Help reviving a SGI Indy
#1
Help reviving a SGI Indy
Greetings and thank you in advance....   

I work for a small game company based in st louis mo. one of our classic games runs on a sgi indy(CMN B006Y87) and it is getting cranky. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CyberStrike

I found the process using a SCSI2SD board over on Pizza Box Computer(thank you Sophie!) and following the instruction got a SCSI2SC v5.1 board and configured it for parity/scsi2 emu/ configure as a 4gig drive as that was what it was replacing.

For the life of me, the Indy box does not recognize the board. I have tried changing setting no parity/no scsi 2 and I get no change.

I have not touched anything scsi in a very very very long time and I need a second opinion on how to make this work. I want to replace the old seagate drives with SCSI2SD board in some of our older machines. 

HELP PLEASE!

Thank you!
David Patton
O2

Posts: 1
Threads: 1
Joined: Apr 2019
Find Reply
04-12-2019, 04:45 PM
#2
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
First off, thank you for working to save an Indy! It is definitely worth the effort. I have a few thoughts.

When you say it does not recognize the board, what exactly is happening? I assume that it does not show up when you type hinv either within IRIX or from the PROM's command monitor? If so, what is the rest of the configuration? Are there other SCSI devices connected?

The SCSI2SD is a great tool for retro computing that is proven to work with the Indy, but it is finicky. My V6 didn't work until it did, and I can't give a good reason for the change. The system also refused to recognize it when another SCSI HDD was connected, even though it worked fine when connected alone.

The very likely easiest (and cheapest) fix to extending the life of your Indy is to get a 50 pin to 80 pin SCA SCSI adapter (like this one, ignore the errant IDE in the desription https://www.ebay.com/itm/SCSI-SCA-80Pin-...3521433349) and a newer HDD. SCSI is very good at backwards compatibility, so a U320 drive like the Fujitsu MAS or MAX drives (https://www.ebay.com/itm/FUJITSU-MAS3367...3467870007) should work great. It will also be much faster than the SCSI2SD v5 (and probably V6 too).

Another thing to consider is SGI emulation. Recently, MAME has made great strides in emulating the SGI Indy. You can now install and boot IRIX and run some programs essentially perfectly. Depending on your company's interests and expertise, this may be a project worth looking into or even supporting. No doubt MAME on x86 machines will be viable long after the last Indy has stopped working.

One final note, SGI Indy PSUs are very prone to failure. Sony's are better, but have begun to fail in droves among members on this forum. If your machine begins to behave erratically (e.g. random shutdowns, reboots, etc.), I would suggest just disconnecting the PSU and trying to find a new one. These symptoms almost certainly mean the PSU is getting ready to release the magic smoke -- better that it's not connected when it does so.
callahan
Octane

Posts: 63
Threads: 12
Joined: Dec 2018
Find Reply
04-12-2019, 06:54 PM
#3
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
I don't know these converter boards at all. But if you enter the ARCs prompt and try hinv or maybe arcshinv does it list any drives at all? Can you boot the system on an old spinning drive? Or is the system lacking any working disk as it is?

I can't recall the SCSI cabling on the the INDY's but with a proper cable you can get two drives on there, at least with the case open, or by placing one in the floppy slot? Trying to add a second disk to a working system is probably going to make things easier to troubleshoot.

My suspicion without knowing much is it's a termination issue. Try placing the original drive on the far end of the cable? The drive should have a termination jumper. The converter may or may not have a termination jumper. Or the cable may have a little boxey like thing that's the terminator on the end?

Good luck. Maybe post some pictures?

Indigo Indigo Indy Indy Indigo2 Indigo2 IMPACT O2 O2 Octane Octane2
Dylanear
O2

Posts: 34
Threads: 5
Joined: Feb 2019
Find Reply
04-12-2019, 06:58 PM
#4
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
(04-12-2019, 06:54 PM)callahan Wrote:  I must have been typing my reply when Callahan's was posted? 

"Another thing to consider is SGI emulation. Recently, MAME has made great strides in emulating the SGI Indy. You can now install and boot IRIX and run some programs essentially perfectly. Depending on your company's interests and expertise, this may be a project worth looking into or even supporting. No doubt MAME on x86 machines will be viable long after the last Indy has stopped working."

