IV.  Practical howto

IV.4  Troubleshooting

Solaris is freshly installed on the second hdd and fails to boot, "Bad PBR" error message is reported

This is caused by a bug in Solaris 8 boot procedure. Solaris always tries to load its VBS (PBR) from the first physical hard disk drive in the system. If Solaris is booted from other than the first drive the error is reported.

The most recent release of Solaris 8, that is 02/02, also known as Update 7, seems not to suffer this problem.


Change BIOS boot sequence settings so that Solaris is on the boot drive. If this also fails change hard disk cables so that Solaris is on the first drive (usually primary master IDE). In the later case reconfiguration of boot device may be necessary (see Reconfiguring boot device).

After Solaris is installed, other partitions on my hdd get unusable

This happens due to specific CHS geometry translation used in Solaris. It is incompatible with other operating system, fdisk and partitioning utilities like Ranish PM or Partition Magic.


The workaround is to reinstall Solaris into existing partition, created earlier with e.g. Ranish PM, which is capable of creating Solaris partitions. It is also possible to create a partition of any type e.g. FAT-32 and change its ID (0x0B or 0x0C for FAT-32) to 0x82 with any disk editor (see details on the MBR).

When I try to boot Solaris it enters DCA and hangs there

Probably auto-boot eeprom setting is set to false or boot-path is wrong. See DCA.

I have changed motherboard (or SCSI controller, or cable connection) and Solaris does not boot anymore

During installation Solaris saves details of physical devices connected to the mainboard of the machine, that is, IRQs and device specifications necessary to attach proper software drivers. Whenever, one of those devices changes, the saved data needs to be updated accordingly. Refer to Reconfiguring boot device to fix the problem.