Monday, April 27, 2009

FATAL: system is not bootable, boot command is disabled

Here's how to dealing with the error ""FATAL: system is not bootable, boot command is disabled" when trying to boot a system from OBP...

This type of a warning can appear on systems such as a Sun Fire V880.

In most cases, this warning occurs at the OBP "ok" prompt if the power-up
initialization (right after the banner was displayed) was aborted. Usually,
this is done by using the Stop-A keystroke (XIR Reset).

If after such an occurence "boot" command is executed, the system displays
the following error:

{1} ok boot
FATAL: OpenBoot initialization sequence prematurely terminated.
FATAL: system is not bootable, boot command is disabled

The system at that point does not boot.

In most cases, this just means that since the proper initialization of the
machine wasn't allowed to complete, the system is unable to boot. This is
done to make sure that OS deamons (such as picld) do not have problems as
they start up during boot (because of the improperly initialized memory,

To get the machine to boot properly, issue the "reset-all" command or press
"STOP" key and "N" key together while machine is turning on (release both
keys when you see lights flash on keyboard) and allow the machine to boot
up "hands off".

Note: This "Stop + N" combination is only true when keyboard and
monitor/console are attached to the machine.

If for whatever reason the "boot" command has to be entered manually,
execute the following commands at the "ok" prompt:

setenv auto-boot? false

Now, the machine will reset. Allow it to fully initialize. It will then
give the ok prompt without booting automatically.

At this point if the "boot" command is manually executed, it should work
without errors. Also, before running the manual boot, the "auto-boot?"
variable can be set back to "true". This way, the system will again be
set back to its original setting for the next time it is reset or power

NOTE: seeing only the "FATAL: system is not bootable ..." message even
after following the above procedure most likely indicates a real problem
(possibly a hardware problem) with that machine.

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