IRIX install on Sgi Indy

marcin.k

New member
Mar 30, 2021
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0
1
Hi all,
I hit a wall trying to sort out my Sgi Indy and would appreciate any ideas. The Indy is working and I've tried to install a clean copy of Irix 6.5.22 onto a SCSI2SD using an old apple external cd-rom (cd600e). I'm stuck at the very beginning: when trying to boot sashARCS I get the following error:

136336+22752+3248+341792+49344d+Relocation error: “unsuccessful malloc”
Unable to load dksc(0,4,8)sashARCS: ``dksc(0,4,8)sashARCS’’ is not a valid file to boot.

I tried changing scsi id, also tried connecting the cdrom via internal ribbon - no luck and still the same error. I am using original SGI disks. Anyone ever got this kind of error?

The Indy is a basic R4400 100Mhz model (IP22) with V5 rev B5 Prom. I suspected memory modules, but no change after swapping for a new set (all 8Mx36 simms).. Googling yields no results. From what I gather cd install should be pretty straightforward?
 

weblacky

Member
Jan 13, 2020
95
26
18
Seattle, WA
If I had to make a guess, I'd say your CDROM drive isn't compatible with UNIX-type install CDs. UNIX install CDs are often purposely formatted as 512 block (NOT the normal CD block size) and carry UNIX vendor-specific filesystems (NOT ISO9660 or the like) because then their Firmware doesn't need to know what a CDROM is...only a hard drive (which used to be ONLY 512 bytes per block, until recently). If your drive supported 512 byte block mode, the firmware gets to treat the CDROM media like a normal HDD, read it like one too, from a CDROM media that FAKES HDD formatting.

I don't see anything in Google that claims the Apple CDROM drive you are using support 512 block mode. Normally you need either a optical drive (CDROM or DVD) that purposely has a jumper for 512/1024 block mode...or is a UNIX vendor branded CDROM (like a SUN CDROM drives will JUST WORK on SGIs).

It's very likely, you're using a CDROM drive that cannot read in 512 block mode (not a standard Apple or PC features...but extremely common in nearly ALL UNIX stations of the day).

Just pickup a cheap SUN 1X-2X drive and use that. If you HAPPEN to have access to later model SCSI Plextor drives for PCs, they often work with UNIX as an advertised feature as well as some Pioneers & Toshibas (hence the price differences) (but it varies from model to model). I've been told (but not 100%) that the slot-loading external HP SCSI optical drives you find on eBay are really Pioneers that support 512 mode...but please do your own research to be sure.

Also, no, Irix Installs are not straight forward, actually they are cryptic and hard to get right the first time. Once you can successfully load Sash, you need to find a online guide, else after all that work you can end up with a partial OS. SGI never really thought end users would reload their own stations I guess, it's actually fraught with small issues and oddities that an IT person would handle from experience, I guess. given the original costs, they figured you'd reach out to them back in day.

Also there is a gitHub project (https://github.com/callahan-44/sgivfo/blob/master/callahansSCSI2SDv6_Indy.xml) around with the correct SCSI2SD settings, they are cryptic as well...please consult before doing an install (however that's not your current issue).
 
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vvuk

New member
Aug 25, 2021
10
10
3
I would suggest trying booterizer https://github.com/unxmaal/booterizer and doing a net install to rule out the CD ROM. It definitely looks like it's managing to read from the CD ROM so I'd be surprised if it was a 512 byte sector issue.

Unsuccessful malloc looks like an error from fx itself once it starts executing, though could also be caused by bad data being read (or the CD itself being bad).

(I just recently did a 6.5.22 install via booterizer on an Indy with no problems.)
 
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marcin.k

New member
Mar 30, 2021
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Thanks for the answers. The cdrom I used should theoretically work (higherintellect quotes this model as compatible), although the drive itself could be faulty, as I have no other computer to test it with at the moment. I know the cds themselves should be ok, I tested a genuine sgi install set as well as the cds I got from Ian Mapleson. Booterizer seems like a very good idea, I already dig out my Raspberry Pi and will give it a shot. These older machines are way trickier to work with, this is my second Sgi and compared to this, the O2 setup was a breeze!
 

Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
499
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Some CD-ROM drives that support the requisite 512 byte blocks require a jumper or DIP switch to be set to be put in that mode, FWIW
 

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