(Following up from Monitor for an SGI Octane?)

I booted both my Octane and Octane 2 machines for the first time. I have a monitor connected via a 13W3-to-VGA adapter, but no PS2 keyboard or mouse yet.

Neither machine would output anything to the monitor, and both would display a solid (not blinking) red light on the facade.

What would be the next logical steps in the debugging process?

I'm thinking that listening to the serial port with another machine could be instructive. I could also pull the system module out and check if anything's not properly seated, but unfortunately I don't have the covers for the compression connectors.

  • Does it play the octane startup music? Nov 9, 2019 at 1:29
  • I haven't heard anything, but I don't have any speakers plugged to the machines. Do they have their own internal speaker? Nov 9, 2019 at 15:10
  • Yes. No startup sound is a bad sign. :( . Hopefully reseating the cards in the backplane will help! Nov 9, 2019 at 22:10

2 Answers 2


Answering to myself, I checked the troubleshooting section in the Octane Owner Guide:

SGI Octane Diagnostic Chart

It seems like it could be an unseated board.

  • 1
    Or that the monitor cable adapter you are using is not compatible. Jun 9, 2019 at 11:46
  • Would that explain the solid red light on the facade? It's supposed to be an SGI-specific adapter... Jun 9, 2019 at 11:50
  • "Monitor cable unsealed" would indicate the machine does not think it has a monitor attached, i.e. the cable. Jun 9, 2019 at 12:18
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen For reference that's the adapter I bought: ebay.fr/itm/163680794025 Jun 9, 2019 at 15:53
  • I wouldn't know. I haven't touched an SGI in 25 years, sadly. Jun 9, 2019 at 17:26

One possibility is that because there’s no keyboard attached, it’s coming up with serial console only. Attach a terminal to the console serial port and see if you get anything on boot. You’ll need to set it to the standard 9600/8/N/1 and may need to use a null modem cable.

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