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crisostomo_enrico 12-27-2008 11:34 AM

Upgrading Sun Ultra 24 BIOS to latest version (1.3) results in a non bootable system

Yesterday I decided to upgrade my Ultra 24 BIOS to latest published version. The update went flawlessly but when the machine boots up the usual SXCE build 104 grub menu shows up and when I boot Solaris the following is showed:

SunOS Release 5.11 Version snv_104 64-bit
Copyright 1983-2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Use is subject to license terms.
Cannot mount root on /pci@0,0/pci-ide@1f,2/ide@1/cmdk@0,0:a fstype ufs

panic[cpu0]/thread=fffffffffbc2c520: vfs_mountroot: cannot mount root
fffffffffbc4d200 genunix:vfs_mountroot+350 ()
fffffffffbc4d200 genunix:main+f0 ()
fffffffffbc4d200 unix:_locore_start+92 ()

skipping system dump - no dump device configured
It's the first time I experience such behavior upgrading Sun machines' BIOS. The partition is there because when I boot failsafe Solaris mounts the OS partition on /a and I can walk through it.

Do you know the reason why this may happen? Is there any workaround or am I going to reinstall SXCE from scratch?


eggixyz 12-28-2008 10:55 PM

Hey There,

Not super familiar with Solaris 11 or x86, but that error usually means driver problems or physical device path changes (possible with BIOS upgrade. If you can try this:

mount into single user regulary, off the net or from cdrom:


boot -s
boot net -s
boot cdrom -s
then mount your primary hard drive on /tmp/a (or somewhere similar)


mkdir /tmp/a
moutn /dev/dsk/cxtxdxsx /tmp/a
then cd into /tmp/a/etc and backup your path_to_inst file


cd /tmp/a/etc
cp path_to_inst path_to_inst.bak
then get back to your ok> prompt (or x86's equivalent) and run


boot -ar
(-a will ask you questions and -r will attempt to recontruct your physical device paths and the logical device paths)

answer defaults to all questions and, when it notices that your path_to_inst is missing and would you like to recreate it, answer yes.

Then try your regular boot.

At the boot prompt, you can also try to do:




a good trick, if you're not sure what options you have available at the lower level is to use the sifting command:


sifting probe
will list all the commands available at the prom level with the word probe in them :)

Hope this helps, or, at least, gets you pointed in the right direction :)

Best wishes,


crisostomo_enrico 12-29-2008 04:45 PM

Thank you for pointing me to some direction.

I'll try to follow your advice and let you know.


eggixyz 12-29-2008 11:39 PM

Good deal and best of luck with your problem,

I'll check back next time you reply :)



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