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Re: Install problems on an Ultra 1 200E



On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 09:35:53PM -0600, hankvc@lostwells.org wrote:
> I would like to install Debian linux on a Sparc box to help with some
> porting work I'm trying to do.  I have a lifetime supply of retired
> Ultra 1's, so figured to install on one of those.  
> 
> While I installed Slackware on a PC maybe 12-14 years ago, this is my
> first stab at any Linux since then.  But I've worked with Unix flavors
> (kernel/driver development, etc.) since the 1970's.  So easy on the
> jargon, please.
> 
> The install disk I downloaded was debian-504-sparc-netinst.iso.  
> That's burned to CD.
> 
> The box configuration is Ultra 1 200E, with 512 mb and a single 
> Sun-barcoded 18 gb. disk.  My thinking was to install to defaults so I
> could learn my way around the system.
> 
> Everything went OK until it came to partitioning the disk.  I didn't see
> any choices to run an fdisk or define the layout, and took the "use the
> whole disk" option.  The partition failed, and after some
> jiggery-pokery, I gave up.  I couldn't find a way to any disk utility 
> to help me.

Were disks detected though? I guess they were, because otherwise you 
would not get the "use the whole disk option". What was the error 
message that you've got?

We used to have this hard-to-reproduce bug, where, if you install 
Debian on a disk which was previously used with Solaris, Debian 
installer would misdetect the size of the disk in a way you describe. 
If that's the same bug, then you should be able to apply the following 
workaround:

1. Perform installation steps until partitioning, make sure that disks 
are detected.
2. Select "Back" from the installer screen to get to the main menu.
3. Choose "Start a shell" option.
4. Zero the first 100 megabytes of the disk in question (disk name may 
need to be adjusted):

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M count=100
sync

5. Ctrl-D to exit the shell and return to main menu.
6. Re-run the "Detect disks" step from the menu, you will be offered 
to write a new partition table and the disk size should be determined 
correctly.  
 
> Put this disk in slot 1, put a Solaris boot disk in slot 0, and
> discovered that my 18gb disk was now a 5 gb disk.  Evidently, Debian
> rewrote the disk VTOC, changing it from 7608 cylinders to 2200.
> 
> Right now I've recovered the disk by using Solaris utilities to rewrite
> the VTOC.  But I'm very reluctant to try anything with an install that
> trashes a disk.
> 
> In short, what do I do now?  
> 
> Hank
> 
> 
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-- 
Jurij Smakov                                           jurij@wooyd.org
Key: http://www.wooyd.org/pgpkey/                      KeyID: C99E03CC


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