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If the MCP inside a C100 is dead, what to do ?

- ( updated 2004-12-25 )


The integrated MCP "Master Control Processor" is the heart of your switch. Having the MCP running, be happy.


If it does no more boot, you are lost. Its gone.


About 99% of all events, we heard about, you did upgrade the firmware ( the image of the MCP ) with the wrong Speedview version / the wrong firmware or you did not strictly follow the instructions. This results in a corrupted bootprogram in the single flash (boot-) chip on board.

The basic background of a dead MCP seems to be the following:

If you upgrade the images of a MCP, not only the image will be stored, but the bootsystem will be modified to detect the new image and the changes, may be the location and/or adresses. So if you interrupt the update process (may be by accident) the OS image is stored, but the boot code isnt. It may be did remain in its old status or it is corrupted. However, the system does no more boot or will come up with an error like ours.


So Bay Networks / Nortel has the only chance, to substitute the chips with new programmed ones like we plan to do too. And they will do it in their service location or in the lab.

The key information is, the content of the boot flash (a single chip 512 KByteflash) must match with the content of the OS flash (4 of these chips = 2 Mbyte). So we did save the contents of some working pairs from our working environment, old ones (2.1 and 3.x?) but working ones.


Currently we did buy these 512 KByte flash chips and two brand new (stand alone) programmer boards for these flash types. This equipment with its programming software and hardware is running on a NT 4.0 workstation and seems to work well.


In 1.quarter 2003 we will start to specify the needs and the documentaion for you , to make a decision, how to proceed.

Furthermore we did try to buy DRAM´s to expand the main RAM of an MCP, to run the 4.x software revision. - But all this takes a lot of time and many e-mails.


So please be patient.

What kind of memory is on the many different C100 boards :

We found

a serial EEPROM from AMTEL, a AT17C128, this us a 128K x 1-bit, with a 8 lead PDIP, it should contain the boot information and

a 32 lead PLCC socket for the AM 27F010 or AM29F040

and there a 4 or more rows for DIMM´s for the main-flash and main-ram

pictures will follow.

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