SUMMARY: Using a Sun 2GB drive in an SGI Indy

From: Brian White (
Date: Tue Mar 11 1997 - 06:00:18 CST

Thanks to all respondents:

Justin Young <> (Parks Fields)
Gary Lee <>
"Gary W. Cook" <>
Simon Convey <>
Michael McGeown <>

The general consensus was that it will work, which doesn't surprise me.
After all, SCSI is SCSI, right? My primary concern was the possibility
that SGI mave have gotten cute about their systems booting from non-SGI
provided disks (like a no-longer-major three-letter-name computer
manufacturer at one time did). Some replies did address this issue with a
"don't worry about it" comment; I was quite happy about this, since I didn't
want to burden my manager with the responsibility of having to divide up
10GB worth of disks between his, my, and my coworker's machines :^).

The individual answers (and some additional info) follow, along with
the original question.

Thanks to all!


From: Justin Young <>

I don't know about IRIX, however I had a few problems w/ HP. The trick
w/ HP was that everything had to be on partition 0. Therefore, I had to
reformat the drive before installing HP-UX on it.

I belive IRIX is a little smarter than HPUX (not saying much).
Therefore, you should be able to format it no problem. However, you're
welcome to try my method of formatting w/ one partition first. Also,
install a boot-block on the partition b-4 you place it in the SGI. The
Irix installation should see it no problem.

From: (Parks Fields)

We have used sgi drives in sun's and suns drives in sgi.

if the connectors fit then they should work.

From: Gary Lee <>

We move drives between Suns and SGIs all the time.

We recently bought some 9GB disks for a Sun. We found that we could use
them in an Origin 200 without the ridiculous SGI sliders if we put them
in upside down.

From: "Gary W. Cook" <>

I have not had any problems interchanging disks in Sun and SGI platforms. No
boot drive problems.. No data drive problems. Only the SCSI ID's change.

From: Simon Convey <>

I have put third party SCSI disks in SGI machines with no problems. You
will need to put the new drives on the machines to format and partion
them. Use the fx -x command to format and partition them. The machine
should auto detect the drive geometry. Once formatted and partitioned,
remove the original root drives, and boot from your CD-ROM and install
IRIX, should work ok. You could proably get away with simply removing
the old root drive, putting the new SCSI disk on, and rebooting from
CD-ROM and running install. I have not tried this option, but it does
seem to be the logical thing to do ! I did have some minor problems with
SCSI i.d's on SGI's. Silicon Graphics used to set the SCSI i.d. by not
using the traditional jumpers, but by using a flexi circuit which came
off the motherboard somewhere....

From: Michael McGeown <>

you should not have any problems using "Sun" disks on an SGI, as long as
they are the same scsi type. ie scsi2 -> scsi2 fast&wide --> fast&wide.
Just check the interface's, you will know real quick.

Also you might want to partition them a little differently,
root / = 50meg
swap (1) = (memory x 2) example you have 128 meg of memory make swap
/tmp (2) = 100meg
/data (5) = 750 meg user/data area
/usr (6) = 1.1 gig

Original question:

We have an opportunity to get some 2GB Sun disks we would like install
as boot drives (not data disks) in some SGI Indys (which will run IRIX
6.x, where "x" will be at least 2). Does anyone know if IRIX or the Indy
prom will be difficult about using these as boot drives?

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