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Thread: Installing SunOS 4.1.4 on Sparcstation IPX?

  1. #1

    Default Installing SunOS 4.1.4 on Sparcstation IPX?

    That shouldn't be that hard to install SunOS 4.1.4 on a Sparcstation IPX, right?

    Well, I fail.

    I have a Sun IPX with a 1 Gigabyte ST31055N drive. I have a Panasonic CR-506B drive with a sector jumper.

    I have tested this setup with a original Solaris 2.6 installation CD and it boots fine from the CD. I have created a Solaris 2.4 CD on a Windows 10 machine using a downloaded ISO-file and it boots fine on the machine - regardless of jumper setting of the CD-ROM drive.

    But I cannot not get the thing to boot off the SunOS 4.1.4 CD I burnt using a downloaded ISO. I tried a Solaris 1.1.2 ISO as well (which supposedly should be very similar) but nothing happens there as well.

    I tried to check the various CDs on a Linux machine using the cdrtools isoinfo. This is from the original Solaris 2.6 CD:
    $ isoinfo -d -i /dev/cdrom
    CD-ROM is in ISO 9660 format
    System id:
    Volume id: SOL_2_6_SPARC_SMCC_SVR
    Volume set id: SOLARIS_2_6_SERIES
    Publisher id:
    Data preparer id:
    Application id:
    Copyright File id:
    Abstract File id:
    Bibliographic File id:
    Volume set size is: 1
    Volume set sequence number is: 1
    Logical block size is: 2048
    Volume size is: 169715
    NO Joliet present
    Rock Ridge signatures version 1 found
    And this my home made CD from an ISO I downloaded:

    $ isoinfo -d -i /dev/cdrom
    CD-ROM is in ISO 9660 format
    System id: SunOS 4.1.4 SUNBIN
    Volume id: Volume 1
    Volume set id: SunOS
    Publisher id: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Data preparer id: Sun Microsystems, Inc.
    Application id: SunOS 4.1.4 SUNBIN
    Copyright File id: _copyright
    Abstract File id:
    Bibliographic File id:
    Volume set size is: 1
    Volume set sequence number is: 1
    Logical block size is: 2048
    Volume size is: 118945
    NO Joliet present
    NO Rock Ridge present
    $ isoinfo -p -i /dev/cdrom
    Path table starts at block 18, size 396
    1: 1 14
    2: 1 18 EXPORT
    3: 1 19 PATCHES
    4: 1 1a SUNUPGRADE
    5: 2 1e EXEC
    6: 2 9f SHARE
    7: 3 a0 SUNOS_4_1_4
    8: 4 246e FILE_DB
    9: 4 2711 FILE_DB.412
    10: 4 29f6 FILE_DB.413
    11: 4 2d53 FILE_DB.413C
    12: 4 30a4 FILE_DB.413U1
    13: 4 33fa FILE_DB.B
    14: 4 36a0 INCLD
    15: 4 36dc SHELL
    16: 4 3714 TOOLKIT
    17: 5 3e9b KVM
    18: 5 3e9c SUN4_SUNOS_4_1_4
    19: 6 156ad SUNOS_4_1_4
    20: 17 16552 SUN4C_SUNOS_4_1_4
    21: 17 1881f SUN4M_SUNOS_4_1_4
    22: 17 1ae40 SUN4_SUNOS_4_1_4
    I am not sure if this is any useful for diagnosing what problem I have?

    Anyhow. What is the procedure to create a bootable CD for SunOS 4.1.4?

    Is there any other way to do it? Install the image on a SCSI2SD card?

    I am a bit bothered with the fact that the jumper setting does not seem to affect wether it boots Solaris 2.6 or not. On the other hand I read somewhere the newer Boot Roms (2.9 in my case) can handle 2048 bytes sectors.

    The printout above says that the logical block size is 2048 bytes. Is this a problem?

    Help appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bedford, NH, USA
    Posts
    1,229

    Default

    I really have not used Sun OS in a *very* long time, but I am interested in your dilemma because I also have an IPX box, and it might be fun to get it back up and running again.

    The thing I'm thinking of is, wasn't Sun OS version 4 the one with the secure operating system? Could that be any part of the problem here?

    This is just me talking. My experiences (long, long ago) were with Sun OS 2.x.

    smp

    UPDATE: Sorry about that - Solaris 4 was the secure operating system, not Sun OS 4. Please disregard all of my babbling. 8-(
    Last edited by smp; January 10th, 2017 at 04:04 PM. Reason: added the UPDATE...

