Old SGI's?!

From: Mark Green <mark_at_cs.ualberta.ca>
Date: Thu Dec 21 11:57:19 2000

> Can anyone on the list help me out with my SGI's?
> I made a trade a trade for 2 Personal Iris 4D/35's. Cool lookin' computers,
> however, I have a few problems.....
> Neither one has a KB, Mouse or Monitor, and although a decent SVGA works
> fine, I can't for the life of me find the KB/Mouse for these anywhere (they
> have the ps2 style connector, but are *not* ps2 compatable).
> After hooking them up to a Dumb Terminal I find that they both work (at least
> up to the prom) and 1 actually will boot into Irix 4.0.2... The other has no
> detectable OS.
> The one that *does* boot to Irix has a root password that I don't have (of
> course).

As you have discovered, the monitor is easy. The keyboard and mouse
are the hard parts. They are an SGI design, so you need to get an
SGI keyboard. You can occassionally find them on eBay or some
of the resellers have them as well. You are probably looking at
$30 at the minimum.

Note, CDC used to resell SGI workstations rebadged as CDC machines,
so there are some CDC keyboards that will work as well. The
CDC part number is 9500802, just in case you come across one.

> Is there any way to gain root access on that machine other than removing the
> drive and mounting it on another box to change the passwd / crack it?
> After I do actually get the one box running can I somehow transfer the OS
> from one to the other? I read somewhere there was a prom command to
> duplicate hard drives???
> Is there someone on the list willing to part with an old copy of Irix? These
> machines will only run up to 5.0.3 I think.. Anyone have a spare KB/Mouse
> for these machines? I can run them (when I get them working) from a Dumb
> Terminal, but would rather experience the famous SGI GUI.
> Any other hints / tips / suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Since you can boot at least one of them, I assume you can get to
the prom monitor. In the prom monitor look to see what is on
partition 8 (I think that's the right number) of you main disk.
On most machines the default path is set to that partition. Do
an ls of that directory and see what you have there. If there is
a miniroot there (which is not always the case) you can boot it
and edit the password file. Most of the systems I've seen haven't
been set up this way, so this fix may not be possible. The other
solution is to boot a miniroot off of disk or CD and edit the
password file.

What external media do you have? CD or tape?

I don't think you can do a remote copy from anoher machine, but
you can do remote boots and installs. On your machine without an
OS, the disk as probably been wiped and you will need to relabel
and format it. I think the fx program is the correct one, there
is a standalone version which is usually on partition 8 of the
main disk (but again, not always, depends upon who set the
system up).

Dr. Mark Green                                 mark_at_cs.ualberta.ca
McCalla Professor                              (780) 492-4584
Department of Computing Science                (780) 492-1071 (FAX)
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H1, Canada
Received on Thu Dec 21 2000 - 11:57:19 GMT

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