Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

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winny
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Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:35 am

Got hold of an Octane in unknown condition but believed working for $70 so I took a gamble. Scratched, rusty, single cpu, 768 mb ram, SSI graphics and all the accessories one might need such as irix cds, 13w3-VGA adapters and Swedish layout keyboard.

First of all, no picture! Tried two different cables and two different monitors. Squat output, not even sync. Spins drives and seems to be booting in the background. Numlock is responsive as is the soft power-down.

Unplugged the keyboard and mouse to try serial console. Now it won't boot to white light anymore but halts at red. No serial console output!

Reseated both system and graphics board with no difference.

Any suggestions?

uunix
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby uunix » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:15 pm

'Seems to boot' ? Any activity on the NIC lights if you attach a network cable (connected to a hub or something) ?
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby smj » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:30 pm

If you plug the keyboard and mouse back in, do you get a white light? Leave the serial port connected and watch for output there when you try. Check the speed on your serial connection, I don't recall offhand if it should be 9.6, 19.2, or 38.4kbps for the Octane. Also, just in case, double check and make sure you've got serial port 1 connected. If the lettering has worn away, it should be the one closer to the PSU.

You may wish to try with the front cover removed, so you can see the frontplane LEDs on the front of the (metal) case. They may indicate a fault even if nothing is displayed on the gfx console or serial console.

If you haven't already, you may want to check out the Troubleshooting section of the OCTANE Owners Guide via TechPubs.
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winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:58 pm

It crunches stuff from the hard-drive and the network goes up.

Ah! The numbering of the serial ports was the problem. Number one was the one closest to the motherboard using PC-logic. However, seems like the usb-serial adapter suffered some damage from my ungrounded setup (y-caps dividing the voltage and the normal unpleasantness of connecting two different floating grounds) since linux dmesg on the client PC only gives me errors. I'll buy a new one and run it of my laptop and get back.

In the meantime, graphics boards where not much on ebay. How are chances that that's the problem?
Last edited by winny on Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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recondas
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby recondas » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:04 pm

winny wrote:Unplugged the keyboard and mouse to try serial console. Now it won't boot to white light anymore but halts at red. No serial console output!...

In the meantime, graphics boards where not much on ebay.

Any suggestions?


FWIW, I'd suggest waiting for the new cable to allow serial terminal access to the PROM, then use the 'printenv' command to examine your PROM environmental variables to see if you've inadvertently changed anything (like the 'console' variable).
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running...(sherwood-root 0607201829)
* InfiniteReality/Reality Software, IRIX 6.5 Release *
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chicaneuk
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby chicaneuk » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:25 am

Agreed. I had an Indy that wasn't putting out any video either, but once I got the correct serial cable, I was able to get onto the PROM and do some tinkering to bring the video back to life :)
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winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:21 am

Would this be something like 'console g'?

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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby miod » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:19 pm

winny wrote:Would this be something like 'console g'?

Code: Select all

setenv console g
ought to do the trick, indeed.
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby vishnu » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:10 pm

When you say
winny wrote:It crunches stuff from the hard-drive and the network goes up.
and
winny wrote:dmesg only gives me errors
do you mean that it's booting all the way to IRIX? Can you telnet in and see if XDM is running? Actually I'm not sure what IRIX calls it, it's the X Display Manager that shows the login screen. If it's running then your problem is indeed the graphics hardware or the 13W3 cable.
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winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:26 pm

Or, sorry about that. I'll edit my post to explain better. I diagnosed the USB-serial interface when it stoped working using dmesg on my linux-machine.

winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:56 am

If i just want to try setenv console g, shouldn't i be able to press escape, the number on the keyboard corresponding to enter system monitor and type it blind? Do I need to enter the root password? What would be the magic number?

winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:07 am

Is it not possible to do this?

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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby duck » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:57 am

Why not from the serial console? Clearly you got some output there.
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winny
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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby winny » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:30 am

Because it will take several days if not weeks before my new usb-serial-adapter arrives and I'm more eager than that yet cheap enough not to buy one over the counter for 40 € and get it today.

Come to think of it, by O2 does have serial port but I still need a null-modem cable for it and possibly software on the O2.

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Re: Octane, white light, no serial console, no image

Unread postby duck » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:04 am

Fair enough.

I'm not sure the prom would actually "show" the gui if "console" isn't set to g, but trying doesn't hurt much.. the trick would be to hit the escape key at the right moment, and there would be no confirmation that you did so. (The sequence being power on -> POST -> Stop for maintenance (hit ESC) -> press 5 -> type stuff)
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