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattisLind View Post
    I am a bit bothered with the fact that the jumper setting does not seem to affect whether it boots Solaris 2.6 or not. On the other hand I read somewhere the newer Boot Roms (2.9 in my case) can handle 2048 bytes sectors.
    The printout above says that the logical block size is 2048 bytes. Is this a problem?
    That is puzzling ... do you have an older (512 byte) CDROM you can try, like a 1x speed? I've had varying luck with faster CD drives on my IPC.
    I haven't tried that particular OS version but Solaris 2.3 would boot from CD, but not install on the IPC, reason not clear but I suspect the 1 GB hard disk size was the issue.
    IBM 5170/5051, 5150/5051, 5150/5153
    Sun IPC, Ultra1 and SPARCclassic with tape, disk and CD
    HP Apollo 9000/735
    Silicon Graphics Indy complete system, O2 with Alias Designer
    Radio Shack TRS-80 model 100
    Apple Mac Plus

  4. #4

    Default

    It feels like it's related to the fact that SunOS is BSD-based, and Solaris is SVR4-based, since the SVR4-based CDs boot fine, but the BSD-based ones do not. Theoretically, SunOS should support the IPX, so perhaps there's something special you need to do to burn the ISO?

    I'm running OpenBSD on mine, so I'm not much help. If you have a link to the SunOS ISOs, I'll see if I have any CD-Rs around here and try and burn a copy out (not sure if I do, though).

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paul View Post
    That is puzzling ... do you have an older (512 byte) CDROM you can try, like a 1x speed? I've had varying luck with faster CD drives on my IPC.
    I haven't tried that particular OS version but Solaris 2.3 would boot from CD, but not install on the IPC, reason not clear but I suspect the 1 GB hard disk size was the issue.
    I only have the Panasonic CR-506B, which is supposed to be SUN compatible, but it is 8x.


    Quote Originally Posted by taborj View Post
    It feels like it's related to the fact that SunOS is BSD-based, and Solaris is SVR4-based, since the SVR4-based CDs boot fine, but the BSD-based ones do not. Theoretically, SunOS should support the IPX, so perhaps there's something special you need to do to burn the ISO?

    I'm running OpenBSD on mine, so I'm not much help. If you have a link to the SunOS ISOs, I'll see if I have any CD-Rs around here and try and burn a copy out (not sure if I do, though).
    SunOS 4.1.x should support the IPX as far as I get from this.

    I have started thinking it has something to do with how the CD is written. Or maybe how the ISO was created. But I have always been of the impression that an ISO is an ISO and will create a correct CD in any CD-writer with any bug free CD writing software. But I might be wrong?

    I downloaded this Solaris 1.1.2 ISO and this SunOS 4.1.4 ISO. I wasn't successful with any of them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    87

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattisLind View Post
    I only have the Panasonic CR-506B, which is supposed to be SUN compatible, but it is 8x.
    I remember Plextor drives were always great drives to use with early SPARCstations. All the Plextors I have here have the jumper you need to set to 512 byte blocks.



    SunOS 4.1.x should support the IPX as far as I get from this.

    I have started thinking it has something to do with how the CD is written. Or maybe how the ISO was created. But I have always been of the impression that an ISO is an ISO and will create a correct CD in any CD-writer with any bug free CD writing software. But I might be wrong?

    I downloaded this Solaris 1.1.2 ISO and this SunOS 4.1.4 ISO. I wasn't successful with any of them
    I'm curious about the resolution of this as well, as I'd like to get SunOS 4.1.1 installed on my Sun 3/60. I finally burned my first successful eprom last night, so I can theoretically boot from CD. Was that ever a problem on the SS2/IPX? I would assume all would have the capability to boot from cdrom, especially if the cdrom alias is in Openboot.

  7. #7

    Default

    Ok. I will have to wear a stupid hat for a couple of days. It was rather simple but I have forgotten about all the trouble with writable CDs. I didn't recognize at first that the CD I wrote was a CD+RW not a CD-R. Apparently my CD-ROM drive was unable to read CD+RW, but CD-R is fine. Now with a ISO it boots happily!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    87

    Default

    I actually saw the links you posted - I wish they had a SunOS 4.1.1 ISO images for Sun 3's, rather than the tape images. Glad you got it working though. I think some of those older drives are picky with rewriteable media, especially if you didn't close the CD session when burning.

  9. #9

    Default

    In this case it wasn't even spinning the disk. The drive apparently recognised very early that there is no point in doing anything. I think I remember that there were a lot of talk back then about different formulas that make up the coloring dye for the CD-R / CD+RW.

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