SUMMARY: Invalid Format Code in IDProm

Mika Tuupola (
Thu, 05 Feb 1998 22:04:06 +0200 (EET)

This summary comes late but here it is at last.Thanks to
all who responded:

"Edward C. Zimmermann" <>
Andre Saile <>
Steve Wardle <>
Harry Levinson <>
John Reynolds <>
Mark Henderson <>
Chris Phillips <chris@luna.Canada.Sun.COM>
Joel Lee <>
Bismark Espinoza <bismark@alta.Jpl.Nasa.Gov>

The original question was:

> I received a phone call from a friend of mine who uses
> an old sparcstation 1+ at home. Yesterday it stopped booting
> and dies at bootup time giving an error message:
> "Invalid Format Code in IDProm"
> What does the "Invalid Format Code in IDProm" mean?
> What might have caused it?
> What are the possibilities to fix it?

Basically the cause of this error message is that the contents
of the NVRAM is junk. That is caused because the battery of NVRAM
is empty. Because the battery is integrated in the NVRAM you
will have to replace the chip.

In this case we first tried resetting the NVRAM. This is done
by pressing "L1" and "n" key simultaneously at powerup time and
releasing them once banner appears. Then new values were
programmed into NVRAM. This seemed to work first, but allways
after poweroff the contents of the chip were junk again.

The solution was buying a new chip. Problems arise when we
couldnt restore the old ethenet address or the hostid and
the serial number of the chip was not found from Suns
databases. We made the values ourselves as found in
instructions in Sun NVRAM/hostid FAQ.

The problems are now solved.

Mika Tuupola                  
Appelsiini Networks