IRIX 6.5 problem: "not a valid swap area" [SOLVED]

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kenashkov
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IRIX 6.5 problem: "not a valid swap area" [SOLVED]

Unread postby kenashkov » Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:45 am

On installing the system software I get that the partition (0) wasn't a valid swap area.
I did boot from the PROM and formatted the drive as a root one (following the instructions on Ian's site).
I did write the label (because I verify after rebooting and entering again fx - it is there).
The disk is 2G
partition(0) is XFS (1877mb)
partition(1) is RAW (128MB)
The pretty standard setup. I see that the installer is looking for RAW partition at 0 so I reformatted it like:
partition(0) as RAW (128)
partition(1) as XFS

Still the same error. Is there anything else I can try?
In fact total amount of RAM of the Indy is 32MB - will be enough for IRIX to install? (I know it will not be sufficient for normal use of GUI)

P.S. any way to use PROM variables to point the installer to the right partition? Some of the OS*** variables?
Last edited by kenashkov on Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby josehill » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:27 am

1) Not sure about why you would get such an error after following Ian's procedure. Are you installing a version of 6.5 less than or equal to 6.5.22? (Indy's aren't supported under 6.5.23 or later).

2) 32 MB RAM is the smallest supported amount of RAM for 6.5 installations on the Indy, but it will be pretty miserable experience unless you really strip it down to the minimal set of services. You can still probably use the GUI, but things like web browsing will be essentially useless. You might check out some of the old USENET postings about minimal IRIX installations:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys ... 71b530142e
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys ... e6a256c026

3) If you get 6.5 installed successfully, you'll probably be a lot happier if you can bump the RAM to 64 MB or more. If not, you might want to try IRIX 6.2, or even 5.3, both of which run well with 32 MB of RAM. There is a nice repository of open source software for 6.2 and 5.3 at http://jupiterrise.com/.

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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby kenashkov » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:39 am

Looks like it is from 1998 (displayed on the boot), so is pretty old.
I'm not familiar with the installation procedure but I guess after I use this boot&install CD I can use the 3CDs Overlays to update to 6.5.22? Or I have to upgrade in several steps before I can jump to 6.5.22 (well that is in case that I get this to install at all :) )?
I have already 5.3 (efs) running, and is very responsive on 32mb.
I just wanted to see the GUI of 6.5, nothing more (until I buy some more RAM).
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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby josehill » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:30 pm

You can install 6.5 and 6.5.22 all at once if you boot from the 6.5.22 Installation Tools (i.e. the first overlay cd), rather than the original 6.5.0 installation cd. You'll still need the "Foundation" disks from 6.5.0.

If you don't have the actual EFS formatted 6.5.22 cd from SGI, you can still boot from the downloadable version of 6.5.22, but it involves netbooting, and it's a bit more complex (tutorial also at Ian's site). To make the netbooting process easier, another nekochan member, deBug, created a VMware appliance that can be used as a bootserver (search Nekochan forums for "DINA").

Otherwise, you can install the base 6.5.0 stuff, then download and install patch 5086 from SGI, and then do a live install of 6.5.22 on top of 6.5.0.

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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby SAQ » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:10 pm

You might want to run a preemptive "resetenv" from the PROM just in case, although I think that the install procedure automatically sets the NVRAM variables up for miniroot install.
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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby kenashkov » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:58 am

I was doing resetenv...
I have DINA running now, I will transfer the images and see will it work.
Thank you for pointing me to DINA, and of course big thanks go to deBug for making it!

P.S. I replaced the drive, repartitioned it, and tried the 5.3 installation - still the same error. Very strange, because I've installed before 5.3 on this system and I didn't get that error.

P.P.S. PROBLEM SOLVED - for some bizarre reason the SCSI ID of the hard drive has to be 2. Booting fine now...
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Re: IRIX 6.5 installation problem: "not a valid swap area"

Unread postby porter » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:58 am

kenashkov wrote:P.P.S. PROBLEM SOLVED - for some bizarre reason the SCSI ID of the hard drive has to be 2. Booting fine now...


I thought the boot drive was supposed to be one. What does your NVRAM say it's supposed to be? What is the ID of your CD-ROM?
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Re: IRIX 6.5 problem: "not a valid swap area" [SOLVED]

Unread postby Bluefan » Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:23 pm

The boot drive can be one, but in the NVRAM you can specify where (which scsi ID, partition, ...) to boot from.
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Re: IRIX 6.5 problem: "not a valid swap area" [SOLVED]

Unread postby kenashkov » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:01 pm

I wasn't precise. I dont have problem with the booting it self from the cdrom, but with the location where the installation program was looking for swap partition (and because not finding any swap partition was halting - on the 'loading tools ...' or something like; before the installation procedure it self was started). The CDROM drive from which I boot can be whatever ID, but the hard drive to which the OS will be installed must have (at least on my Indy) SCSI ID of 2 otherwise when I click on the "Install System Software" icon the installation program does not sees at all the drive (because always was complaining about invalid swap area even when it was valid).
The configuration I was using was:
CDROM - ID 3
HDD - ID 4
My 5.3 installation was on another drive which had ID 2. This gave me a hint and I switched the ID of the new drive to 2 (I disconnected the other one) and it worked. Before I did this I looked at the PROM but there was nothing related to the boot process or OS there...
Actually I played a little with OS*** variables, but then I changed the ID and it worked. Now I'm reading about the PROM variables at the sgi docs and will play more with this tomorrow.
There must be a way from the PROM to point the installation program where to look. :)

P.S. probably this one:
SGI docs wrote:swap


Specifies in IRIX notation the swap partition to use. If not set, it defaults to the partition configured into the operating system, which is normally partition 1 on the drive specified by the root environment variable

This is for the OS, but probably the install procedure will be affected too; I will try tomorrow.
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Re: IRIX 6.5 problem: "not a valid swap area" [SOLVED]

Unread postby josehill » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:50 pm

I think OSLoadPartition is the key PROM variable here.


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