Attempting a Network install on R4K Indigo

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Attempting a Network install on R4K Indigo

Unread postby twix » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:00 pm

After I had succesfully swapped NVRAM chips between my Indigos, I was finally able to enter the PROM of my venerable Indigo R4K. I needed to do that in order to load the installation program and start a shell, and then finally nuke the passwords. I had picked up the Indigo some time before, with disk and installation, but no way to access it because of the passwords.

It turned out to quite some challenge, despite the information in the many manuals available. I set up a network boot/install server on a linux machine, and copied some of the 6.5 install disks to its harddrive. However, the installation program simply could/would not load the files from the server. After two evenings of unsuccesfull attempts, I tried a different approach: load sash, then start the installer. Sash loaded perfectly, so did fx. There was one final challenge. The install program only wanted to load from a tape, and setting notape to 1 did not help at all. The solution was to set the tapedevice to the location of sa on the netboot server:
"setenv tapedevice bootp()$srvaddr:/media/irix/inst1/dist/sa"
and it finally worked. Installer started, installed the miniroot, etc. Started a shell and was able to examine the Indigos disk and clear all the passwords.

Maybe useful information to add to the Wiki ........
SGI machines: "wtmc04" Image, "blackjack" Image and "Biofysica" Image

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Re: Attempting a Network install on R4K Indigo

Unread postby dexter1 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 7:25 am

In and similar other sites this trick is described as a way of installing IRIX on older systems, or more exactly, systems with older pre-ARCS PROM.

Certainly, the Indigo 1 ARCS PROM should be behaving in a sufficiently modern manner to not need this, but it is good you found a way to make the installation work for you.

BTW, the Wiki has an entry which sort of states this, see ... _an_Octane but i agree that in that particular wiki-text it is not clear when and if you need to set certain environment parameters within the PROM or within the sash
:Crimson: :PI: :Indigo: :O2: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP:

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