[rescue] RS/6k and booting AIX

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Tue Nov 30 02:06:26 CST 2004

On Sun, 28 Nov 2004, Tom Ponsford wrote:

> Ok, I rescued a couple of RS/6k's from the auction last month: a
> couple of 40p's, , a 43p and a 7011. I also got a box with 3.2.5
> media (cdroms).

If you plan on running those systems for a while, keep an eye out
for AIX 4.3.3 media kits on eBay.  4.3.3 is a -lot- nicer and can
usually be had for less than $50.  The 43P systems (if they're model
7043 systems) will run AIX 5.1 decently, but you really should stick
with 4.3.3 on the rest.

What model 7011: 250 or 220?  They're both nice (albeit slow) systems,
but they do put out a -lot- of heat for their size.  They're just about
right for CVS/DNS/NTP servers or X stations (if you have the weird
processor-direct GXT150 framebuffer for them).

> The cdroms say bootable. none of the machine had HDD, but after
> scrounging up a couple of suitable scsi's. the machine checks out
> OK with the SMS floppy.

Be aware that, after you get AIX installed, you'll need to run "smitty
chdev" to set the SCSI parameters for your hard drives.  If AIX doesn't
recognize the drives as being made by IBM, it'll assume it can't figure
out anything about them, and negotiates the bus pessimally.

> The problem is the 40p's (7020) won't boot the diskettes OR the cdrom.
> Going into the firmware monitor and trying to acess the  floppy I get
> an error saying there are no FAT tables on the floppy.

If you made the floppies on anything other than a DOS computer, it may
be that the firmware is too simplistic to grok minor variances in the
FAT.  Specifically, floppies formatted on a Macintosh will almost
-never- work as an SMS boot floppy.

> Acessing the cdrom though, I can list all the files. The floppy and the
> cdrom looks like they do an abreviated read on the boot media and just
> stop.  No messages and definatly not reading the media.

How long did you wait?  AIX takes quite a long time to come up, even off
the installation media.  It will look like it's sitting there doing
nothing, but it could possibly have been coming up.  RS/6000 systems run
a lot of excruciatingly-thorough diagnostics upon startup and boot.

> I think the floppy's, which I made myself from files downloaded, may not
> be created correctly, but that does not explain why the cd media does
> not boot.  I think it;s more of a pilot error than a machine problem.

Give it at least 15 minutes to try to boot that CD.  You've got
unlabeled disks in there, and that always throws old AIX for a loop, so
it'll take a while to find its feet.  Also, is your SCSI bus properly
terminated?  I don't think the 40P needs an external terminator

> but I've not used any AIX in several years and never had to install to
> bare metal.

You could always try installing Windows NT. ;)

Or (which I'd love to get my hands on) OS/2 for PowerPC.

Jonathan Patschke ) "I've built my whole system with [-fomit-frame-pointer]
Elgin, TX        (  cause it was recommended...as I don't care if a program
USA               ) crashes, not interested in finding out why."
                  (                    --Tim, Another Satisfied Gentoo User

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