Sunblade 1500, password protected PROM

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with sun machines you will know that if you set a password on your PROM it stays there.
None of this PC rubbish where you can reset to factory defaults via jumper or pulling a battery.

The password and its settings are locked away in the PROM for ever and if you forget it or happen to buy a second hand Sun with a password on the PROM your going to need some help!

A good friend of mine recently got a Sun Blade 1500. His is the 1ghz model.
coming with a PROM password of course….
So he’s given it to me to undertake the task of removing the PROM password.

To do this we need to netboot the 1500 and install solaris, then use the commands inside solaris 10 to reset the PROM password.
The solaris 10 installer will reset the PROM boot order, regardless of the PROM password.

I will be using the netboot infrastructure I set up in the X1 netboot guide. You must have the base line sets done from this guide or the following steps won’t work. This guide is just adding an extra client into an existing netboot environment.

Commands are in Italics

  1. First we need to get the MAC address of the 1500. Boot up via serial console (you can boot with monitor and keyboard but whats the fun) wiat untal the boot banner comes up. For the 1500 it looks like this :-
    Sun Blade 1500, No Keyboard
    Copyright 1998-2003 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
    OpenBoot 4.9.5, 2048 MB memory installed, Serial #xxxxxxxx.
    Ethernet address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx, Host ID: xxxxxxxx.
  2. Update the /etc/ethers file with the mac address
    # vi /etc/ethers
    add the following
    xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx sunblade
  3. Update the hosts file
    # vi /etc/hosts
    add  the host in and give it an IP
    192.168.0.xx sunblade
  4. Now its time to add the sunblade into the “Install Client” set.
    cd /store/store/deploy/Solaris_10/Tools/
    The  Sunblade 1500 is a “sun4u” machine so do the following
    # ./add_install_client sunblade sun4u
    This shoud chunder out “updating /etc/bootparams” And nothing else if it worked.
  5. Now boot up the Sunbade. As the HDD in this machine is empty and booting from DVD has been disab led it defaults back to netboot.
    It should spew out the following :-
    Boot device: net  File and args:
    100 Mbps FDX Link up
    Timeout waiting for ARP/RARP packet
    Timeout waiting for ARP/RARP packet
    Timeout waiting for ARP/RARP packet
    Timeout waiting for ARP/RARP packet
    3a000 100 Mbps FDX Link upRequesting Internet address for 0:3:ba:6e:e9:5
    SunOS Release 5.10 Version Generic_137137-09 64-bit
    Copyright 1983-2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc.  All rights reserved.
    Use is subject to license terms.
    Configuring devices.
    WARNING: /pci@1e,600000/ide@d/dad@0,0 (dad1):
    Corrupt label; wrong magic numberUsing RPC Bootparams for network configuration information.
    Attempting to configure interface bge0…
    Configured interface bge0
    Reading ZFS config: done.
    Setting up Java. Please wait…
    Serial console, reverting to text install
    Beginning system identification…
    Searching for configuration file(s)…
    Search complete.
    Discovering additional network configuration…
  6. Do a basic install of Solaris, we can fix it up later . All we want is to get the installer to reset the PROM boot order so we can boot Solaris and wipe the PROM password. Wait for the install to finish and it should reboot into the solaris install.
  7. Log into solaris and issue the following command
    # eeprom security-mode=none
    This will tell the PROM to remove ALL passwords so every PROM command can be run by anyone with physical access to the machine.
  8. Lets update the PROM version now. Latest version is OBP 4.30.3, Patch ID 140686-01
    Download that and SFTP it across to the sunblade
  9. Run the following commands under Solaris 10 to make a new boot archive
    # unzip

    Change into the 140686-01 directory
    # echo flash-update* >> /boot/solaris/filelist.ramdisk
    # bootadm update-archive
    # cp flash-update*  /
    # chmod 755 /flash-update*
    # halt
  10. You now need to boot the system in interactive mode. Enter the following at the “ok” prompt
    ok boot disk /flash-update-SunBlade1500

    This will now boot into the flash update program, follow the prompts and update the flash PROMs.

Thats it..
You’ve got an unlocked and updated PROM with Solaris installed.


4 Responses to “Sunblade 1500, password protected PROM”

  1. You wouldn’t still have a copy of the ibp lying around would you ? Oracle have done the nasty and hidden the lot behind an unpleasant support structure

    Many t hanks


  2. No sorry I don’t. If I did I am sure the Oracle Goons would come after me…
    I gave away all my Sun systems after Oracle pulled there bullshit about needing a service contract just to get patches and updates.

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