Installing Solaris 8 bootblock without Solaris Install CD

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Operating Systems Solaris Installing Solaris 8 bootblock without Solaris Install CD
# 1  
Old 01-11-2011
Installing Solaris 8 bootblock without Solaris Install CD

Hello everyone,

I'm having an issue with booting a clone of hard drive with Solaris 8 installation.
For cloning process I have used g4l, running under click'n'clone option. As far as I know the actual operation ran behind g4l's interface was dd, though I do not have any information about the exact command that was ran (I presume it was common: dd /dev/sda /dev/sdb).
I have ran the Sun Blade 150 Workstation with Ultra-SPARC IIe 500MHz with the cloned drives (there were two drives on the original machine, and I have replaced them both with clones). Unfortunately it did not boot. There's a boot log, which passes quite fast until the machine restarts. Since I'm fairly new to the Unix OS overall, I have no idea how to stop the boot messages and read them, so any tips would be welcome.

The Problem:
As far as I have read so far, I've came to notice that I might need to restore bootblock using installboot command, from an Solaris 8 Install CD. The problem is that I do not own a copy of such disk. Therefore, I was wondering if you could provide me with a download location of some sort of a recovery disk for SunOS 5.8 or even the original installation disk.

If there's a cloning solution that does not require usage of the installation disk that would be highly appreciated too.

Thanks in advance.
# 2  
Old 01-12-2011
I need a solution or advice urgently, can you at least suggest something I should do?

Thanks in advance.
# 3  
Old 01-13-2011
I think you dont need to have a solaris-8 CDROM for that.

try using
installboot /usr/platform/`uname -i`/lib/fs/ufs/bootblk \

replace the rdsk path with your new disk that you have just cloned to.

This User Gave Thanks to busyboy For This Post:
# 4  
Old 01-14-2011
Thank you kind sir! Finally someone who took a note of my question! Besides those pesky warnings.

Nasir, I presume you want me to run that from a Solaris machine - and that's where my problem is! The machine I'm working on has cut out access and boots straight to application, so I can't gain root access (nor any other kind of access to the CLI/OS besides the application itself). I was hoping if there's a way to do it from another non Solaris machine, manually or howsoever. I thought of running an OpenSolaris 10 OS, but later I figured that OpenSolaris/Solaris 10 both use grub instead of the bootloader Solaris 8 had.

Although I am working on acquirement of the root password, so if I get a chance get root access, I'll give it a shot.

Thanks once again!
# 5  
Old 01-14-2011
dd /dev/sda /dev/sdb
Imho. You clearly do not know what you are doing.
Suggest you review your backups with all speed and hire a professional.
If you cannot get all "root" passwords this is going to be a difficult job for the professional.

Basic advice. Do not type anything on the keyboard on this computer. Spend your time finding the Sales Order documents for the Server and Operating System and any media or documentation which might help the professional. Finding the media is very very important.

Don't hold your breath.

Maybe update your CV ?

Last edited by methyl; 01-14-2011 at 08:20 PM.. Reason: basic advice.
# 6  
Old 01-14-2011
not sure where you got that dd command from. besides the incorrect syntax the device names are not Solaris.

if you really did use dd with the same model/drive parameters then this should have worked - however you would not really use this method on on a live system.

you can also boot over the network if you don't have the original media. you can download Solaris and create a boot server. There is plenty of documentation on how to do this.

can you freeze/lock the screen to prevent scrolling? a serial console could be handy to capture all of the messages.
# 7  
Old 01-15-2011
Ok, let's get things straight. I -am- hired to do the job, though my employer didn't know it was out of my knowledge area (I'm particularly working with Linux), but I figured it's still a Unix OS so I'd give it a shot.
The dd command I wrote was just a manifestation, not the one I actually used. I actually used G4L (at first), on a -Linux- OS (previously I had the drives I'm cloning and new ones connected to it of course). Things didn't actually work (I think the empty media was damaged), until I took new drive and G4U which did the job and brought me to something like this: "boot disk: a ..." (I seriously cannot recall the whole openboot message, though I know it was the one that was written when startup with original disks succeeded).

Yeah, as a side note (@methyl), I am not the owner of the workstation. The owner however has no knowledge on how to use it, beside the usage of the particular medical application running on the machine. As far as I found out the machine was sold without any documentation just so the seller would remain the only one eligible for the service of the machine. I hope this makes it clear for you. There's no need of informing me about the importance of documentation/OS media.

@frank: Could you provide me with a download link? As far as I know Solaris 8 is not publicly available. And I'll try to get the messages if I get another glance at the machine, since the deadline is over and I gave up. Serial console? Any links to that device/software?

Kind regards,
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