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Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:27 pm
by halfmanhalftaco
I recently revived a dead SPARCstation IPC (bad output caps in PSU) and wanted to get the oldest possible OS running on it, which as far as I can see *should* be SunOS 4.0.3c. I have the 23-floppy install distribution (readily available online) but it seems to give me all sorts of problems.

I can boot off the A disk and get into the MUNIX shell, but the first sign of trouble is during the MUNIX boot it complains about unknown system type and tries defaulting to Sun4/60 (IPC is a Sun4/40). When I attempt to copy the miniroot (with /extract) it just spews SCSI errors and fails. I think the IPC may have a different controller than the SS1+ (which otherwise the IPC is very similar to), and that there was a patch for 4.0.3c to support it.

I've already verified that the disk is working fine, I imaged it fully when I received it and I've also installed SunOS 4.1.2 on the disk successfully without problems. I may try copying the miniroot directly (I extracted it from the floppies) and seeing if I have any better luck from there vs MUNIX.

Is there a version of the 4.0.3c installer that is updated for IPC? Or is there some other process that is lost to time that explains how to install 4.0.3c on an IPC?

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:17 pm
by escimo
The Sun IPC was announced in July 1990 and the minimum SunOS should be more like 4.1.1 (aka Solaris 1.0) because it was announced after the SPARCstation 2 for which SunOS 4.1.1 was the minimum.
The $9,995 (U.S. list) SPARCstation IPC comes complete with a 16-inch,
high-resolution color monitor, 207-megabyte hard disk drive, 8
megabytes of memory, OpenWindows Version 2, SunOS 4.1, Ethernet
networking, a keyboard and mouse. A diskless version costs $8,995
(U.S. list). The system is currently being shipped in volume.


Some other ex-official information sources give you the following:
1. The minimum operating system is SunOS 4.0.3c.
(...)
8. CPU boards with the 53C90A SCSI Controller require a patch to operate under SunOS 4.0.3c.
9. The 2.4, 2.6, and 2.9 Boot PROM modes do not support SunOS 4.0.3c or SunOS 4.1. Set the NVRAM parameter version2? to false to enable the 1.7 Boot PROM mode.
I see two options (maybe only one):
1. as given: set NVRAM parameter "version2?" to value "false" => enable Boot PROM mode version 1.7
2. patch SCSI controller firmware (?) with patch (?)

I wouldn't recommend to use SunOS 4.0.3c if you're using 4-MBit DRAM SIMMs and RAM fully loaded (maxed out), because of the PMEG problems. In this case use a more recent version like 4.1.1 up to 4.1.4. Read also SunPerfOvDec92, p.37f

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:00 pm
by halfmanhalftaco
Thanks! I do have 4.1.2 running on it now but I was hoping to go older simply for the sake of going older. Sounds like it's not worth the hassle on this machine, though. I'll probably just put 4.1.4 on it and call it good. I believe at release it shipped with 4.1.0.

I put some info/pictures of the machine up on my blog: http://halfmanhalftaco.com/inventory/phoenix/

The SPARCstation 2 was actually announced after the IPC, as far as I can tell (Jul 90 for IPC, Nov 90 for SS2):

http://egle.lanet.lv/ftp/unix/sun-info/sunflash/1990/Nov/23.08.ss2

I also found this semi-official looking press release that states that 4.0.3 can be installed:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/sparcstation$20ipc$20announcement%7Csort:relevance/comp.sys.sun/GQ4xOfcTbC4/psJh2eZCB7MJ

While all diskfull systems ship with SunOS 4.1 pre-installed, SPARCstation
IPC will operate under SunOS 4.0.3. To run SunOS 4.0.3, it must be
installed according to the instructions in "Installing SunOS" and the
"Quick Install Guide" that come come with SunOS 4.0.3.


My machine has PROM v1.6 dated 26 Jun 1990, but it also has the 53C90A SCSI controller that you noted as requiring a patch for 4.0.3c.

The machine has 8 4MB SIMMs in it (32MB).

Slightly off-topic, but is there an archive of patches for SunOS 4.x anywhere?

