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Sunblade 100 IDPROM not valid

Rebooting my Sunblade 100 stopped at the ok prompt, the startup information included something like this:
Ethernet address ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, Host ID ffffffff
And there was a message about the IDPROM being not valid.

The Debian installation guide mentions this briefly:
5.1.4. IDPROM Messages

If you cannot boot because you get messages about a problem with “IDPROM”, then it's possible that your NVRAM battery, which holds configuration information for you firmware, has run out. See the Sun NVRAM FAQ for more information.

The suggested FAQ link is very detailed and helpful but involves replacing the dead battery chip:

The machine is about 5 years old and has run almost continuous all that time. But it was powered off for about a week recently. When it failed I wanted a quick fix that did not involve hardware and found the following which may be helpful to someone else.

I have only tried it with a reboot command, not power-off or net boot yet.

Step 1
boot failed.
Ethernet address ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff, Host ID ffffffff
Machine fails to boot, does not load SILO, stops at ok>
Now it appears that most commands do not work, but fortunately "boot" works
ok> boot

Step 2
SILO loads, select required kernel from the menu
Boot sequence stops with message "CLOCK: Clock was stopped. Kick start "
Then it appears to hang.
But wait a minute or less and the boot continues...
The machine boots up but ifconfig shows the ethernet address is FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF
and network cannot be reached.

Step 3
Gentoo gives a clue here in Code List 3.2/3.4
So i did this as root:
# eeprom local-mac-address?=true
# reboot

If I understand correctly, this forces the MAC address from the network card and the machine reboots with a valid MAC address.
Maybe I was just lucky, or the battery is not completely dead yet?
But i am reporting this as it might be a temporary fix that will help someone in a hurry.
The mentioned NVRAM FAQ explains the proper solution.



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