Sun SPARCstation LX boot from CDROM?

jim stephens jwsmail at
Fri Aug 28 13:09:20 CDT 2020

On 8/28/2020 9:42 AM, Tom Hunter via cctalk wrote:
> <snip>
> Now comes the problem - if it try to run from it via "boot cdrom" it
> doesn't even access the CDROM drive - the LED doesn't turn on unlike when
> you do the "probe-scsi-all".
> <snip>
> Thanks and best regards
> Tom Hunter
There's a problem if you are using a Sun branded CD drive.  I think they 
were initially source by Sony, but could be wrong.

If you used writable CD's in the day, you would hit a problem because 
sun mastered their mask CDs with a difference in the default sector 
size.  They and the Sony drive are actually in error, and the writable 
CD media is conformant to the standards, but Sun left it in there.

For over a year people ran around like crazy trying to figure it out, 
and most just bought the Sun branded drive.

The end result was that you wanted a Plextor or Toshiba 3401 or maybe 
3501 SCSI drive.  They take the order and respond so the boot code 
doesn't fail till the blocksize is set to I think 2k.

If you can find one (unfortunately I've got two in the cabinet here for 
this reason), you might try that.

Those with better sources / memories can correct, I'm relating a problem 
I recall with CDROM boot from 30 years ago, and I've not gotten my pile 
out yet to try it again myself.

Only thing in your description that doesn't fit my memory that worries 
me a bit is the failure of your 2.4 media.  If it's the Sun mask 
mastered media that doesn't fit my problem symptoms.

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