The keyboard lights when power is applied and it appears that the system attempts to read a CD if present in the CD ROM drive. That's kind of good news. Consistent with a bad NVRAM chip there is nothing coming through the hi-res display. I have 2 unformatted harddrives installed and a Solaris 9 CD (system came with it in the CD drive). I think the system is freezing when it gets to the point of attempting to access the CD drive, but that's just a hunch. Does not matter if there is something in the CD drive or not. The harddrives I have installed are unformatted. They're 10K rev's drives, I speculate they will be ok once I get some sort of install media in action.
I found that if I don't plug in the graphic monitor and Sun keyboard, and leave only the serial terminal plugged in it completes the post diagnostics and ends on an "ok" prompt.
I was told to visit this site for commands and admin directions for cases such as mine:
I was told to do a "printenv" and get a reading on what the system thinks is where.. also "probe-scsi" to see SCSI devices are seen. "probe-scsi-all" will be necessary if you have your drives external or on more than one SCSI bus.
If the SCSI ids of the drives and CD appear correct, then I was told that I could try a "boot cdrom"
If they don't match, I can either reset the alias for "cdrom" (and/or the disks) using the "devalias" commands, or just use the long device string from "show-devs" or "probe-scsi" for the appropriate device with the "boot" command.
This worked. Disconnected all but the serial device to get past the log-jam. I can run the printenv and run through the configs. Ultimately I want to load this Solaris 9 CD that I have here (I guess unless anyone has a better ISO I can download) and get the workstation environment running. Need to do more research, format the drives I installed, etc. Much work to do.
Next: replace the NVRAM.