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:53 pm
by halfmanhalftaco
Found this reference to the "patch" for 4.0.3c:

http://www.sunmanagers.org/1991/0313.html

It turns out that if you have Sparcstation IPCs (or SLCs -
4/20?) with CPU board numbers
501-1680-03 and greater 0MB Sun-4/20 CPU Board
501-1748-03 and greater 0MB Sun-4/20 CPU Board
501-1689-08 and greater 8MB Sun-4/40 CPU Board
501-1835-02 and greater 8MB Sun-4/40 CPU Board
you will need to apply a wee patch to your kernel and
/sys/sun4c/OBJ/esp.o for future builds. For both, the incantation
adb -w [vmunix or esp.o]
esp_phasemanage+7c?W 1000000 <-- adb command
^D (control-D to finish)
will fix the problem. A magic number tweak. The Sun folk I talked to
indicated that the salient difference is a new SCSI chip that was
installed on these CPU boards (with different timing characteristics,
- but they didn't get specific). This only affects SunOS 4.0.3c, and
the patch (actually, the README file) is SunOS 4.0.3c SCSI patch kit,
P/N 795-1657-01 (patch id 100204-01).


Edit: tried patching the vmunix on the 4.0.3c miniroot using the above method but it just produces a kernel panic during boot :(

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:30 pm
by robespierre
The IPC was mostly just a SparcStation 1+ in a different case. The IPX was the one that shared most with the SparcStation 2.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:35 am
by escimo
I'm out of my mind. Of course! The IPC is more a repackaged SS1+. Maybe I confused with the IPX which was released after the SS2. I was wondering why the IPC is able to use an even "older SunOS release" than the SS2. Not should write answers so late. Thanks for correction. :-D

Why not? Don't give up! Try 4.0.3c and install only 8MiB RAM with 1Mbit SIMMS. But I suppose the NVRAM switch didn't work...
ok setenv version2? false
EDIT: look at your blog and read PROM 1.6 - so no option!

On the other hand the patch 100204-01 could be under the files on some disc. I take a look (in the afternoon) :-\

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:32 pm
by escimo
escimo wrote:On the other hand the patch 100204-01 could be under the files on some disc.
Unfortunatelly not in my archives.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:38 am
by kokoboi
edited.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:10 pm
by miod
escimo wrote:
escimo wrote:On the other hand the patch 100204-01 could be under the files on some disc.
Unfortunatelly not in my archives.

100204 is only a text file documenting adb commands.
100204.txt
(8.16 KiB) Downloaded 15 times

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:31 am
by escimo
miod wrote:
escimo wrote:
escimo wrote:On the other hand the patch 100204-01 could be under the files on some disc.
Unfortunatelly not in my archives.

100204 is only a text file documenting adb commands.
100204.txt
Merci infiniment!

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:54 pm
by miod
You're welcome.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:27 am
by halfmanhalftaco
Awesome, thanks guys. That 100204-01 basically says you can't use the original media to install because the media doesn't have the patch, but seems to indicate there was a patched Tape 1 available - probably lost to time though.

I'll have to dig into this further to try another run at patching the miniroot. I dumped the miniroot image from the floppies on a different system and wrote it to a raw partition on my disk so I could mount it and patch the kernel with adb but like I mentioned above the system just panics right when it gets to the SCSI part of the boot process. I would imagine the miniroot kernel should be patchable in the same way but maybe I just did something wrong.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:58 pm
by halfmanhalftaco
Got 4.0.3c running on the IPC finally!

It was a matter of having a working install of 4.1.4 on a separate disk, then writing the miniroot to the swap partition of the "target" disk, then mounting it and patching the kernel in the miniroot.

Patching was successful this time, and I was able to boot into suninstall where I installed the OS via the 19 floppies (ugh). Before booting the 4.0.3c install I booted back into 4.1.4 and mounted the 4.0.3 filesystems and patched vmunix and esp.o.

I'll need to play around with xdrtoc and whatnot to try and make an attempt at creating tapes - i think the main thing I'm missing would be the tape MUNIX kernel and filesystem, I'm not sure if it's the same as the ones on the floppies. I have the miniroot and all the install tar.Z's already, I just need to patch the files inside those first before attempting to recreate media.

All seems to be working properly. Compiling nethack now...

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:27 am
by escimo
Nice!

I'd like to try out SunOS 4.1.1on my SS2 fom a tape backup (2 files only) but have no idea howto accomplish this without QIC24 tape drive. Tips?

I read about a CDROM version which contains also bins for Sun-3/x platform but never could get in touch with the media.

Re: Installing SunOS 4.0.3c on SPARCstation IPC

Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:26 pm
by halfmanhalftaco
So you have the 4.1.1 sun4c tape files? Or you have a system backup in tar/cpio/etc. files on a disk? I've seen tape files for 4.1.1 before but they were only for sun4, not sun4c. Would be hard to load them without a working system with a QIC drive, yeah.

I think Sun did release a 4.1.1 CDROM that supports sun4/sun4c but I haven't seen it. It would possibly also be labeled Solaris 1.0 since that's when they started renaming stuff. That would be the way to go for installing it especially if you have a Sun-compatible CDROM drive handy.