Most Solaris admins have gathered Explorer at least once during their career. Explorer is a log and configuration collection utility, which creates a single archive with basic troubleshooting information. Oracle support will require this file almost every time you open a Service Request with them.
But what to do if Explorer hangs during collection?
Well, according to one of the Oracle engineers I spoke to recently, it’s still possible to collect the Explorer.
First, open another console to your server, log on root account.
Run ptree command
Look for ./explorer in output
7148 /usr/lib/ssh/sshd 7222 /usr/lib/ssh/sshd 7224 -bash 7248 -sh 7316 bash 10201 /bin/ksh -p ./explorer 10453 ksh -p /opt/SUNWexplo/tools/patch
Explorer turns out to be a script launcher: each Explorer module is a separate script. So if one of the modules hangs (for example: disks module can hang if you have FC HBA or disk array issues) simply kill the last process on the tree, and Explorer will happily continue.
Yes, logs will be missing some of the information, but most of it will be there, and it will allow Oracle Support to proceed with your SR.