Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

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Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby recondas » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:04 pm

"Got a Tezro today" is something I've long wanted to say. Well I can because I did, but it took a little doing to be able to say I had a Tezro that worked.

This one appeared in a Craigslist ad a couple of hundred miles away. I answered immediately but didn't get a reply even after a second post. The next week a link to the ad was posted here, and I mentally wrote the Tezro off. Later the same day I got a response from the seller with his phone number. When I called the seller seemed to be a straight up guy, who told me he didn't know a lot about SGI hardware - he bought the Tezro at an auction. I asked if it ran - his answer was the little display panel says L-something is running. I asked if any fans ran when the power button was pushed the answer was no. Didn't sound too reassuring <there have been a few posts on nekochan about Tezros with dead motherboards>, but the price left a little room for repairs, so I agreed to buy it.

It arrived this afternoon, nicely packed. The case is a little scuffed up, but intact with no broken parts. The insides were filthy. Every fan and ventilation perforation was full of clumps of black dust - looked like it had run non-stop for several years at floor level in a place that under-paid the janitorial staff.

Cleaned out the worst of it <outdoors>, then carried it to the work bench and inspected the interior to see that everything appeared to be seated. Connected a serial terminal and applied power. The fans didn't start, and

Code: Select all

Cannot enable VRM: 9
Cannot enable VRM: 10
Cannot enable VRM: 11
appeared in the serial terminal console. That was it, couldn't get a response from the L1 or the PROM. A few thoughts came to mind, all of them four letters long.

I went back over the system, and this time noticed that there was a slight bit of deformation to the VHDCI SCSI port on the back of the IO9, and a the bulkhead next to the SCI port was was slightly bent. I pulled the IO9 and with the help of a magnifying glass noticed that the impact that had cause the deformation to the SCSI port compressed the array of solder pins on the back of the port so that some were broken and others were in contact. I had a spare IO9 on hand, so I stuck in the replacement and reconnected power. This time I got an L1 prompt. an L1 'env' and 'serial all' looked ok, so I powered the system up and switched the L1 to console mode.

Got 'widget 15 present but not alive during' the power on diagnostics, no display on a connected LCD monitor, and a 'gfx config error' on the L1 display - even though the PROM was set to console=g and a keyboard and mouse were connected. Stopped in the PROM and ran an hinv, no graphics board appeared.

The graphics board was fully seated, so I pulled it and inserted a spare Fuel V10 I had around. This time it went through power on diagnostics without and error, and the Tezro splash screen appeared on the LCD monitor and in a PROM hinv.

The Tezro came without any drives or sleds, so I used a clone of the root drive from my O350/V12 and was able to boot IRIX. Here's an hinv <with the V10 test board still installed>:

