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I have a small pile of Sun V20z computers. I was trying to update the SP and BIOS firmwares in order to bring them all up to the same standard -- mostly to get the updated (ie actually useful) SP functionality, and figured that I would just do the BIOS while I was at it.

For three of the four computers, it worked perfectly. However after the BIOS update, the fourth system won't boot.

I did this:

batch05-mgmt $ sp get mounts
Local Remote
batch05-mgmt $ platform set os state update-bios /mnt/sw_images/platform/firmware/bios/V1.35.3.2/bios.sp
This command may take several minutes.  Please be patient.
Bios started
Bios Flash Transmit Started
Bios Flash Transmit Complete
Bios Flash update Progress: 7
Bios Flash update Progress: 6
Bios Flash update Progress: 5
Bios Flash update Progress: 4
Bios Flash update Progress: 3
Bios Flash update Progress: 2
Bios Flash update Progress: 1
Bios Flash update complete
batch05-mgmt $ platform set power state on
This command may take several minutes.  Please be patient.

After an hour of waiting, it still won't start. The chassis powers on, but beyond the fans spinning up and the hardware POST of the drives, nothing appears to happen.

So if I try to re-flash the BIOS (on the theory that maybe something went wrong):

batch05-mgmt $ platform set os state update-bios /mnt/sw_images/platform/firmware/bios/V1.35.3.2/bios.sp
This command may take several minutes.  Please be patient.
Bios started
Error. The operation timed out.

Have I bricked it?

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Removed the Solaris tag. This is hardware, and it's a x86_64 computer that is actually running Linux, if the BIOS is ever recoverable. – David Mackintosh Nov 20 '09 at 14:47

This is what I found when I googled: Error. The operation timed out. updating bios sun V20z

Procedure how to go back to the factory settings of the operating system of the Service Processor.

Open the Sun Fire[TM] V20z chassis and connect the pins 1 and 2 at jumper 19. This will send the console output of the service processor to the serial port. Where to locate jumper 19 on the motherboard is described in the Sun Fire V20z jumpers section of the document 817-5248 Sun Fire V20z and Sun Fire V40z Servers User Guide.

This was the original question/answer:

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Hmmm. Doesn't work. Reading closely, the supplied method resets the settings in the SP firmware. The revision of SP firmware was unaffected by this procedure. Also the BIOS remained unstartable. Google doesn't bring back anything more than variations on this theme. (And this question is the number 2 response now -- well done ServerFault.) Failing a miracle from a contact at Sun, I think I've bricked it. Not the end of the world, I have more of these coming. – David Mackintosh Nov 24 '09 at 20:35
up vote 0 down vote accepted

From my wiki page documenting this:

Possible Lead

This Page describes a "Crisis Recovery Diskette" for the v40z, which is related to (yet different from) the v20z. Maybe there exists such a disk image for the v20z.

Ooh, there is. According to that page, I need the file v20-cr.img from http://systems-tsc/twiki/bin/view/Products/ProdTroubleshootingV20z -- although that appears to be an internal system at Sun, so I can't get at it.

A hint on Twitter promptet me to send an email to Bill Bradford at, who had this to say:

The only thing I can suggest is to try to find someone at Newisys (or what's left of it after they got bought by Sanmina-SCI), as the v20z and v40z were actually Sun-rebadged/branded Newisys Opteron servers (the v20z is the same system as a Newisys 2100). I just looked on their web page, but the "Support" section requires a login (can't get it to let me register) and they stopped making servers in '07. An email might turn up good results though.

At this point I have spares so I don't need to dig into this any more.

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Perhaps not a direct answer, but this may help someone.

I just updated a v20z and v40z to firmware current as of March 2010.

As I was also re-imaging the OS, I had a crash cart connected.

After the BIOS update, the neither system still recognized a Dell USB keyboard. A Sun USB keyboard was recognized, if it was plugged in at BIOS startup.

Unfortunately, the Linux kickstart CD, seeing the PS/2 ports, did not recognize any USB keyboard...

Switching to a PS/2 keyboard resolved the problem.

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