Booting IRIX Installation
from CD

 General Information


The first step of installing IRIX to an empty disc is booting the installation system and partitioning your harddisc. Unfortunately booting the CD is not self-explanatory. If your SGI doesn't have a CD-ROM, but you have a second machine which does, you may also consider installing IRIX over your LAN. This may also be the only way for some older machines, which require an installation tape instead of a CD-ROM.

Which CD is the Boot-CD?

First you have to select the right CD to boot the installation. In most cases the correct CD is the first overlay CD (in case of IRIX 6.5.x it should be called "Installation Tools and Overlays") or simply the first (or even single) CD for older versions.

Getting the Hardware Adress of the CD-ROM

For booting the installation CD-ROM, you need to interrupt the booting sequence of your machine and "stop for maintenance". When there is no operating system on your HD, the firmware will automatically do this for you.

Now you have to enter the command line by chosing the appropriate option from the PROM screen. Insert the CD into the drive and enter hinv at the command line prompt, so you can find out which SCSI-ID your CD-ROM drive has. This should display something like this:

>> hinv
                   System: IP32
                Processor: 200 Mhz R5000, with FPU
     Primary I-cache size: 32 Kbytes
     Primary D-cache size: 32 Kbytes
     Secondary cache size: 1024 Kbytes
              Memory size: 256 Mbytes
                 Graphics: CRM, Rev C
                    Audio: A3 version 1
                SCSI Disk: scsi(0)disk(1)
               SCSI CDROM: scsi(0)cdrom(4)

This output will tell you that your CD-ROM is connected to controller 0 with ID 4. Let X denote your controller and Y the device ID (in this case the CDROM is on SCSI-bus x=0 and ID y=4).

Selecting the Correct fx/sash Version

Before you start the installation, you have to know which version of sash and fx your machine (the client) requires. Many platform require different kernel versions, even already for the installation. The following table gives you an overview of the different versions. Note that not all hardware platforms are supported by all IRIX versions!

System sash-Version / fx-Version
Personal Iris 4D/2x boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP6
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP6 --x
Personal Iris 4D/3x boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP12
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP12 --x
Professional Iris 4D/120 boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP5
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP5 --x
Professional Iris 4D/210 boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP9
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP9 --x
Professional Iris 4D/2x0
Professional Iris 4D/3x0
Professional Iris 4D/4x0
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP7
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP7 --x
Crimson boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP17
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP17 --x
Indigo R3000 boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.IP12
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.IP12 --x
Onyx/Challenge R4000
Indigo R4000
Indigo² R4000
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sashARCS
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.ARCS --x

On newer IRIX releases this has changed to
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sashARCS
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)stand/fx.ARCS --x
Onyx/Challenge R8000
Onyx/Challenge R10K
Indigo² R8000
Indigo² R10K
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash.64
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.64 --x

On newer IRIX releases this has changed to
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash64
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)stand/fx.64 --x
Origin 200 boot -f cdrom(X,Y,8)sash.64
boot -f cdrom(X,Y,7)fx.64 --x

On newer IRIX releases this has changed to
boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sash64
boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)stand/fx.64 --x

Listing the Content on the CD

In newer IRIX versions, there is not always an fx present directly on the CD, or sash.64 is renamed to sash64. In order to find out which boot-programs are available on your CD, you may list the content by typing

>> ls dksc(X,Y,8)

at the PROM prompt. This gives you a list of all programs avaible to the bootloader. This also works at the sash prompt. Of course this step is optional and normally just needed if the straight method fails.

Booting sash

When you have selected the correct Versions of sash and fx you can boot from CD by typing at the Command Line Interface of the PROM (of course you need to type the correct version of sash).

>> boot -f dksc(X,Y,8)sashARCS

Then the stand alone shell will be loaded. Simply type help for more information and a list of available commands and actions.

Booting fx

Note that you first have to boot sash, and only from the sash prompt you can start the partitioning tool fx. When sash is loaded, you can boot into fx by typing (again you should replace fx.ARCS by the correct version from the table above)

sash> boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)fx.ARCS --x

For example the whole sequence for starting fx on an O2 you would need to enter

>> boot -f dksc(0,1,8)sashARCS
sash> boot -f dksc(0,1,7)fx.ARCS --x
fx version 6.5, Oct  1, 1999
fx: "device-name" = (dksc)
fx: ctlr# = (0)
fx: drive# = (1)
fx: lun# = (0)
...opening dksc(0,1,0)

fx: partitions in use detected on device
fx: devname             seq owner   state
fx: /dev/rdsk/dks0d1s0    1 xfs     already in use selftest...OK
Scsi drive type == SGI     IBM DDRS-34560W S96A

----- please choose one (? for help, .. to quit this menu)-----
[exi]t             [d]ebug/           [l]abel/           [a]uto
[b]adblock/        [exe]rcise/        [r]epartition/

On newer IRIX releases, the partitioning programs have moved into the subdirectory /stand. In this case you will have to type

sash> boot -f dksc(X,Y,7)stand/fx.ARCS --x

Booting old SGI Machines from CD

Booting old machines (like the 4D series) may cause a little more trouble, because not all of them know how to handle CD-ROM drives. In my case (a 4D/25) the only solution was a network installation.

When the machine boots, it should enter the setup like this:

System Maintenance Menu

1) Start System
2) Install System Software
3) Run Diagnostics
4) Recover System
5) Enter Command Monitor