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Troubleshooting FAQs

Network Computer (NC) and NCBridge software

The NC900 may not power up or appear to be dead
Monitor Support
Troubleshooting possible hardware problems
Reflashing N900 Boot Monitor
Instruction to activate Lock Screen on XP or NC unit
There is a long delay before the CDE Login window is shown
Additional Documentation

The NC900 may not power up or appear to be dead

When the power cables are connected to the NC900 there is a specific order that must be followed so the NC900 is not left in a unknown state. The NC900 Installation manual instructs you to connect power cables in specific order. If this step is not followed then the NC900 may not power up or appear to be dead. Step 1 below in the picture must be performed before step 2 or 3.


The Power Supply provides 3.42 VDC &  12VDC to the NC900, If the 12VDC is applied before the 3.42 VDC then the software power-up/reset sequence will fail and leave the NC900 in a non-operational state (blank screen and no keyboard lights on/off sequence) until AC power is disconnected and connected again. When in this locked state cycling the NC900 front switch will have no affect on recovering from this condition.


Follow proper installation cable connection sequence or Disconnect and reconnect AC Power cord.

NC900 Power Connect Sequence

Monitor Support

NCD does not support using NCD monitors with PCs. The monitors are made for NCD by other companies to work with NCD's Unix X-window and Thin-Client terminals.

You may want to try another company called MonitorWorld at www.monitorworld.com for further assistance. They provide information on monitor specifications. For drivers, try www.driverguide.com. NCD monitors do not require separate drivers when used with our terminals, as the driver code is incorporated with the operating system image.


Troubleshooting possible hardware problems

We see a high number of NCs returned with reported hardware related problems that are NVRAM or software configuration issues.

When the NC is first tuned on, it displays the NCD logo and boot screen. This usually indicates the hardware is fine. You may relate this to getting to a BIOS screen on a PC. Prior to the boot screen, ROM based hardware diagnostics are run and a hardware diagnostics error is indicated by two or three beeps or error messages displayed on the screen. In this case it is definitely a hardware related problem and an RMA would be issued.

If the NC900 can boot up, you can easily run a full set of hardware diagnostics by just setting the boot path to: ".../tekxp/boot/selftest.900" and selecting one or more test routines.

Here are the questions Tech Support would normally ask to determine the type of network problems you're having on a NC and to make sure it is hardware related.

  1. Do you see the NCD logo & boot screen on power up (this assumes the MonSet command in the boot monitor is correct)?
  2. Is the NC configured to get an IP address via DHCP or BOOTP?
  3. Is the IP address, subnet mask, Boot Host, Boot Method, and Gateway address set correctly at the Boot> prompt?
  4. At the Boot> prompt, use the "Ping" command to see if you can contact other hosts to verify the network connection and verify the IP address has been correctly assigned. Does the "Ping" fail?
  5. After booting does the XDM Host Chooser window appear? (This is the default action but may be different in your configuration.)
  6. If the Chooser window is present, do you see the normal lists of hosts? If there are no hosts in the lists than it may be that the broadcast address not set correctly in the NC900. This can be set in the local Setup screen.
  7. You may want to try to perform a Factory Reset on the NVRAM. This sometimes helps in troubleshooting problems. To do so at the Boot> prompt type "NVF". You will need to reset the IP address, Boot Host, etc. again after this step.


Reflashing N900 Boot Monitor

The Boot Monitor in the NC, also called the Boot ROM, is very similar to the BIOS ROM in a PC. This is used to control the NC and provided the ability to boot its operating system. The operating system is referred to as NCBridge software. The NCBridge is loaded into RAM memory at boot time from the local Flash ROM or from a boot host over a network. Note that the Boot ROM and Flash ROM are separate parts. The Flash ROM is a plug-in option for storing fonts or the whole operating system image where as the Boot ROM is standard in the NC and used to load the operating system and some other network functions. The updating of the Boot ROM and Flash ROM are independent of each other, however the same initiating command "do_flash" found in the xp.cnf file is used. It is the use of the flash_feature command along with the do_flash command that controls which programmable part is updated.

  1. Open the configuration file, typically xp.cnf. Search for the string "do_flash" To force an update of the Boot Monitor in the NC, edit your configuration file and uncomment or add the two lines below.


    flash_feature     BOOT_MONITOR

  2. Reboot the NC. This will cause the Boot Monitor to be updated with the version associated with the boot file "/..../tekxp/boot/boot_mon.900" located on the boot host.

Note: Each time the NCBridge version is updated or a patch is installed an updated version of the Boot Monitor is included.


Instruction to activate Lock Screen on XP or NC unit

Here are the instruction for setting the lock screen using the monitor with an NC or XP terminal. If you forget your password, you must reboot the network computer or reset the server to unlock the display or keyboard.

Locking the Display on a Tektronix XP or NCD NC or N900 unit:

You can lock your display and all open windows so that while away from your desk, an unauthorized user cannot access the information on your display. The xlock local client can lock the keyboard only, or the keyboard and the display.

  1. xlock can be started from the Client Launcher (select Lock Screen) or started with the executable xpsh from the command prompt, as shown here:

    xpsh –display nc_address:0 xlock –mode n

    To determine the network computer address, select Setup from the Client Launcher. Drag the mouse cursor to Configuration Summaries and release on TCP/IP (for a UNIX host) or TDEnet (for a VMS host). The address displays as the network computer IP Address or the TDEnet Address.

    The –mode n setting is optional. If set to –mode 1, xlock locks the keyboard only. If set to –mode 0, xlock locks the keyboard and the screen. If a –mode setting is not given, xlock locks the keyboard and the screen by default.

    If you receive a “Command not found” message, ensure that the path environment variable is set correctly to access xpsh.

  2. When xlock is started the first time, the xlock window appears and asks for a password and confirmation. At the Password prompt, enter a password and press Enter.

  3. At the Retype prompt, enter the password again and press Enter. This verifies you have entered the password correctly. xlock remains in effect until you enter the password correctly. The password is valid until you reboot the network computer or reset the server.

  4. To unlock the display or keyboard, press any key for the xlock window. At the Password prompt, enter the password.

If you're just using the monitor with a PC, you can turn on/off the Lock out function by pressing the (2) button on the front panel while turning the monitor on (only applies to some monitors).