Re: Install problems on an Ultra 1 200E
On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 09:35:53PM -0600, firstname.lastname@example.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
1. Perform installation steps until partitioning, make sure that disks
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
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
> 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?
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Jurij Smakov firstname.lastname@example.org
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