That is crazy? I had NO idea there was a working SGI emulator?! Is that part of the main MAME project? OpenGL works and everything?

(04-12-2019, 08:00 PM)Dylanear Wrote:  
(04-12-2019, 06:54 PM)callahan Wrote:  Wonders of the modern world.

https://www.mamedev.org/?p=466

Indigo Indigo Indy Indy Indigo2 Indigo2 IMPACT O2 O2 Octane Octane2
(This post was last modified: 04-12-2019, 08:03 PM by Dylanear.)
Dylanear
O2

Posts: 34
Threads: 5
Joined: Feb 2019
Find Reply
04-12-2019, 08:00 PM
#5
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
(04-12-2019, 06:54 PM)callahan Wrote:  Another thing to consider is SGI emulation. Recently, MAME has made great strides in emulating the SGI Indy. You can now install and boot IRIX and run some programs essentially perfectly. Depending on your company's interests and expertise, this may be a project worth looking into or even supporting. No doubt MAME on x86 machines will be viable long after the last Indy has stopped working.

It's still slower than a sloth with AIDS and last I checked it was not able to boot 6.5, which you need to run anything modern.

Not that emulation isn't a neat option, but it's not really on the same level


Raion
Operator
*******

Posts: 581
Threads: 113
Joined: Nov 2017
Website Find Reply
04-13-2019, 01:33 AM
#6
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
(04-13-2019, 01:33 AM)Raion Wrote:  
(04-12-2019, 06:54 PM)callahan Wrote:  It's still slower than a sloth with AIDS and last I checked it was not able to boot 6.5, which you need to run anything modern. 

Not that emulation isn't a neat option, but it's not really on the same level

It doesn't sound all that useful and the old hardware's charms is half the point, but it's impressive it works at all! Call me when an i7 at 3ghz+ can run it at R4400 speeds and there's hardware accelerated OpenGL. Wink   But, hey, it's a good starting point if there's someone out there with the time and brains to make it work well I guess.

Indigo Indigo Indy Indy Indigo2 Indigo2 IMPACT O2 O2 Octane Octane2
(This post was last modified: 04-13-2019, 10:44 PM by Dylanear.)
Dylanear
O2

Posts: 34
Threads: 5
Joined: Feb 2019
Find Reply
04-13-2019, 10:43 PM
#7
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
My understanding is that there are significant R4k performance improvements in the MAME Dev pipeline. And most Indy's actually don't have hardware accelerated 3D graphics.
callahan
Octane

Posts: 63
Threads: 12
Joined: Dec 2018
Find Reply
04-13-2019, 11:22 PM
#8
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
Back to the OP question:

David, when putting the SCSI2SD 5.1 inside the indy make sure of covering at least these issues:

- Update the firmware to the latest possible at http://www.codesrc.com/files/scsi2sd/v4.8.1/
- Make sure you terminate the Indy on the back with a 50 pin HD-terminator, preferably an active one.
- Make sure you take out the termination resistors on the SCSI2SD board. Store them safely and put the board on the internal bandcable inside the Indy
- Check your SD card. At least one of us got a borked SD card together with the SCSI2SD which would only occasionally work.
- Put the SCSI2SD id to 1 This is the default id for root disks inside the Indy.
- Enable parity and SCSI II mode, nothing else.

Let us know if you see progress...
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2019, 11:47 AM by dexter1.)
dexter1
Global Moderator
******

Posts: 242
Threads: 10
Joined: May 2018
Find Reply
04-14-2019, 11:47 AM
#9
RE: Help reviving a SGI Indy
Slight caveat to the disk recommendation made above, Fujitsu MAX/MAS SCA drives will not work in Indy (or Indigo/Indigo2) because they don't support narrow SCSI. The 68pin versions will work, but that needs a different adapter.

I use a different 36GB 15K disk for Indy/Indigo/Indigo2, a particular model of Seagate which is also very quiet like the MAS. It is though a little hotter, so fitting two is best done with the addition of a fan and a modified sled to improve airflow:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/custom_indy_sled.jpg
http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/custom_indy_fan.jpg

Ian.
mapesdhs
O2

Posts: 35
Threads: 4
Joined: May 2018
Find Reply
04-15-2019, 04:52 PM


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)