Newbie questions

SGI hardware problems, solutions, tips, hacks, etc.
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realpeterjack
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:19 am

Newbie questions

Unread postby realpeterjack » Thu May 17, 2012 10:21 am

Hi, my name is Ronaldo, and this is my first post in this forum. I must inform I'm a complete newbie to the SGI world, and I don't even possess significant knowledge on UNIX systems, unfortunately.

I managed to acquire real cheap a pair of Silicon Graphics O2 - in relatively good shape, as a preliminary exam suggests. One of them has 128Mb (four modules) of Silicon Graphics-branded memory, the other one 512Mb of Kingston memory (again, in four). I also bought a 1600SW monitor, without the power adapter. Both O2 came with the required 1600SW interface, so I'm planning to use it as soon as I get a suitable power adapter.

One of the workstations works flawlessly. The other one wasn't booting. Reading across many online SGI manuals, I found out it was missing what would be the "clear cmos" jumper in an IBM-PC compatible. After I replaced it, I found out the system is freezing at some point during boot. I put the non-booting hardware sled at the working O2, and it didn't work, either. I placed it as the secondary drive, and data on the disk seems readable, so I think it may be just some sort of simple data corruption.

Anyway, both machines seem to have Irix 6.3, and no special software of notice, so I considered installing Irix 6.5 on the non-booting drive. I recorded a disc containing the Irix Foundations 6.5 CD 1 (just for testing, of course - I wouldn't dare to make improper use of such copyrighted software, ahem...), but I didn't manage to read it using the Silicon Graphics. In order to check if the drives were working (original Toshiba CD readers, it seems), I tested them with an audio CD (an "original", commercial one), and it played just fine. Could I have made some sort of mistake? I managed to mount the CD under Linux, and all data seems to be there. Does the O2 CD reader have problems with high-speed recorded discs (40x), or something like that?

I also bought two 73GB IBM TotalStorage Hard Discs and tried using them with the workstations. I tried to write the required SGI signature (or something like that) to the disks, but it resulted in an error. Looking around the web for some clues, I found some indication on wrong sector sizes. The HDs manual states support for larger than 512 bytes sectors and, in fact, they were using 520 bytes per sector. It seems I was able to reformat them to 512 bytes per sector, but the Irix disk tool is still unable to write the SGI label on them, despite the fact it properly recognizes their capacity. I found that someone successfully reformated non-sgi drives using a PC, but I don't have an SCSI controller for mine, so I would be glad to receive other suggestions before giving up on it.

I'm also having trouble using DINA. I can read files from the O2s in Windows (7 professional), but I'm not being able to do the opposite - reading Windows files from the O2s. I was also able to read files from Irix using a Linux virtual machine in VMware, but I'm not being successful using DINA. As a dumbed-down Windows user, I don't know exactly what I am doing wrong...

Sorry if such questions were asked over and over again, but my lack of knowledge on SGI systems limits my ability on looking properly for answers.

Thanks.

realpeterjack
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Newbie questions

Unread postby realpeterjack » Thu May 17, 2012 10:29 am

Oh, I forgot to add something that may be useful information. I was able to get the O2s running with two monitors: a 19 inch CRT LG Flatron ez T910B and a 24 inch LCD Samsung SyncMaster T240M. The Flatron seems to be just SoG tolerant, though: the image has a distinctive green tint using it. The image using the SyncMaster looks great.

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guardian452
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Re: Newbie questions

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu May 17, 2012 3:56 pm

You may try using the "fx" tool to reformat the drives (I assume you are using the gui program?). There is a great how-to on how to get a new disk set up to install irix with fx here, as well as how to re-install irix itself, which is a little bit tricky ;)

http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/6.5inst.html
You eat Cadillacs; Lincolns too... Mercurys and Subarus.

realpeterjack
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Newbie questions

Unread postby realpeterjack » Thu May 17, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks, guardian452, but that's the program I've been using. I'm getting errors in both programs. In specific case of fx, I'm getting the error as I try to exit and the program tries to write the SGI label to the disk.

SAQ
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Re: Newbie questions

Unread postby SAQ » Thu May 17, 2012 10:15 pm

If you have a SCSI-capable PC or a UNIX machine you might want to try booting it up (use Knoppix or similar for a PC if you don't have an install) and use "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd{something, a, b, c, d} count=128" to zero out the first part of the disk (note that your device may be different depending on your system).
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

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