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Digital AXPpci 33 Firmware

Occasional Advisor

Digital AXPpci 33 Firmware

i have bought this board in used condition.


When i power it on the last messages that are displayed are the following:


BIOS Emulation V1.13
Copyright 1993-1994 DEC
All Rights Reserved
Patent Pending


After this i get no additional messages on the VGA port and no interface that seems to be either ARC or SRM. Also the keyboard (PS/2 type connected over AT adapter) seems to be dead. Not even the CAPS LOCK LED can be activated. When i try to use the serial console instead i get some unreadable text only and the keyboard seems to be dead also.


At least i could check the CPU in another machine (Multia) an there it works fine. I have also tried other PS/2 memory modules on the AXPpci without success.


The graphics adapter i am using is a


S3 Trio64V+


The EPROM on the AXPpci has this label on it:


(c) DEC 89


AYO LT9549


One of the flash chips on the AXPpci board has the following label:




V 3.5-8


I do not know if that is correct or it has already been reprogrammed to a newer version.


My impression is that the contents of one of those chips are corrupted. Is there a way to reprogram the flashs inside the system? The EPROM is socketed and i could reprogram it outside the system if i could get the image of it.


I have found these files on the net:





Are they ARC or SRM or both? And do you see any chance to install them to the flashs on a board in this condition?


Thank you in advance.





Respected Contributor

Re: Digital AXPpci 33 Firmware

Ralph, reblasting the NVRAM will, I think, require a "failsafe floppy" as well as the required firmware images.  You might try different baud rates for the serial connections.  The usual standard used is 8N1 (eight data bits, no parity, one stop bit) at 9600bps.  I don't think that the Alpha processor serial ports could be setup with split baud rates so one for transmit and receive should be good.  I'm also curious what you mean by the keyboard being "dead" on the serial port.  The keyboard for that connection should either be connected to the PC you're using with a terminal emulator or to the dumb terminal you have connected to the port and in both of those situations the PC or VT should control the keyboard.  You don't directly attach a keyboard to the keyboard port and use the serial port, you either use one (serial) or the KVM/VGA combo.


Unfortunately, if memory serves, the failsafe floppy was either built by the owner and was semi-customized for the configuration or it was included with the unit at original purchase.  I can't remember for sure.  Either way if you don't have one already and you can't get any joy from mucking around with the baud rates on the serial port you really can't create one from a scrozzled unit.  You might also try replacing the clock battery (if present).  I did find this information using Google so you can discover documentation for this board on the Internet: