HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean? - SGI

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Thread: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

  1. HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Hi,

    I'm trying to do a fresh clean install of Irix 6.2 on the system drive
    of an Indigo2 (R44 High Impact). When installed in *another working*
    Indigo2 as /disk2, I've been able to initialize, verify, make file
    system and mount/unmount the drive in question with no problems at all
    using Disk Manager from the Toolchest.

    However, once reinstalled in the R44/HI Indigo2 as the primary/system
    drive... I run into problems. As expected, there's no bootfile on the
    system disk, so I chose to 'Install System Software' after putting disk
    one of the Irix 6.2 CD in the CD-ROM drive. In short order, the
    following error message is returned:

    "Swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area."

    I have a general understanding of what both 'swap' and 'partition'
    mean, but can find no way to proceed past this error message... I
    simply want to install a fresh, clean and bootable install of Irix 6.2
    on this (seemingly healthy) system disk so that I can lend the Indigo2
    R44/HI to a friend. Of course, the meager documentation supplied with
    the Irix 6.2 CDs assumes that you're upgrading an already bootable
    system... it provides no help re: intstalling Irix from scratch.

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    Scott blue909e@lycos.com

  2. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    In article <150620051117351624%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    wrote:

    : "Swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area."
    :
    : I have a general understanding of what both 'swap' and 'partition'
    : mean, but can find no way to proceed past this error message...

    You probably did not partition the drive correctly. The system install procedure
    requires an adequately sized swap partition on the system drive.

    If you follow the instructions on Ian's site, you should be able to get past
    this:

    http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  3. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Thanks for the link... it looks useful. I didn't actually specify any
    particular partitioning when I examined the drives as /disk2 units in
    the other Indigo2... I just used the interface buttons in
    Toolchest/Disk Manager, which I don't *think* provide such choices. I
    assumed (probably that's where I went wrong) that the initialization
    would utilize the existing partition set-up, which I (again) assumed
    would be fine, since these drives were Indigo2 system drives
    previously.

    In any case, thanks again for the link... I'll go over it and see what
    can be done.

    Scott

    In article ,
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:

    > In article <150620051117351624%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    > : "Swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area."
    > :
    > : I have a general understanding of what both 'swap' and 'partition'
    > : mean, but can find no way to proceed past this error message...
    >
    > You probably did not partition the drive correctly. The system install
    > procedure
    > requires an adequately sized swap partition on the system drive.
    >
    > If you follow the instructions on Ian's site, you should be able to get past
    > this:
    >
    > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler


  4. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1)is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:
    > In article <150620051117351624%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    > wrote:
    >
    > : "Swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area."
    > :
    > : I have a general understanding of what both 'swap' and 'partition'
    > : mean, but can find no way to proceed past this error message...
    >
    > You probably did not partition the drive correctly. The system install procedure
    > requires an adequately sized swap partition on the system drive.
    >
    > If you follow the instructions on Ian's site, you should be able to get past
    > this:
    >
    > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler


    Thanks from me as well. Followed the directions and now have Irix 6.2
    happily running on my new Indigo2.

    Bill

  5. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?


    Hi again (sorry if this is a dupe post on my part).

    Following the excellent instructions for "Intalling an Operating
    System" at the link kindly provided by Tony (
    http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html ) I proceeded to
    begin anew my attempt to put a fresh install of Irix 6.2 on my Indigo2.
    I didn't get very far... following the instructions carefully, I began
    by running fx as directed... this is what I typed in:

    boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x

    ....of course the 0,6 refers specifically to the internal CDROM drive
    in this Indigo2. What I got a short while later in response (verbatim)
    was:

    115360+19584+3136+334528+42744d+4248+6368 entry: 0x97f34850
    Autoboot failed
    dksc (0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS: no such file or directory

    ....thinking that maybe my Irix 6.2 CD was different from the one used
    in the instructions (even though it does say Irix 6.2 part one of two),
    I put the CD in another machine and checked that there IS a
    /stand/fx.ARCS file right where it should be. I also tried doing the
    step above with a total of two different CDROM drives and two different
    (potential) system hard drives. All four tries came out the same, with
    the only exception being that the number after 'entry' in the error
    message was slightly different for the second hard drive (0x97fa8850
    for what it's worth).

    SO, I'm stuck again. I can get into the command monitor, and I can
    execute boot to run fx, but I'm at a loss to understand how to proceed.

    Anyone familiar with fx (or with installing Irix from scratch, or with
    the install instructions linked above) who can shed some light on this?
    TIA!

    In article ,
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:

    > In article <150620051117351624%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    > : "Swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area."
    > :
    > : I have a general understanding of what both 'swap' and 'partition'
    > : mean, but can find no way to proceed past this error message...
    >
    > You probably did not partition the drive correctly. The system install
    > procedure
    > requires an adequately sized swap partition on the system drive.
    >
    > If you follow the instructions on Ian's site, you should be able to get past
    > this:
    >
    > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler


  6. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    writes:
    > Hi again (sorry if this is a dupe post on my part).
    >
    > Following the excellent instructions for "Intalling an Operating
    > System" at the link kindly provided by Tony (
    > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html ) I proceeded to
    > begin anew my attempt to put a fresh install of Irix 6.2 on my Indigo2.
    > I didn't get very far... following the instructions carefully, I began
    > by running fx as directed... this is what I typed in:
    >
    > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x

    ^

    Double parentheses won't work.

    > ...of course the 0,6 refers specifically to the internal CDROM drive
    > in this Indigo2. What I got a short while later in response (verbatim)
    > was:
    >
    > 115360+19584+3136+334528+42744d+4248+6368 entry: 0x97f34850
    > Autoboot failed
    > dksc (0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS: no such file or directory

    ^

    Seems to be the hint. Or did you just put two typos in above post?

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  7. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Sorry, the typos are in my usenet post, not in what I tried in fx...
    the process STARTED and THEN returned the "Autoboot failed... no such
    file..." error message. Please pardon the typos on my part.

    Still not sure why I can't run the instructions tho... I have a few
    extra system drives... in case the two I tried are bad in some physical
    way, I'll try a couple of the extra ones tomorrow.

    Thanks.

    Scott

    In article <878y1a0wkk.fsf@tjahns.news.arcor.de>, Thomas Jahns
    wrote:

    > writes:
    > > Hi again (sorry if this is a dupe post on my part).
    > >
    > > Following the excellent instructions for "Intalling an Operating
    > > System" at the link kindly provided by Tony (
    > > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html ) I proceeded to
    > > begin anew my attempt to put a fresh install of Irix 6.2 on my Indigo2.
    > > I didn't get very far... following the instructions carefully, I began
    > > by running fx as directed... this is what I typed in:
    > >
    > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x

    > ^
    >
    > Double parentheses won't work.
    >
    > > ...of course the 0,6 refers specifically to the internal CDROM drive
    > > in this Indigo2. What I got a short while later in response (verbatim)
    > > was:
    > >
    > > 115360+19584+3136+334528+42744d+4248+6368 entry: 0x97f34850
    > > Autoboot failed
    > > dksc (0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS: no such file or directory

    > ^
    >
    > Seems to be the hint. Or did you just put two typos in above post?
    >
    > Thomas Jahns


  8. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1)is not a valid swap area' mean?

    user@host.com wrote:
    > Hi again (sorry if this is a dupe post on my part).
    >
    > Following the excellent instructions for "Intalling an Operating
    > System" at the link kindly provided by Tony (
    > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html ) I proceeded to
    > begin anew my attempt to put a fresh install of Irix 6.2 on my Indigo2.
    > I didn't get very far... following the instructions carefully, I began
    > by running fx as directed... this is what I typed in:
    >
    > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >
    > ...of course the 0,6 refers specifically to the internal CDROM drive
    > in this Indigo2.


    Did you run hinv to double check the CDROM drive number?
    Sorry if it sounds like an obvious question, but I just installed 6.2 on
    my I2 yesterday using those directions and had zero problems.

    Also, you did see that there was a different procedure for the R10K and
    R8K Indigo2s?

    Bill

  9. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    writes:

    [cut]
    >
    > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >

    ^^^
    I believe it's (0,X,7) here.

    --
    Jeremy Meng

  10. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    In article <160620051728242046%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    wrote:

    : Sorry, the typos are in my usenet post, not in what I tried in fx...
    : the process STARTED and THEN returned the "Autoboot failed... no such
    : file..." error message. Please pardon the typos on my part.
    :
    : Still not sure why I can't run the instructions tho... I have a few
    : extra system drives... in case the two I tried are bad in some physical
    : way, I'll try a couple of the extra ones tomorrow.
    :
    : > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x

    sash is stored in the volume header (partition 8), and fx is in the CDRom's EFS
    filesystem (partition 7), therefore the command should be:

    boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,7)stand/fx.ARCS --x

    It's fairly easy to miss if you're not familiar with the inner workings of IRIX.


    Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler

    --
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler -- Master of Code-fu -- nicoya@ubb.ca
    -- http://nicoya.feline.pp.se/ -- http://www.ubb.ca/ --

  11. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Hi Bill,

    No such thing as too 'obvious." USUALLY (IME) it turns out to be the
    simplest thing that's the problem.

    Yes, I did double check the SCSI IDs for both of the CDROMs I used, and
    though the I2 in question is a regular R44 machine, I did also try the
    R10K/R8K instruction also just in case (to no avail of course).

    In article <78tse.5712$NX4.4042@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.n et>, Bill
    Bradley wrote:

    > user@host.com wrote:
    > > Hi again (sorry if this is a dupe post on my part).
    > >
    > > Following the excellent instructions for "Intalling an Operating
    > > System" at the link kindly provided by Tony (
    > > http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/disksfiles.html ) I proceeded to
    > > begin anew my attempt to put a fresh install of Irix 6.2 on my Indigo2.
    > > I didn't get very far... following the instructions carefully, I began
    > > by running fx as directed... this is what I typed in:
    > >
    > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    > >
    > > ...of course the 0,6 refers specifically to the internal CDROM drive
    > > in this Indigo2.

    >
    > Did you run hinv to double check the CDROM drive number?
    > Sorry if it sounds like an obvious question, but I just installed 6.2 on
    > my I2 yesterday using those directions and had zero problems.
    >
    > Also, you did see that there was a different procedure for the R10K and
    > R8K Indigo2s?
    >
    > Bill


  12. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks again... I don't know now if that last one was a typo or not...
    I will try again with the 0,6,8 and then the 0,6,7 and see what happens
    (I might have actually used 0,6,8 twice.. I'm not sure)... I'll post
    the results here. Your help is appreciated!

    Yes, I'm not a hardcore Irix guy... I've been using SGIs on and off for
    maybe 13 years, but usually worked places that had sysadmins to take
    care of most stuff... even more recently on my own (w/o pro sysadmin
    help) I've usually been able to figure things out well enough...
    occasionally depending on the kindness of like-minded fellows like
    yourself and the other poster here. ;-)



    In article ,
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:

    > In article <160620051728242046%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    > : Sorry, the typos are in my usenet post, not in what I tried in fx...
    > : the process STARTED and THEN returned the "Autoboot failed... no such
    > : file..." error message. Please pardon the typos on my part.
    > :
    > : Still not sure why I can't run the instructions tho... I have a few
    > : extra system drives... in case the two I tried are bad in some physical
    > : way, I'll try a couple of the extra ones tomorrow.
    > :
    > : > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >
    > sash is stored in the volume header (partition 8), and fx is in the CDRom's
    > EFS
    > filesystem (partition 7), therefore the command should be:
    >
    > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,7)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >
    > It's fairly easy to miss if you're not familiar with the inner workings of IRIX.
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler


  13. Made it all the way to Step 7 (creating miniroot) before the other shoe dropped...

    OK, it WAS my typo (using (0,6,8) TWICE instead of (0,6,7) the second
    time for sash that caused the problem before. Thanks to all for helping
    me once again see and acknowledge my own human flaws there. ;-)

    NOW, using the linked instructions (futuretech.blinkenlights) I DID
    manage to complete Steps 3, 4 and 5 (fx) and then get through Step 6
    (the installation tools from CD... of course I had a media error from a
    bad CD but found another one which loaded fine), until I get to Step 7,
    where...

    ....after copying the installation stuff from the Irix 6.2 part 1 CD,
    the system attempts to create a 'mini UNIX OS device' (aka miniroot?)
    and after a few moments, the following error message is returned:

    "File system too large for device. Unable to mount /dev/dsk/dksc0d1s0
    on /root" ... blah blah blah ... and then I'm invited to enter C Shell
    csh.

    For your (again, appreciated) reference, I got the same EXACT error
    message when I tried this install on a 2 gig system drive AND then a 4
    gig system drive. The Irix 6.2 install CDs I'm using are SGI part
    #812-0469/70-002, which are labelled "Irix 6.2 with Indigo2 IMPACT
    10000" which lists R44K I2s and IMPACT I2s among the systems supported
    (the machine I'm working with is a R44K High Impact system).

    Now, I'm pretty sure that I've seen Indigo2s with system drives as
    small as 1 gig, so I assume that 2 gig drives SHOULD be big enough for
    a regular install of Irix 6.2. I read ahead in the instructions and
    didn't see anything that allowed for the error I'm getting... as
    always, ANY/ALL help appreciated.


    In article ,
    Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler wrote:

    > In article <160620051728242046%blue909e@lycos.com>, Scott
    >
    > wrote:
    >
    > : Sorry, the typos are in my usenet post, not in what I tried in fx...
    > : the process STARTED and THEN returned the "Autoboot failed... no such
    > : file..." error message. Please pardon the typos on my part.
    > :
    > : Still not sure why I can't run the instructions tho... I have a few
    > : extra system drives... in case the two I tried are bad in some physical
    > : way, I'll try a couple of the extra ones tomorrow.
    > :
    > : > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >
    > sash is stored in the volume header (partition 8), and fx is in the CDRom's
    > EFS
    > filesystem (partition 7), therefore the command should be:
    >
    > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc(0,6,7)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    >
    > It's fairly easy to miss if you're not familiar with the inner workings of IRIX.
    >
    >
    > Cheers - Tony 'Nicoya' Mantler


  14. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Well, I made it to step 7 this time....


    Following the instructions, I get to the point (after running fx and
    loading the install stuff from the CD) where the machine is making
    miniroot and then it says:

    Filesystem too large for device

    Unable to mount /dev/dsk/dks0d1s0 on /root

    ....and I'm invited to the C shell. Since I'm trying to install 6.2 on a
    2 gig disk (I also tried a 4 gig disk with the same error) I'm not sure
    how to proceed. It says to fix the configuration manually (i.e.: a
    bigger drive?) but I assumed 2 gig would be enough for a basic 6.2
    install, and if not, 4 gig would certainly be enough.

    Any suggestions? TIA.

    Scott




    In article , Jeremy Y. Meng
    wrote:

    > writes:
    >
    > [cut]
    > >
    > > boot -f dksc(0,6,8)sashARCS dksc((0,6,8)stand/fx.ARCS --x
    > >

    > ^^^
    > I believe it's (0,X,7) here.


  15. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1)is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Scott wrote:

    > Well, I made it to step 7 this time....
    >
    >
    > Following the instructions, I get to the point (after running fx and
    > loading the install stuff from the CD) where the machine is making
    > miniroot and then it says:
    >
    > Filesystem too large for device
    >
    > Unable to mount /dev/dsk/dks0d1s0 on /root
    >
    > ...and I'm invited to the C shell. Since I'm trying to install 6.2 on a
    > 2 gig disk (I also tried a 4 gig disk with the same error) I'm not sure
    > how to proceed. It says to fix the configuration manually (i.e.: a
    > bigger drive?) but I assumed 2 gig would be enough for a basic 6.2
    > install, and if not, 4 gig would certainly be enough.
    >
    > Any suggestions? TIA.
    >
    > Scott


    2 Gig is plenty having just done this on my I2.

    Bill

  16. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Well, as mentioned, I'm sure that 6.2 CAN be made to work on a 2 gig
    drive... nonetheless, after running fx and loading the installation
    tools (steps 1-6) I still get this error message in step 7 when making
    miniroot:

    Filesystem too large for device
    >
    > Unable to mount /dev/dsk/dks0d1s0 on /root


    ....presumably it has something to do with exactly HOW the drives are
    partitioned, but not knowing much about that, I simply followed the
    instructions from blinkenlights EXACTLY and wound up where I am
    (stuck). Perhaps these drives have been partitioned oddly during some
    previous use... I really have no idea.

    A gentleman names Brent Bates kindly sent me an email (which I
    attempted to reply with a thank-you, but his email won't accept emails
    from my domain: lycos, so it bounced) with some advice, but it was so
    abbreviated that I'm unable to follow it. If I knew more about inst and
    fx it would probably be of use, but Irix sysadmin is not my area of
    expertise and the time I can allot to doing this particular favor is
    finite.

    I'm going to try again a couple more times (using still other drives in
    hopes of finding one that will work as per the blinkenlights
    istructions) so that I can simply finish and give the machine to my
    pal. I'd cross my fingers if I thought it would do any good. ;-)

    Scott


    > In article , Bill Bradley wrote:


    > Filesystem too large for device
    > >
    > > Unable to mount /dev/dsk/dks0d1s0 on /root


  17. Re: HELP PLEASE re: Irix install... what does 'swap partition (1) is not a valid swap area' mean?

    Scott wrote:
    > Well, as mentioned, I'm sure that 6.2 CAN be made to work on a 2 gig
    > drive... nonetheless, after running fx and loading the installation
    > tools (steps 1-6) I still get this error message in step 7 when making
    > miniroot:


    > Filesystem too large for device

    [....]

    How big is the swap partition? Default swap partition on an Octane with
    IRIX 6.5.x ist 128MB AFAIR, miniroot is located in the swap partition...

    Toni

  18. EPILOG: No good deed goes unpunished. ;-)

    Well, my buddy couldn't wait any longer and came by yesterday to pick
    up the Indigo2... I could tell that he was a bit disappointed that I
    wasn't able to get a working system drive set up by his deadline... now
    I expect he'll have to hire a freelance sysadmin guy to do it for him.

    This morning, while this stuff was all still fresh in my head, I went
    back downstairs to try yet again on the two remaining disk-less
    Indigo2s (one R44K/XZ, the other R10K HI on which I used the other boot
    command as specified). Following the exact same blinkenlights
    instructions another half-dozen times (in addition to all my many
    previous attempts) three out of the four drives I tried in both
    machines returned the same "File system too large" error messages
    during installation step#7.

    The final attempt (on the R44K/XZ) DID ACTUALLY WORK... it got past
    step #7 and I was able to proceed with the Irix install to conclusion,
    despite the fact that I did nothing different THIS time compared to my
    dozens of previous attempts. As mentioned, I am not (and have no desire
    to be) a Unix sysadmin, though I've been using SGIs to make a living
    for more than a decade now. My experience with them thus far
    (culminating in the past few days) reinforces for me the understanding
    that IMO, SGI has no one and/or no thing (including market forces, Bill
    Gates, etc...) to blame for their fall from grace... people buy
    computers (whether they cost $1K or $50K) to GET WORK DONE. Having to
    exert such considerable time and effort just to set up a fresh system
    disk/OS simply illustrates that the writing was on the wall (for SGI)
    years ago. The case design of the Indigo2 also illustrates their wilful
    myopia, but that's another topic altogether. ;-)

    Yes, if I knew more about Unix filesystems, or the arcane details of
    fx, etc... I'm sure that things would have been easier. But really,
    SHOULD a user HAVE to learn about and deal with such things just to set
    up a fresh system disk? I think not, but I know many SGI-enthusiasts
    (of which I still consider myself one) may disagree with me.

    In any case, I'll send off an email to the blinkenlights guy (Ian?)
    just to let him know that following his otherwise excellent
    instructions (to the letter) left me with 3 out of 4 drives I tried
    still stuck on step #7. Whatever the problem is with them (previous
    partitioning?) his instructions don't allow for it/provide a
    workaround... maybe he'll update them accordingly, maybe not. Given
    that the instructions would be of the most use to users with the least
    Irix sysadmin experience, any allowances that can be made for such
    things would be a positive change (again, IMO).

    So, I've still got the R10K Indigo2 system-diskless, and a half dozen
    loose drives. Since I've got actual work to get done, I'll have to
    delay further tinkering til later... maybe I'll try cloning a working
    system disk (from a known-good R10K system) to see if that does the
    trick.

    I'd like to thank everyone here who offered advice and assistance... it
    was (and is) muchly appreciated.

    Scott

  19. Re: EPILOG: No good deed goes unpunished. ;-)

    Scott writes:
    > Yes, if I knew more about Unix filesystems, or the arcane details of
    > fx, etc... I'm sure that things would have been easier. But really,
    > SHOULD a user HAVE to learn about and deal with such things just to set
    > up a fresh system disk? I think not, but I know many SGI-enthusiasts
    > (of which I still consider myself one) may disagree with me.


    Don't blame SGI for this: If you had bought the system from them, you
    would have received a pre-installed IRIX with it.

    Really, using fx isn't that hard, actually I think it's quite easy
    compared to the tools other installers provide, although you can't click
    around with the mouse to set partition sizes. I think you got something
    slightly wrong and perhaps your local LUG (or wherever you feel you
    might find local Unix wizards). In my experience explaining what one tries
    to someone who can watch what one actually does will easily and quickly
    spot mistakes, although spotting said mistakes by oneself is hard
    because of the way most human brains work (we tend to mistake what we
    think we do for what we actually do).

    Thomas Jahns
    --
    "Computers are good at following instructions,
    but not at reading your mind."
    D. E. Knuth, The TeXbook, Addison-Wesley 1984, 1986, 1996, p. 9

  20. CONCLUSION

    Well, my buddy had to pick up the Indigo2 the other day, even though at
    that point I hadn't been able to get Irix installed. Even though I was
    doing him a favor, I could tell he was a bit disappointed... I assume
    he'll have to find a freelance sysadmin guy to do it for him now.

    Anyway, the following morning I made a few more attempts to run
    fx/install Irix according to the verbatim blinkenlights instructions.
    After 7 or 8 more failed attmepts to get past step #7, it finally took
    on one disk. As I had been trying to do this during the past week using
    3 different Indigo2s, with 3 different CD drives and 2 different sets
    of install media on ANY one of 7 or 8 different hard drives without
    success, you can imagine my surprise. Of course, I did nothing
    different THIS time... I really have no idea why it was able to
    complete the install.

    In any case, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who offered advice and
    assistance. All of this makes me glad that I don't own stock in SGI
    anymore! ;-)

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