PortServer II 16 E4 help not correct

Due probably to age, I have more than one PSII which is losing its time settings. When it does, and it is rebooted, it does not come all the way up, stopping with an “E4”, and going to what appears to be bootp boot mode (which I did not set up).

When I went to get help, I found a page at digi.com called “Portserver II E4 error and how to fix it”, which
told me exactly what I had just figured out by myself. The problem is, following the instructions on that page, my PSII can’t be recovered. The “set time” command does not appear to be able to set the day-of-week. The E4 still occurs if the day of week is seet to something like “B7”, like mine was.

Instead, I had to press ‘v’ on a console while “PO” was being displayed, and use the “T” option in the power-up diagnostics program. All the time setting options can be set in there, and getting them all within the tested ranges will get rid of the “E4” error.

The following is a dump of my serial port session as I went into boot-up diagnostics, and corrected the day-of-week setting. This does not get corrected when the instructions in the “E4” doc on your website are used.
Notice that I had already tried to set the time and date via the command line interface, so the rest of the clock settings were already correct.

Is there a way to set the day of week from the command line?

DigiBoard PortServer II
Ethernet address…00:40:9D:22:06:B9
ROM revision: 0x0103
ROM startup (cold boot)
Instruction cache size: 0x00001000
Data cache size: 0x00000800
RAM size: 0x00400000
CPU test…passed
Watchdog test…passed
ROM checksum test…passed
Flash RAM test…0x00200000 bytes passed
RAM test…0xA0001000-0xA03F0010 passed
RAM test…0xA0001000-0xA0002000 passed
Timer test…passed
RT clock+RAM test…Fri 06/14/04 18:56:49…
ERROR - bogus value(s)
Ethernet internal…passed
Ethernet external…passed
Test int. EBI 0 UART-08…15 devices passed
EBI 1…none
EBI 2…none
EBI 3…none
Press ‘?’ for diagnostics menu
or carriage return to continue booting)
Fri 06/14/04 18:57:04
Year 00-99: [04]
Month 1-12: [06]
Date 01-31: [14]
Day 1(Sun)-7(Sat): [66] 2
Hour 00-23: [18]
Minute 00-59: [57]
Second 00-59: [04]
Calibration: (00-3f) [00]
Mon 06/14/04 18:57:04

You might want to upgrade the firmware in this. What version of firmware do you have? If you can’t get to the commandline, just try hitting both arrow keys when it gets stuck to see if you can boot past that point.

If not, try holding both arrows keys in and power the unit on, then keep holding them. This latter 2-button technique will result in the unit being reset back to factory default, but if you aren’t getting anywhere that may be your last resort other than sending it in for repair.

My issue in this tread is the documentation on your web site. I am discussing the hardware problem itself in another thread.

Resetting the PSII to factory defaults works, but it doesn’t initialize the clock values in BBRAM to a sane value. Using the command line changes the time and date settings, but the clock still has error “E4” until the day-of-week setting is fixed. The only way I have found to do that is to use the power-up diagnostics, not the command line.

There are three ways to fix this:

  1. Have the factory reset clear the clock values to a time epoch value like midnight, Jan 1st 1970.

  2. Change the web documentation to guide the user through the power-up time configuration, instead of the command line.

  3. Add a day-of-week setting to the “set time” command.

I’m suggesting number two, since the others can’t be fixed for PSII’s which are already in the field, without at least a firmware update.

The reason I’m reporting this is because these units are getting old, and the BBRAM failure is going to become more common. More users are going to be looking for help with this.


After 8 years let’s back to this topic again.

Here I have more than 50 PortServer II in hand and for using. But unlucky, now more than 20 of them are stuck in E4 error and lost all configurations.

I re-configure portserver as your suggestion, it works but if I power off whole DIGI server then power on it , all configuration lost again.

Thank god, that I still able to do a diag within electric/logical level, in the end I find out the time-bobm which hidden in PortServer.

It is so called TimeKeeping RAM-DS1642-100+. It is a RAM chipset and a battery in integraed in this IC.

so now it is esay to explain: when we have power on and port server is running on normal status, everything looks good.

But note that the battery in the Timekeeping RAM have a life(let’s say 10 year or even shorter).
When it is running out of power, problem appearred:

When your portserver lose power, also both the Time(known as E4 error) and configurations are lost (known as enter a slow BOOTP process).

So solution is quite simple: replace the TimeKeeping RAM with a NEW one. LEt’s hope you can get this IC and this quite OLD IC still have power inside for keeping time and configuration.

Thanks all.