[rescue] External SCSI CDROM for SGI?

William Barnett-Lewis wlewisiii at gmail.com
Mon Nov 1 17:06:03 CDT 2010

Anyone in the Madison WI area have an external SCSI CDROM drive that I
can borrow? Or buy silly cheap?

I need to reinstall IRIX on a new-to-me Octane2 and my elderly Apple
CD150 can't, apparently, do 512 blocks to allow IRIX to boot from it.

I got an Octane from JP & an Octane 2 from Timothy recently.
First joy - the SGI->VGA adapter plays nice with my elderly 15" Sony
Multiscan. Guh only knows how long that old Sony has left in it but
it's working for now.
First Sadness - get a SCSI Bus failure during power on diags. Reseat
system board. No joy, in fact now it doesn't even get to power-on
diags, just gives a bus error. Repeatedly. I repeatedly bang head on
Second Joy - system board from Octane works in Octane 2. Both systems
had the same older system board.
Third Joy - Octane2 system came with real paper manual! Still in
shrink!!! Rip it open, read a bit, learn how to & then swap memory and
CPUs around, ending up with:

2 x R12000 at 300mhz
1024 MB RAM
1x9gb SCSI disk
1x73gb SCSI disk
1x SCSI Sony SDT-9000 DAT
1xSCSI CDROM (ancient Apple CD150)
RAD audio
ODYSSEY graphics
(not reflected in hinv, front panel from Octane on Octane 2 frame due
to nice old cube logo rather than ugly later one 8-) )

Second Sadness - Old SGI PS/2 mouse has bit the dust over time. No
pointer movement at all even after cleaning.
Fourth Joy - Not quite so old MS trackball works with USB->PS/2
adapter. System boots all the way up.
Third Sadness - no passwords. Go to reinstall Irix. Old Apple drive
can't handle something - this maybe related to the 512 sector problem
with boot disks? I'm presuming the installer is booted in the process
and that is what the problem is. At this point, I'm stuck.

Any suggestions? I can get around the no root password easy enough but
I'd rather do a fresh install of the OS anyway. Which brings us back
to the opening of this message. Anyone know where I can borrow,  find
cheap - really really really cheap - or trade for a cdrom that will
work with this system?


Live like you will never die, love like you've never been hurt, dance
like no-one is watching.
                Alex White

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