Linux and 'dd' to the rescue?

Started by dialt, January 16, 2006, 01:15:32 AM

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I have owned a cube for some time and at the time of purchase, the previous owner was convinced it was shot because it would not boot.  After a lot of struggle with it, I rigged a solution that I thought was pretty wild at the time, and was sure that someone else could benefit.  If this is old news, I apologize.  I'm just stoked that there are still people out there playing with these things..

After obtaining NEXTSTEP 3.3 from Apple, I learned that my NeXT Cube, which was apparently sold to Miami University in Oxford, OH during the "beta period" (it has Revision 1.0 firmware and the manuals say it came with 0.9 OS).  The optical drive was flaky and it would not boot from my Matsushita CW-7502 SCSI CDR drive.

The way I solved this was to obtain a second SCSI disk (Seagate ST1480N) and hooked it (and my Matsushita CDR) to my Linux box.  Next, I mounted both disks and did a direct block copy from the CDR to the Seagate using the 'dd' command, essentially specifying the raw devices as the input and output files, respectively.  I think the block size I used was 512.  (Does it matter?)

Then, I put the Seagate in an external SCSI case, set the ID, and hit the power button.  At the ROM monitor, I just typed
bsd(0,0,x) where x was the id of the disk, and the damn think booted perfectly.  As I remember, after installing NEXTSTEP to the actual target and rebooting, NEXTSTEP thought that the 2nd hard disk was actually a CDR, which I thought was comical.

hopefully someone gets some mileage out of this.  As I said, it was a weird solution, but allowed me to get going.


Wow, cool solution, I would never have thought it possible to image a CD ROM onto a harddrive and have it bootable like that.

NeXTcube Turbo Dimension, NeXTstation Turbo Color, MP2100, Q840av, Q650, WS G4 500, Pismo G4 550, SGI Octane R12K MXE, BeBox 133.


I was lucky in that the CD image would fit on the disk, which was 400MB or so.