Reinstalling SunOS 4.1.4 without CD drive
Mark G. Thomas
Mark at Misty.com
Fri Oct 2 10:23:53 CDT 2015
On Fri, Oct 02, 2015 at 03:17:18PM +0100, David Brownlee wrote:
> On 2 October 2015 at 15:01, Eric Christopherson
> <echristopherson at gmail.com> wrote:
> > A very generous list member just gave me a SPARCStation 20 with SunOS
> > 4.1.4 on it. I thought the first thing I would do would be to image
> > its hard drive in my Linux PC, in case I ever wanted to start fresh.
> > I assume that if I make a bitwise copy of it, I can later write those
> > same bits out. But now I'm wondering what would happen if the disk
> > developed marked bad sectors; would that make an exact image
> > impossible to write onto it?
Years ago I contributed part of a SunOS-4 FAQ on installing SunOS "by hand"
extacting the tar files from the distribution CD. It is easy, provided
you have the files, and have a way of partitioning and extracting them onto
the destination drive, and can write the provided bootblock onto the drive.
I'll re-post that here once I find it, unless someone finds it via Google.
> > I have a disc image of that release, but unfortunately no SCSI CD-ROM.
> > It occurs to me that I could perhaps make a SunOS filesystem on Linux
> > and untar things from either the install CD or the image of the
> > original HD into it, but I don't know if that would produce something
> > actually bootable. I'm hoping there would be some way within Linux to
> > capture the actual format of the filesystem to use as a skeleton.
> > Does anyone know if this is possible (viz. creating a valid, bootable
> > filesystem and untarring files into it)? Or should I just invest in a
> > CD-ROM drive?
I'd think it would be pretty easy to find a SCSI cdrom drive for next
to nothing these days. I recently discarded a large quantitiy of them.
Some drives needed to by jumpered for 512 byte sectors to boot older Suns,
but some just worked right automatically.
Mark G. Thomas (Mark at Misty.com), KC3DRE
More information about the cctech