Using the OBDiag Utility

The OBDiag utility is an OpenBoot program designed to help the system administrator run extensive hardware diagnostics on a Sun Microsystems SPARC based system.

Do not break out of the operating system with the STOP+A command and then run the OBDiag utility. The OBDiag utility runs extensive hardware tests and could freeze the Solaris 9 operating system or the hardware.

Make sure the operating system is completely shut down before running the OBDiag utility.

|                                    obdiag                                    |
|                                                                              |
|      1 SUNW,m64B@13         |      2 ebus@c        |      3 firewire@c,2     |
|      4 flashprom@0,0        |      5 floppy@0,3f0  |      6 ide@d            |
|      7 keyboard@2           |      8 network@c,1   |      9 parallel@0,378   |
|      10 pmu@3               |      11 serial@0,2e8 |      12 serial@0,3f8    |
|      13 usb@c,3             |                      |                         |
|____________________________ |_____________________ |_________________________|
| Commands: test test-all except help what printenvs setenv versions exit      |
Figure 1 shows the OBDiag menu

Some of the commands shown in the last row of the OBDdiag menu can be used with the numbered menu items above. These commands are:

test To test a specific device, type the command test # where the number (#) is one of the numbers seen in Figure 1. For example, to test the keyboard, an administrator would type the command
obdiag> test 7
Item number 7 is 7 keyboard@2.
test-all This command is used to test all the devices as listed in Figure 1. Be careful trying to use this command because if there is one bad device, the entire test could become frozen. If the test freezes, it's not a big problem. Just press the power button and return to the OK prompt.
except The except command is used to exclude certain devices from the test-all command. To select a device to exclude, type the command
obdiag> except 4,8
.Try to exclude devices that are not being used on your system.
help The help command prints a short text description of the other commands. The help system is rather limited within OBDiag.
what The what command is used to gather extensive information about a particular piece of hardware on the system. For example, using the command what 3 on a SunBlade 100 produces the following results:
obdiag> what 3
Device 3 is /pci@1f,0/firewire@c,2
version : %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
name: firewire
compatible : pci108e,1102.1001
Hit any key to return to the main menu
printenvs This command prints values for the diagnostic configuration variables.
setenv This command sets the diagnostic configuration variables to a newly defined value.This is necessary if you need to change the location of a device in the device tree.
versions The versions command is used to display the version numbers of all the hardware that was found on the system. Figure 2 shows an example output from the versions command.
exit The exit command is used to exit the OBDiag utility.
1 SUNW,m64B@13              No version is specified.
2 ebus@c                    1.7 00/05/30 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
3 firewire@c,2              %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
4 flashprom@0,0             1.8 00/06/02 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
5 floppy@0,3f0              %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
6 ide@d                     %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
7 keyboard@2                No version is specified.
8 network@c,1               1.6 00/04/18 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
9 parallel@0,378            %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
10 pmu@3                    %I% %E% Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
11 serial@0,2e8             No version is specified.
12 serial@0,3f8             No version is specified.
13 usb@c,3                  1.6 00/05/15 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.

   OBDIAG LIBRARY           1.4 00/05/15 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
   OBDIAG MENUTOOL          1.2 00/01/19 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Figure 2 Sample output from the versions command run on a SunBlade 100.

The easiest way to pull any useful information out of this command is to get the version number and the date from the second column.

Note: The date is formatted in a rather odd format YY/MM/DD. For example,

13 usb@c,3                  1.6 00/05/15 Copyright (c) Sun Microsystems, Inc.

From the above output, we see this item has the date 00/05/15, so the date this item was created is 15-Mar-2000.


  1. Power on the SPARC system
  2. At the banner, press STOP+A keys simultaneously
  3. At the OK prompt type obdiag
  4. At the obdiag> prompt, type versions to list hardware and versions
  5. At the obdiag> prompt type test 6 to test device 6 (IDE hard drive) from the output in figure 1
  6. At the obdiag> prompt type test 7 to test device 7 (keyboard) from the output in figure 1
  7. Type exit to quit the OBDiag utility.