Code: Select all

# hinv -vm
Location: /hw/module/001c01/node
       IP53_4CPU Board: barcode NER934     part 030-1956-002 rev -C
Location: /hw/module/001c01/IXbrick/xtalk/11
       WS_INT_53 Board: barcode NBY982     part 030-1881-007 rev -A
Location: /hw/module/001c01/IXbrick/xtalk/12
       ASTODYV10 Board: barcode MVT940     part 030-1826-003 rev -A
Location: /hw/module/001c01/IXbrick/xtalk/15
       WS_INT_53 Board: barcode NBY982     part 030-1881-007 rev -A
Location: /hw/module/001c01/IXbrick/xtalk/15/pci-x/0/1/ioc4
             IO9 Board: barcode MRH584     part 030-1771-004 rev -A
4 800 MHZ IP35 Processors
CPU: MIPS R16000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.2
FPU: MIPS R16010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 2.2
CPU 0 at Module 001c01/Slot 0/Slice A: 800 Mhz MIPS R16000 Processor Chip (enabled)
  Processor revision: 2.2. Scache: Size 4 MB Speed 400 Mhz  Tap 0xa
CPU 1 at Module 001c01/Slot 0/Slice B: 800 Mhz MIPS R16000 Processor Chip (enabled)
  Processor revision: 2.2. Scache: Size 4 MB Speed 400 Mhz  Tap 0xa
CPU 2 at Module 001c01/Slot 0/Slice C: 800 Mhz MIPS R16000 Processor Chip (enabled)
  Processor revision: 2.2. Scache: Size 4 MB Speed 400 Mhz  Tap 0xa
CPU 3 at Module 001c01/Slot 0/Slice D: 800 Mhz MIPS R16000 Processor Chip (enabled)
  Processor revision: 2.2. Scache: Size 4 MB Speed 400 Mhz  Tap 0xa
Main memory size: 6144 Mbytes
Instruction cache size: 32 Kbytes
Data cache size: 32 Kbytes
Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 4 Mbytes
Memory at Module 001c01/Slot 0: 4096 MB (enabled)
  Bank 0 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
  Bank 1 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
  Bank 2 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
  Bank 3 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
  Bank 4 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
  Bank 5 contains 1024 MB (Premium) DIMMS (enabled)
Integral SCSI controller 2: Version IDE (ATA/ATAPI) IOC4
  CDROM: unit 0 on SCSI controller 2
Integral SCSI controller 0: Version QL12160, low voltage differential
  Disk drive: unit 1 on SCSI controller 0 (unit 1)
Integral SCSI controller 1: Version QL12160, low voltage differential
IOC3/IOC4 serial port: tty3
IOC3/IOC4 serial port: tty4
Graphics board: V10
Integral Gigabit Ethernet: tg0, module 001c01, PCI bus 1 slot 4
Iris Audio Processor: version MAD revision 1, number 2
  PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x10a9, device 0x100a) PCI slot 1
  PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x104c, device 0xac28) PCI slot 2
  PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x1077, device 0x1216) PCI slot 3
  PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x14e4, device 0x1645) PCI slot 4
  PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x1412, device 0x1724) PCI slot 2
IOC4 firmware revision 62
IOC3/IOC4 external interrupts: 1
HUB in Module 001c01/Slot 0: Revision 2 Speed 200.00 Mhz (enabled)
IP35prom in Module 001c01/Slot n0: Revision 6.210


Update: I replaced the V12 and posted an hinv and some photos the hinv forum.
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby bigD » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:11 pm

#@!$U*$#@%&!!!!

:D :D :D
:Onyx2: :Indigo2: :O3x0:

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby josehill » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:27 pm

Nice - thanks for sharing the gory details!

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby PymbleSoftware » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:10 pm

Congratulations, I too, am envious.

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby nekonoko » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:24 pm

Wow, nice machine! Hopefully you can get the graphics sorted :)
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby smj » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:29 pm

Must be the one from Virginia - nice surprise on it being a 4x800 config. Also, glad I resisted temptation as I would've had to go hunting the elusive IO9...
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby nekonoko » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:48 pm

Yeah, my Tezro was missing its IO9 completely. I had to pull one from a linked O350 (it was redundant in that config fortunately).
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby recondas » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:49 pm

BigD wrote:#@!$U*$#@%&!!!!

:D :D :D
I hear ya, but you're still over there right in the middle of the land of SGI milk and honey. From the stand point of bang for the buck/amount of high-end gear included, that Onyx 350 IR4 over your way is probably the best SGI hardware deal I've seen in a long time.
PymbleSoftware wrote:Congratulations, I too, am envious.
Thanks - what I left out of my post was right after I found out it was dead enough not to bring up an L1 prompt, I had to go and sit through several hours of a small-talk social event. Things were slow enough that I had time to mentally run through every possible gloom-n-doom scenario at least four or five times - regular life of the party I was.
smj wrote: I would've had to go hunting the elusive IO9...
Yeah, that could have been real ugly - check out the $500 price quotes in this IO9 wanted thread. I got lucky and grabbed one last year when one of the eBay sellers was running an SGI firesale. Didn't really need it at the time, but it was going down the second time without a bid.

What was worrying me before I figured out it was the IO9 was the initial VRM error messages. I mailed my last spare node board <with VRMs attached> to Scotland last week.
nekonoko wrote:Wow, nice machine! Hopefully you can get the graphics sorted
Thanks! I stuck a Fuel V12 in it for now. The original Tezro v12 wasn't stone cold dead, it would appear in an L1 serial all. I'll go over it with a magnifying light to see if maybe I can find a loose solder joint.
nekonoko wrote:Yeah, my Tezro was missing its IO9 completely.
I suspect this one originally had a DM3 in it - the cover plate was missing from the XIO2 slot for the DM3.
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby smj » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:41 am

All that careful preparation goes to show you were ready and deserving of the beast. Congrats and enjoy!
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby jan-jaap » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:48 am

Nice!

