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 PostPost subject: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:15 pm 
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So, I'm trying to install SunOS 4.1.4 (pulled from the FTP, natch) on a SPARCclassic system. However, it doesn't seem to be working. Either the .iso on the FTP is bad, or my CD-ROM drive can't read CD-Rs. Evidence for the former is that Brasero in Linux says the CD has errors every time I try to burn it. Evidence for the latter is that the CD-ROM drive in question is an ancient, caddy load, external SCSI drive. Personally, I suspect the latter. The error I get in the boot PROM is something to the effect of "Bad Magic number in disk label".

Regardless, it might be easier to do this over a network install. Does anyone have a link to instructions for setting up a Solaris (2.6 or 10, I've got both currently installed) JumpStart server for installing SunOS? From my internet searching, it should be possible. However, all the guides I find are for pushing out the same version on both host and server. Alternatively, anyone have any ideas on getting the CD to work?

Thanks!


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 2:24 am 
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I can confirm this is not a CD-R issue. My drive has no trouble reading Solaris 2.4(also, pulled from the FTP). I downloaded the SunOS 4.1.3 ISO from the FTP, and that will mount in Linux, as it should. The 4.1.4 ISO does not mount. Also, I re-downloaded the 4.1.4 ISO, and the MD5 checksums match, but the disk still does not work. I am pretty certain the 4.1.4 ISO on the FTP is a bad dump.

EDIT:
It turns out it is possible the dump is good. Apparently the "Bad Magic number in disk label" can also be caused by a CD-ROM drive that doesn't support 512KB block sizes. Which apparently my IBM does not (When I attempt to boot Solaris 2.4 I get "data overrun" errors. Apparently these are generally caused by a lack of 512KB block size support.) That doesn't change the fact I can't mount the 4.1.4 ISO in Linux though, which I can do with the 4.1.3 ISO.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 11:07 am 
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SCSI CD drives usually had a jumper that you could set to have them switch to 512 bytes (not KB!) per sector (from the default of 2048 bytes per sector). Some workstations back then were very picky about the block size reported from the drive, especially on boot media.

The fact that you cannot mount one of the ISO files on linux might be because it is a raw dump (2352 bytes per sector, instead of the usual 2048). Linux ISO9660 file system code cannot handle these. I checked both images on Windows (with the ISO plugin for Total Commander and with DaemonTools) and both mount/open just fine.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 3:15 pm 
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Darkstar wrote:
SCSI CD drives usually had a jumper that you could set to have them switch to 512 bytes (not KB!) per sector (from the default of 2048 bytes per sector). Some workstations back then were very picky about the block size reported from the drive, especially on boot media.


I was aware of the block size issue, though I was clearly incorrect about the location of the decimal. :D

What I was also incorrect about was whether my drive supported that feature. I had, incorrectly, assumed that because it worked with my RS/6000 that it would. After looking up the model number I can confirm that it definitely does not (without modification).

Darkstar wrote:
The fact that you cannot mount one of the ISO files on linux might be because it is a raw dump (2352 bytes per sector, instead of the usual 2048). Linux ISO9660 file system code cannot handle these. I checked both images on Windows (with the ISO plugin for Total Commander and with DaemonTools) and both mount/open just fine.


That's actually a relief, as I've had no luck finding an original copy of 4.1.4. Learn something new everyday, I guess. Either I'll go back to trying network boot, or I'll get a compatible CD-ROM drive.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 3:26 pm 
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You can probably tell your CD writing software to burn the raw image somehow. Or, you can convert the raw image to a simple ISO and burn that. I guess tools like ISO buster can do that. Or you can mount the image in DaemonTools and create a new ISO from the virtual CD drive. Many possibilities :)

Good luck with your Sparc Classic. That's a nice box to play around with!

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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 6:40 pm 
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I dd'd my IRIX discs (512 byte sectors) on the box with a 40-pin SCSI2 DVD-ROM I have (SGI branded). The discs are strangely in EFS format (Legacy, pre-XFS days) so nothing except Linux (RO) can read the format. You can replicate them on a modern pc writer (2048) using CDBurnerXP and DAO (Disc at once) mode at 8x. I did the same experiment with OpenVMS for my AlphaStation XP too. Fixing the speed to 8x is akin to when a PSX rip had to be hot-swapped and similarly burned at a lower/lowest speed. (Dreamcast too) If your CD software supports DAO and is RAW (Ie: Ignores the magic) then you can write UNIXy discs for these systems, including SPARC.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:21 am 
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Thanks for the help Darkstar and sparcdr!

I got the disc burned correctly. The Sun booted from the disk just fine, until the expected crash in the boot process from the incorrect block size. I bought an external Sun CD-ROM, so as soon as that comes, I can move ahead.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Tue May 30, 2017 6:08 am 
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Sort of off topic, but does anyone know how to make these UFS CD-ROM masters? I'd love to slipstream some components for NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP but I can't find any information on making these 2k sector discs...

Although I guess SUN requiring 512byte sectors, they basically just emulated a hard disk at the hardware level...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Tue May 30, 2017 6:59 pm 
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louisw3 wrote:
Sort of off topic, but does anyone know how to make these UFS CD-ROM masters? I'd love to slipstream some components for NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP but I can't find any information on making these 2k sector discs...

Although I guess SUN requiring 512byte sectors, they basically just emulated a hard disk at the hardware level...

Hm, haven't tried it but I think there's an mkfs.ufs (or similar) available on Solaris that you can use? Other than that I remember there was (still is?) a commercial UNIX CD mastering software from Gear that might be able to do it... But I haven't checked it, you most definitely need an older version of it...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:09 am 
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So, I got a Sun CD-ROM, and spent the night getting SunOS installed. It's not the most user-friendly operating system in the world, but that's to be expected due to its age.

I'm using a SCSI2SD card instead of a hard drive, and my first mistake was to set it to a 4GB "drive" size. As SunOS doesn't have a Type for a drive that size, I would have had to set it up by CHS, and I have no idea what I would put there. It's not a physical drive, so it doesn't have any true geometry, and I have no idea what geometry it's emulating. So I switched to a 2.1GB "drive" so I could select the built-in Type for a Sun 2.1GB drive. That way not only did I not have to futz with setting the geometry, I didn't have to fight the partitioner. I need to do some real research on how SunOS does drive partitions (slices?) as that's not a way I'm used to thinking about partitions. At least for future reference.

After getting that to behave, I had trouble getting it to install. I decided to have it do a full install (everything it could), and that turned out to be a bad idea as well. It eventually got to extracting a package (versatec), and it failed saying I needed to mount volume 1 (and that volume -1 was currently mounted!). Maybe I ran out of hard drive space, or maybe that package isn't actually on my install disk? In any case, I restarted and did a minimal install just to see if it would work. The install finished as expected, and after a reboot... it still didn't work.

Turns out the SPARCclassic is expecting the drive to be at a different SCSI ID than I thought. Normally SCSI boot disks need to be at ID 0, but it looks like it's expecting the drive to be at ID 3? After figuring that out, it seems I have a working system. Now all I have to do, is either figure out how to install packages from the CD post install, or do a re-install. That way I can get SunView going.

Thanks for the help everybody. If you have any further suggestions on where to go from here, or resources to educate myself, send them my way.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:59 am 
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You can see the SCSI devices with "probe-scsi" in the PROM and set the boot device it uses via "setenv boot-device disk1" (where 1 is the SCSI id).

There's a lot of old documentation on SunOS up on bitsavers here for example.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Installing SunOS 4.1.4        Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:17 am 
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