[rescue] Need some tips to start up my SGI indigo2.

rob rob at dsvr.net
Sat Sep 27 13:51:24 CDT 2003

Arjen Ronhaar wrote:
> Hello you all,
> I just bought my first unis/irix machine, a SGI Indogo2, R4400 at 
> 200MHz, with a 2.1Mb systemdisk, and 96Mb of memory, runni8ng on IRIX 6.2.
> I bought it from old stock at work (Pemstar) complete system for 10 Euro 
> ($11.20).
> I try to bring it online now, and started to clear the old user accounts 
> and file directories, so that i have little over 600Mb free disk space now.

> - Would it be better to wipe all and to install the OS from scratch 
> (witch i do not have on disk)?

It's always better to do this because
i. it gives you a better understanding of IRIX
ii. it's good for your sanity, trying to work out if it doesn't work 
because of a config change you made, or someone else made.
iii. it's good for security

> - or just clear all that i do not need, and start installing my programs?

Its the cheaper alternative. Have you got much IRIX admin experience ?

> It is a stand allone system, not connected to a Network or Internet, so 
> i have to bring on all the software down via my PC.
> - Is de cd format the same for SGI and PC?

At the hardware level the raw CD formats can be different, but IRIX 6.5 
does have support for reading PC formated CDs. I can't remember if 6.2 does.

> - Is the floppy format the same for SGI and PC?

Indigo2 doesn't have a floppy. Or if it did ( as the Indy did ) it's a 
Magneto Optical device which read/write DOS FAT compatible disks IIRC.

> - What programs do I need to make this connection work?

A small network with a hub and some network cable will save you sooo 
much trouble. Otherwise you're transfering stuff by CD or by serial, 
which it probably going to be harder to set-up than a network, unless 
you have a MAC to PC serial cable handy.

> Finaly i have a few simple questions, being new at this.
> - My mouse is near extinction, can i replace it wit just any mouse, or 
> must it be a special SGI mouse? Could i use a PS/2 trackball?

Any PS/2 mouse works great. Scroll button mice work with IRIX 6.5

> - The CD is not the youngest neither, is it a standard one? Or what 
> would i need to buy for a replacement, or even what kind of Burner could 
> i use?

Toshiba are good because they are the ones SGI use. Standard SCSI CD 
ROM's capable of 512K Block sizes (raw CD Format can be different).

Burners work, using standard linux-type software (ie cdrecord)

> - What is the best place to look for parts, I need a floppy drive and 
> they are hard to find  on eBay (USA or Germany), or even an empty 3.5" 
> sled?

EBay is good, however standard (old) PC SCSI parts will also be useful. 
The Indigo2 is a solid machine, with good compatability, hardware wise.

Forget about the floppy. CD's will be more efficient. A network will be 
even more efficient and cheaper still.

> Any other tips what i should think of re-building this computer?

Just remember that sometimes buying a whole new Indigo2 for parts is 
cheaper than buying lots of bits.

My Tips are :

i. Hook it up to a network, perferably supported by a Linux/*BSD running 
PC, if that's what your PC runs. I use my PC as an NFS and support point 
for all my SGIs. You'll need lots of cheap disk space (or lots of burned 
CD's) for all of IRIX itself, and freeware.sgi.com.

ii. Get IRIX on CD. Preferably IRIX 6.5. Often on Ebay. It doesn't 
matter which sub version of 6.5 because you can always update it upto 
the latest versions (6.5.21) for FREE on-line via the SGI Developer + 
matching SGI Support Account (both avail Free).

Hope this helps,



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