Since you have both, maybe you can tell me: how loud is a Tezro compared to an Origin/Onyx 350 module?
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby kshuff » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:39 am

bigD wrote:#@!$U*$#@%&!!!!


My thoughts exactly
-ks

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby recondas » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:14 am

jan-jaap wrote:Since you have both, maybe you can tell me: how loud is a Tezro compared to an Origin/Onyx 350 module?
Been a while since I ran a single O350, and the O350s are now in an SGI short rack which really muffles the noise <the short rack is built out of double-wall 3/16" steel - even the rear door is 3/16" steel>. But going solely from memory I'd say the sound level of the Tezro is similar to one O350, but maybe slightly lower in pitch.

I do have the Tezro and a Fuel running side by side. If you stand to the rear of the two the sound levels are pretty close. From the front or sides the Tezro is noticeably quieter. While the Tezro has many more fans, they seem to run at lower speed <the heavier construction of the Tezro probably plays into that too>.
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby josehill » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:57 am

recondas wrote:I found out it was dead enough not to bring up an L1 prompt, I had to go and sit through several hours of a small-talk social event. Things were slow enough that I had time to mentally run through every possible gloom-n-doom scenario at least four or five times - regular life of the party I was.

Why do I have a picture in my mind of some couple driving home from the event, having a conversation like this -
Wife: "What's IO9, and who is L1?"
Husband: "Huh?"
Wife: "Dude kept muttering, 'IO9, IO9, L1 failure' at the party."
Husband: "Oh. You know he was Recon, right? Poor guy is having those flashbacks again. I think IO9 was his unit, and L1 was a place. You know, we were all at the bar down the road a couple of years ago, and just he started saying 'O350 Odyssey, L1 environment bad, I can fix it!' over and over."
Wife: "Oh, that poor man!"
Husband: "...but thank god we have men like him!"

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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby recondas » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:11 am

kshuff wrote:
#@!$U*$#@%&!!!!
My thoughts exactly
I'm not a fan of posting third-party auctions or sales of SGI gear on nekochan - especially when that item has the potential to be a very good deal. Unless you're the seller of the item, I can't see the logic in posting what could or might have been a good deal on the one place that will almost certainly ensure *no one* gets a good deal.

Last time I tried to buy a Tezro, pretty much the same thing happened. Got the first bid in, and the all was quiet for several days until some kind soul decided to post a link <see "Saw a tezro on ebay, ready to be snatched away" for the gory details>. Might that earlier Tezro have still ended up beyond my budget? Sure it *might* have, but posting it here removed any doubt.

The Tezro that's the subject of this thread was listed on Craigslist on November 10th. I routinely search *all* of Craigslist, and found the listing the same day, and emailed the seller asking for details. Didn't get an immediate reply, so I emailed him again on the 12th, and again didn't get an immediate reply <I don't think he gets in a hurry, it was six days before that Tezro shipped>.

On November 16th, a link to the Craigslist ad was posted on nekochan. I figured that post pretty much let the air out of the idea that *anybody* would get a Tezro for a hobbyist friendly price. The same day as the nekochan post, the Craigslist seller sent me a reply with a phone number, and I called him. During our conversation he mentioned he was rather surprised that the listing had gone from 'almost dead' to receiving 12 or 15 email inquiries that day.

nekochan's membership is probably the single largest block of SGI hardware purchasers in the world, and at the same time is a community who's members have formed a social bond. Mixing those seeming opposing elements with everyone's desire to get that once-in-a-lifetime deal doesn't always produce the best results. Keith's obvious disappointment is just another reason why I'll renew my suggestion that members refrain from posting what could be a 'good deal' for SGI hardware on this list.
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Re: Night of the Living Dead: Resurrecting a Tezro

Unread postby kshuff » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:27 pm

No hard feelings Dave, just wanted it as bad as you did :)
-ks

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