMM is PIMM0? If not, are you able to run the machine with only one C-brick? If so, try running it with the one and then the other to determine which brick has the PIMM with the faulty VRM.

This is the inside of a C-brick of an Origin 3400, confirm that yours are the same or similar?
origin_cbrick_inside3.jpg
Image ................................... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ................................... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image
Image ........................ Image
Image ........................ Image Image

Andega
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Andega » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:50 pm

Hi and thank´s for your reply Irinkus !
Yes the setup runs perfect with the working c-brick. that was the first step i took to secure that the system was stable. I am fully aware that this server setup is not the most common hardware setup here but i am quite sure that there are other rigs out there :-) The problem occurs when i attach my second c-brick that clearly has a hardware issue, likely related to either the PIMM board itself (god forbid) or in one of the voltage regulator modules. I have good confidence that someone in the forum has experience from the error and can guide me further.

User avatar
Irinikus
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:25 am
Location: Between Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Irinikus » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:52 pm

Have you tried swapping out the VRM's between the C-Bricks, in this way you can determine whether its a VRM fault or a PIMM fault?

I have seen these PIMMS for sale on eBay, so you should be able to obtain another one if necessary.

Here's an example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/SGI-030-1616-002-Origin-Onyx-3000-series-R12000-2x400MHz-CPU-PIMM-module-New/112310661782?epid=1500553417&hash=item1a263cb296:g:0jsAAOSwawpXvMHV
Last edited by Irinikus on Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image ................................... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ................................... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image
Image ........................ Image
Image ........................ Image Image

Andega
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Andega » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:54 pm

And Yes again , my MoBo setup seems identical from your Picture. PIMM 0 is at the top right on your Picture and consists of 2 processors + 2 VRM´s (48V/1,5V) and (48V/2,5V)

Andega
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Andega » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:04 pm

Thank´s for EBay link also. I have five spare VRM candidates that i will try out in the first phase. Strategy is to not mess too much with my working C-Brick, very good to see that there are still PIMM´s on the market :-) I Think from my markings that my PIMM might be 500Mhz though, will check that out tomorrow. Thanks again for your input.

Andega
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby Andega » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:44 pm

Back to basic is Always a good path to take, as newbie on SGI the origin 3200 is not the easiest patient to start with.
Here is a Quick update where i stand tonight. I took the second C-brick that reported VRM-issues out and booted on
my working C-brick and I-brick. Console works fine both on L1 and through the L2 system controller. I can issue commands
according to the manual and can see that the system runs in good order. I got a tip from Björn in Sweden that i should be able
to exit the console and get into the PROM boot menu and move further from there into the POD command set to be able to clear all logs
that might solve the problem with the non working C-Brick. Here is where my lack of skills on the system becomes embarrasingly apparent. I can do all commands from the console and the machine spins fine but i can´t figure out how the heck i can catch the irix Environment when the system is powering up. I get this feeling that i have to connect to the server through IP outside the console Environment... Any guidance is most welcome, cheers /Anders

User avatar
jan-jaap
Donor
Donor
Posts: 5071
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:35 am
Location: Wijchen, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby jan-jaap » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:14 pm

Hi there,

I sincerely doubt that anything in software is going to fix a VRM error. Probably best to unplug that brick and try to boot the working bricks.

You should have a port marked 'console' somewhere, if you connect to that (9600/n/8/1) you get the PROM console from which IRIX is booted. Alternatively, on an L1 port CTRL-T/CTRL-D will switch between L1 and system console.

The O3K manual is here: https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/manuals/hd ... index.html

User avatar
bjornl
Posts: 345
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 11:55 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Help needed to get a very nice Origin 3200 server started

Unread postby bjornl » Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:25 pm

Hi,
I haven't had VRM problems with my MIPS SGIs so I was not sure what to suggest.
Clearing the logs has helped me restoring other things, such as cpu and memory issues, and I hoped it would make a difference here as well.

I have had VRM issues with VW320/540. I ended up buying replacements :-)

When I come to think about it, I have changed motherboard in one of my O300 to make it work. I don't remember what the problem was to begin with though.


Return to “Getting Started, Documentation, Tips & Tricks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests