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SS5 won't install!

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Okay, I've mucked about with this thing for several days trying several different options and I can't get the thing to install.  Here's what I've done:
Started with an external CDROM drive, wouldn't boot due to SCSI bus hangs, apparently something wrong with CDROM.  (Is an actual Sun external CDROM unit, the SONY internals one)
Then, I tried a floppy install and had the terminal freeze problems that another poster listed.  It gets through the kernel start, then when it wants the root floppy, I can't do anything.  I have to cold boot the machine.
Next, tried a net boot install.  ARP/RARP respond, tftp sees the request, starts sending the file, then at random points, dies.  I've tried two different servers, a SparcClassic, and a PC both running Suse Linux, two different cables, even tried booting the Ultra1 I want to do next, nothing helped.  Any thoughts on why it would randomly stop?  tcpdump reports something about a port now unreachable?
Finally, copied all the CDs to an external hard drive, and tried to boot from that, also won't work.  Can I do this?  If so, what do I need to do special or what file do I tell it to boot from?  The CDs were copied to a Ext2fs partition on a drive connected to a SparcClassic, from all of the CDs.  Any suggestions/help?
Quick details on the machine, its headless, and I'm doing all of this through a serial port, it has two SBUS network cards, one of which appears to possibly have issues.  (Internal loopback test never returned)  However, the other one appears to work fine, which is the one I was using to do the network boot from.  Its got 160M of RAM and 4 gig hard drive in it, so space isn't an issue.
Please help!!!  I'm losing my mind!

Bob Schaefer

ProQuest Automotive
a subsidiary of ProQuest Business Solutions
3900 Kinross Lakes Parkway
Richfield, OH 44286
Phone: 330-659-1842
work: robert.schaefer@pbs.proquest.com
Home: bschaefer1@neo.rr.com
"Where's the Kaboom? There's supposed to be an Earth-shattering Kaboom!" - Marvin Martian "Hare-Way to the Stars"

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