NeXT Workstation how to boot from external SCSI CD rom drive

Started by HanSolo, November 16, 2023, 03:40:49 AM

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Hi guys,
I hope someone can help me out with this.
I have a NeXT Workstation b/w.
I have an internal HD with NeXTSTEP 3.3 installed.
I want to make a NeXTSTEP 3.3 installation on another internal HD.
Can I install from a SCSI CD Rom player (with NeXT install CD) to the internal empty HD,
By booting from this external SCSI CD Rom player?
If yes, how?

So far I know that the Install CD is readable by the NeXT HD
and that I probably need to install via de boot monitor.
But when I type "bsd" it tries to select the internal SD.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



I would suggest the following:

- disconnect the internal HDD with NeXTstep 3.3 installed, just to be on the safe side
- boot from NeXTstep 3.3 Installation floppy (bfd)

What SCSI ids do your CDROM and HDD have?


Only the turbo models can boot directly from cdrom. You otherwise need a boot floppy.


Hi Guys,
Thanks for your responses.
I don't have a boot floppy. And I don't have the Turbo.
I'm trying to create a boot floppy from a floppy image I have on my NeXT now.
When I use the "dd if" and "of" command, the feedback I get is:
"2880+0 records in"
"2880+0 records out"
I hear the reaction of the floppy drive, but then nothing happens.
If I use the "rawrite" command, the feedback is "command not found".
How should I write a floppy.img to the floppy?

Can you give me the right command (structure)?



Hi @HanSolo ,

can you please provide the exact dd command that you use?

I'd suggest taking the boot images from here:, most likely this one:

and write this image with whatever software is best to write such image back to a standard 1.44MB floppy disc from a PC or Mac.

On my Linux box I'd use dd if=boot.floppyimage of=/dev/fd0


Hi Nuss,
Thanks for responding.
I used this command: dd if=/path/to/floppy-image.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=512.
I just dropped my Next HD and broke it.  :'(
I do have another HD to install Next to.
Now I have to create a boot disk with an old mac (Which I do have)
What mac software could I use to do that? And what format should I give the floppy
in order for the Next hardware to be able to read it?




Hallo HanSolo,

I am sorry to hear about your broken hard drive :(.

For installing you might want to format your future boot floppy disk on your NeXT with "NeXT format", but I think it is not required.

Then please try again on your NeXT as root (su) with `dd` with the raw-device `/dev/rfd0b` like this:

dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/rfd0b conv=sync
You can add a block-size `bs=8k` to this command, but most instructions did not include it.

Found instructions from several sources, like and

Good luck :)


Thanks again Nuss,

I will try as soon as I'm able to, seing that I don't have a working Next OS now.
I tried creating a boot disk on an old mac, but it didn't recognize the disk images as viable.