C H A P T E R  2


This chapter contains information on troubleshooting procedures, power-on self-test (POST) codes and technical support contacts.

The following sections are included in this chapter:

2.1 Troubleshooting Overview

Before troubleshooting your specific workstation problem, collect the following information:

After you assess the problem and note your current configuration and environment, you can choose from several ways to troubleshoot your workstation.

If you are not able to resolve the problem, contact Sun technical support. Support numbers and web sites are listed in Section 2.4, Technical Assistance.

2.2 Visual Inspection

Improperly set controls and loose or improperly connected cables are common causes of problems with hardware components. When investigating a system problem, first check all the external switches, controls, and cable connections. See Section 2.2.1, Performing an External Visual Inspection.

If this does not resolve your problem, then visually inspect the system's interior hardware for problems such as a loose card, cable connector, or mounting screw. See Section 2.2.2, Performing an Internal Visual Inspection.

2.2.1 Performing an External Visual Inspection

1. Turn off the system and any attached peripherals (if applicable).

2. Verify that all power cables are properly connected to the system, the monitor, and peripherals, and check their power sources.

3. Inspect connections to any attached devices, including network cables, keyboard, monitor, and mouse, as well as any devices attached to the serial port.

2.2.2 Performing an Internal Visual Inspection

1. Shut down the operating system, if necessary, and turn off the platform power on the front of the workstation.

2. Turn off the AC power on the back of the workstation.

3. Turn off any attached peripherals, but do not disconnect the power cables.

4. Remove the left-side panel, following the procedures in Section 4.2, Installation Precautions.

caution icon

Caution - Some components, such as the heatsink, can become extremely hot during system operations. Allow these components to cool before handling them.

5. Verify that the components are fully seated in their sockets or connectors and that the sockets are clean.

6. Verify that all cables inside the system are firmly attached to their appropriate connectors.

7. Replace the left-side panel.

8. Reconnect the system and any attached peripherals to their power sources, and then power them on.

2.3 Troubleshooting Procedures

TABLE 2-1 contains possible problems that might arise during the use of your workstation. Possible solutions are listed for each problem. If the solutions listed here do not fix the problem, run the appropriate diagnostic test (see Chapter 3).

TABLE 2-1 Troubleshooting Procedures


Possible solution

Workstation does not power on when the front-panel Power button is pressed.

Keep notes on the following situations in case you need to call Sun technical support:

  • Is the Power button LED illuminated on the front of the system? Ensure that the power cord is connected to the system and to a grounded power receptacle.
  • Does the wall outlet have power? Test by connecting another device.
  • Does the system beep when the system is powered on? Ensure that the keyboard is plugged in.
  • Test with another keyboard that you know is functional. Does the system beep when you connect the keyboard and power on the system?
  • Does the monitor sync within 5 minutes after the power-on? The green LED on the monitor stops flashing and remains illuminated.
  • Is the monitor connected to the onboard video connector or PCI Express video connector?

Workstation halts during POST without displaying error messages.

Check the BIOS POST LED display on the motherboard. See Appendix C for detailed information on the POST codes.

Workstation powers on, but the monitor does not.

  • Is the Power button for the monitor turned on?
  • Is the monitor power cord connected to a wall outlet?
  • Does the wall outlet have power? Test by connecting another device.
  • Is the monitor connected to the onboard video connector or PCI Express video connector?

CD or DVD does not eject from the media tray when you press the Eject button.

  • Move the mouse or press any key on the keyboard. The drive might be in the low-power mode.
  • Use the utility software installed on your workstation to eject the CD.

Workstation does not power off when the front-panel Power button is pressed.

The network status indicator does not light up.

  • Check the cabling and network equipment to make sure that all cables are correctly seated.
  • Reinstall the network drivers.

An external device connected to a USB connector does not work.

  • Reduce the number of external devices connected to a USB hub.
  • Connect the device to a USB hub and connect the hub to the USB ports on the workstation.
  • Refer to the documentation that is packaged with the device.

System cannot read the disk information.

Do the following:

1. Turn off the workstation by pressing the Power button.

2. Remove the left-side panel.

3. Check to make sure that the power and data cables are connected to the disk drive and that the pins in the cable and connector are not bent.

4. Replace the left-side panel.

5. Turn on the workstation.

System cannot read CD or DVD information.

Check the following:

  • Are you using the correct type of CD/DVD?
  • Is the CD/DVD properly inserted in the drive?
  • Is the CD/DVD clean and unscratched?
  • Are the cables connected to the DVD drive?

Keyboard or mouse does not respond to actions.

  • Verify that the mouse and keyboard cables are connected to the onboard USB 2.0 connectors on the workstation.
  • Verify that the workstation is powered on and that the front Power LED is illuminated.

Workstation appears to be in low-power mode, but the Power button LED does not blink.

The power-indicator LED blinks only when all workstation components are in low-power mode. A tape drive might be connected to your workstation. Because tape drives do not enter low-power mode, the power-indicator LED does not blink.

Hung or frozen workstation: No response from mouse or keyboard or any application.

Try to access your system from a different workstation on the network.

  1. From a terminal window, type: ping hostname
  2. If there is no response, remotely log in from another system, using telnet or rlogin, and ping the system again.
  3. Attempt to kill processes until the system responds.

If the above procedures do not work:

  1. Press the Power button to power off the system.
  2. Wait 20 to 30 seconds and power on the system.

See Section 1.4.2, Powering Off the Workstation for more detailed information.

There is no video display on the monitor screen.

Check the following:

  • Is the cable connected to the onboard video connector or PCI Express video connector?
  • Is the monitor power cord connected to the power outlet?
  • Does the wall outlet have power? Test it by connecting another device.
  • Is the video card seated correctly in its connector?
  • Are the internal cables properly connected to the video card?
  • Does the monitor work when connected to another system?
  • If you have another monitor, does it work when connected to the original system?
  • Verify that the BIOS settings are correct.

External device is not working.

  • Check the documentation packaged with the device to see if any device drivers must be installed.
  • Ensure that the cables for the external device are firmly connected, and that the pins in the cable and connector are not bent.
  • Power off the system, reattach the external device, and power on the system.

Newly installed memory is not detected.

  • Make sure that the memory is properly seated on the DIMM sockets.
  • Move the memory to the other DIMM socket to determine whether the socket is defective.
  • Make sure that you are using 256 MB, 512 MB, or 1 GB DDR 400 SDRAM modules with 3.05 cm max. height.
  • Make sure that the memory is installed in pairs.

2.4 Technical Assistance

If the troubleshooting procedures in this chapter fail to solve your problem, you can receive additional technical support at the Sun web sites and telephone numbers listed in TABLE 2-2.

TABLE 2-2 Sun Web Sites and Telephone Numbers

Workstation Documents and Support Resources

URL or Telephone Number

PDF files for all the current Sun Ultra 20 Workstation documents.



Solaris and other software documents. This web site has full search capabilities.


Discussion and troubleshooting forums.


Support, diagnostic tools, and alerts for all Sun products.


Links to software patches. Lists some system specifications, troubleshooting and maintenance information, and other tools.


Sun service program phone numbers.

1-800-872-4786 (1-800-USA-4Sun) Select Option 1

International telephone numbers for Sun service support.


Warranty and contract support contacts. Links to other service tools.


Warranties for every Sun product.