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Install NeXTStep w/o floppy drive on x86

 
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Stealthii



Joined: 29 Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Location: University of Ulster, Jordanstown

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: Install NeXTStep w/o floppy drive on x86 Reply with quote

Ok guys I decided I want to make use of an old Panasonic toughbook I have lying around to turn it into a portable NeXTSTEP machine. Only problem is that there is only one drive bay, currently occupied by the optical disc drive. Is it possible to install (or even boot the installation) without the use of a floppy?

If not, is there any way I can create a compatible installation for the machine? (For example, installing with QEMU, then dd the disk image to the 4GB IDE HDD)
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cuby



Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 164
Location: Coburg, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our forum member itomato build a bootable x86 OpenStep 4.2 CD image. I haven't tested it for some time, but maybe this thread helps you? http://nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=520
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Stealthii



Joined: 29 Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Location: University of Ulster, Jordanstown

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It helped great. Up until the point where after rebooting, it started to desire a REAL floppy drive, and couldn't load the two drivers used during installation (EISABus, and IDE/ATAPI driver). I swapped the hard drive into another machine, with a floppy drive (but no optical drive) and it could load the drivers from the floppy fine. However the boot process there halted with a 'BAD SUPER BLOCK' message. fsck -b 16 didn't help either, probably because it's not at 16, so I'm stumped at this point so far.

By the way this was an installation attempt with Openstep. 4GiB IDE drive and 32MiB RAM.
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My ThinkPad only had one bay when I got it back in 1999 and I was able to swap out the floppy drive with the CD drive while installing either NEXTSTEP or OPENSTEP. You might be able to do something similar with your system.
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ebann



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a nutshell, yes you can... But it isn't trivial.

Basically you want to create an El Torrito CD with the User CD image and a 2.88MB floppy image. Patch up a few bytes here and there and presto! Make sure you copy the appropriate drivers that your hardware is going to need for the install into the floppy image.

Pitz wrote a very informative tutorial on doing all this. You will need to run OS/NS on a virtual machine in order to do some of the steps.
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Stealthii



Joined: 29 Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Location: University of Ulster, Jordanstown

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noted. You reckon then that if the one CD contains ALL required drivers in the floppy image, it should be fine on first boot? I'll need to check how it was done last time, as it's been a while since I tried this ( both my Cube, and the toughbook are running NetBSD due to the failure of getting NeXTSTEP (re)installed on either device Smile )
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ebann



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stealthii wrote:
Noted. You reckon then that if the one CD contains ALL required drivers in the floppy image, it should be fine on first boot? I'll need to check how it was done last time, as it's been a while since I tried this ( both my Cube, and the toughbook are running NetBSD due to the failure of getting NeXTSTEP (re)installed on either device Smile )


With all drivers needed on the 2.88MB floppy image, it will be fine. Note that there is a bug in the rc.cdrom script in the User CD which prevents the PIIX IDE driver from being copied to the hard drive, and the installer may ask for the floppy disk with that driver if it can't access the floppy image fromnthe El Torrito CD. You can use the standard and slower IDE driver for installation and then replacing the IDE driver post-install.

If you feel adventurous, you can fix the script on the CD image but I don't know if there are any CD checksum routines you will need to fix. Search for Laurent Julliard install guide (on virtual machines) and check his rc.cdrom script.
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ebann



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an alternative for you to try...

http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2801

... I just need a host for my 1.28GB file... any volunteers?
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RimmerDK



Joined: 24 Jan 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Kolding, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: File hosting Reply with quote

Sure, I'll host it, but you'll need to either make it available to me, or upload to my server. PM if interested.

Cheers,
/Anders
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