Nov 6, 2009

Tips to recover booting Problems in Solaris

Booting problems poses serious challenge to the system administrators as system is down and no one can use it. This article tries to cover some of the general booting problems and their possible solutions to enable.

Understand the problem cause and bring the system up very quickly.

Following are some of the booting issues, error messages their meaning and Possible solutions.

1. Booting in single user mode and mounting root hard disk.

Most important step in diagnosing the booting problems is

booting the system in single user mode and examining the hard

disk for possible errors & work out the corrective measure.

Single user mode can be achieved by any of the following methods

ok> boot -s ;from root disk

ok> boot net -s ;from network

ok>boot cdrom -s ;from cdrom

Rebooting with command: cdrom -s

Configuring the /devices directory

Configuring the /dev directory |



# fsck /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0

# mount /dev/dsk/c0t3d0s0 /mnt

Perform the required operation on mounted disk , now accessible

through /mnt ,& unmount the hard disk after you are done ;

# umount /mnt

# reboot

2. Making boot device alias

In case system can not boot from primary disk and it is needed

to make another boot disk to access the data , nvalias command

is used .

nvalias command makes the device alias and assigns an alternate

name to a physical disk. Physical address of target disk is

required which can be had by show-disk command on ok>.

ok> nvalias disk7


The new aliased disk can be named as boot disk or can be used

for booting by refering its name .

ok> setenv boot-device disk7



ok> boot disk7

3."Timeout waiting for ARP/RARP packet"?

At ok> type printenv and look for these parameters.

boot-device disk

mfg-switch? false

diag-switch? false

if you see "boot-device net " or true value for the other two

parameter change it to the values above.

In case you wants to boot from network make sure your client is

properly configured in boot server and network connections &

Configurations are proper.

4."The file just loaded does not appear to be executable."

Boot block on the hard disk is corrupted .Boot the system in

single user mode with cdrom and reinstall boot block .

#installboot /usr/platform/`uname -i`/lib/fs/ufs/bootblk /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0

5."bootblk: can't find the boot program"

boot block can not find the boot programe - ufsboot in Solaris

.Either ufsboot is missing or corrupted . In such cases it can

be restored from the cdrom after booting from cdrom & mounting

the hard disk

# cp /platform/`uname -i`/ufsboot /mnt/platform/`uname -i`

6."boot: cannot open kernel/unix"

Kernel directory or unix kernel file in this directory is not

found .Probably deleted during fsck or deleted by mistake .Copy

it from the cdrom or restore from the backup tape.

# cp /platform/`uname -i`/kernel/unix /mnt/platform/`uname -


7."Error reading ELF header."?

Kernel directory or unix kernel file in this directory is

corrupted.Copy it from the cdrom or restore from the backup


# cp /platform/`uname -i`/kernel/unix /mnt/platform/`uname -


8."Cannot open '/etc/path_to_inst'"

System can not find the /etc/path_to_install file .It might be

missing or corrupted and needs to be rebuild.

To rebuild this file boot the system with -ar option :

ok>boot -ar

Press enter to select default values for the questions asked

during booting and select yes to rebuild /etc/path_to_install

The /etc/path_to_inst on your system does not exist or is empty.

Do you want to rebuild this file [n]? y

system will continue booting after rebuilding the file.

9."Can't stat /dev/rdsk/c0t3d0s0"

When booted from cdrom and done fsck the root partition comes

out to be fine but on booting from root disk this error occurs.

The device name for / is missing from /dev/dsk directory and to

resolve the issue /dev & /devices directories has to be restored

from root backup tapes .


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