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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Hi all,

I've been wrestling with a problem for at least a week now with my Octane and trying to get IRIX installed on it. I have an external DVD drive (Toshiba 1401 model) that I bought from Ian and a fresh new HDD onto which IRIX will be installed. The DVD is in the grey "granite" enclosure which used to house my CD ROM (but that drive died). I have brand new SCSI cables and a brand new "Active" terminator for the drive.
The problem I'm having is this: when I insert a disk under the miniroot inst software at the point where it wants me to add disks for installation, the drive spins up a bit, reads a few % of the disk, then spins down and stops. Then the thing sits for a bit (few minutes) and says that the drive is unresponsive/not responding or something of that nature. Then it proceeds to reset the SCSI chip and gives another unresponsive error. But then it starts to read a bit more of the disk and the whole process starts over again. Depending on how much needs to be read from a disk, this might happen up to 4 or 5 times on a single disk. Eventually the entire disk WILL be read and inst asks for the next disk for installation files.
After going through the entire set of install disks etc... and getting to the point of actually proceeding with the install, the inst software tells me that the disk cant be read and pleas insert the correct disk. Also it gives me a bunch of hardware errors that I can't recall off hand. It also doesn't try to do the resetting SCSI chip procedure to see if that will help.

I've checked my SCSI ID's and the HDD is ID 1 and the DVD is ID 4.

I've already had a large number of back and forth emails with Ian regarding this strange thing and he's trying to replicate my setup on his end to see if its a DVD drive related thing, or if it's something on my end.

Has anyone had any success installing from an external DVD onto any SGI system using the CD's??
I'm well aware that there are alternatives to getting the IRIX software on the system, but I don't have a PC to set that kind of thing up. I just need to get the system up and running using what I have.

Any help will be GREATLY appreciated!

Chris

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Knowing Ian is involved makes the idea you'd need this a *very* remote possibility, but I'll throw it out as a reference mostly for anyone the search tool might lead here later:
http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=S ... erSettings

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:19 pm 
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Thanks for this link. It at least sheds some light as to what these jumpers are for on this drive! I'll check my settings when I'm home and make sure I have the correct ones active. BTW, does the 512/2k jumper need to set so that CD's are read at 512? Maybe this is the problem? Do other DVD drives have this jumper as well, or is it ONLY on this one specific DVD drive model and manufacturer?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:25 pm 
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3dchris wrote:
. BTW, does the 512/2k jumper need to set so that CD's are read at 512? Maybe this is the problem? Do other DVD drives have this jumper as well, or is it ONLY on this one specific DVD drive model and manufacturer?


My understanding right or wrong is that the SGI (PROM or IRIX) device drivers need 512 byte blocks and it is not specific to that drive, as other drives also have a 512 byte jumper. I also suspect it is unrelated to media itself.


R.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:21 pm 
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I have an external scsi CD drive that's just been lying around here for years, I don't think I've ever had it hooked up to an Octane but I'm sure it would work with yours and you can have it if you want... :mrgreen:

Edit: Actually, what I should probably have said is I don't see why it wouldn't work with your Octane, but who knows? If you want it PM me your snail mail address and I'll have the UPS store send it your way. I'll be happy just knowing it's found a place of gainful employment once again... :D

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:03 am 
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PymbleSoftware wrote:
My understanding right or wrong is that the SGI (PROM or IRIX) device drivers need 512 byte blocks and it is not specific to that drive, as other drives also have a 512 byte jumper.

Correct, the device driver (IRIX kernel) needs 512byte blocks and that's why the PROM sets the drive to 512byte block mode (except for pre-Indigo1 hardware).

PymbleSoftware wrote:
I also suspect it is unrelated to media itself.

Almost. Apparently this mode setting is different between CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. If you make a 1:1 copy of a CD-ROM on a DVD-RW disc and attempt to boot from that, it fails. A drive like the slot-loading Pioneer 16x SCSI DVD-ROM has a jumper to set DVD to 512byte as well, and then you can boot from an IRIX DVD. You can make your own DVDs by merging the contents of a bunch of CD-ROMs and boot from that too. This even works for IRIX versions that know nothing of DVDs, like IRIX 6.2, because it's just another removable, 512byte blocksize medium. As long as the disklabel is similar to an IRIX CDROM and the filesystem is EFS, it works fine.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:07 pm 
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jan-jaap wrote:
Almost. Apparently this mode setting is different between CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs. If you make a 1:1 copy of a CD-ROM on a DVD-RW disc and attempt to boot from that, it fails. A drive like the slot-loading Pioneer 16x SCSI DVD-ROM has a jumper to set DVD to 512byte as well, and then you can boot from an IRIX DVD. You can make your own DVDs by merging the contents of a bunch of CD-ROMs and boot from that too. This even works for IRIX versions that know nothing of DVDs, like IRIX 6.2, because it's just another removable, 512byte blocksize medium. As long as the disklabel is similar to an IRIX CDROM and the filesystem is EFS, it works fine.
jan-jaap is the one who clued me into the bootable DVD, but as mentioned you'll need one of the slot-loading Pioneer DVD-ROM drives.The 512byte jumper on the Toshiba drives only works when there's a CD disk in the drive - if you insert a DVD disk in a Toshiba drive the firmware overrides the jumper and switches the drive to 2048 byte mode. The Pioneer drives comply with the 512 byte jumper position regardless of the disk type.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:43 pm 
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I tried my drive using the 512 byte jumper and I'm still having the same problems. It helps with the initial disk, but doesn't help with any other disks. I'm only using CD's for the install, not DVD's. I've also tried the original SGI CD's with IRIX 6.5.18 as well as the 6.5.30 disks that Ian provided. Both sets of disks exhibit the same strange behaviour, so I'm pretty sure the disks aren't the issue.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 am 
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3dchris wrote:
I have brand new SCSI cables
How long are the cable(s)? The UltraSCSI bus on the Octane has an overall cable length restriction of 1.5 meters.

And since you mentioned cables in your post, are any other external SCSI device connected? If there are additional devices connected, it'd probably be helpful to know what they are, as well as the total length of all attached cables.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:25 pm 
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The system doesn't have anything but the DVD hooked up to it. The cables are only 2 feet, if that. They are very short. I'm nowhere near the 1.5 meter maximum length.

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