Summary of 386i disk setup with installboot.

From: John Ratcliffe (
Date: Fri Apr 27 1990 - 14:36:33 CDT

Summary of replacement disk setup for SUN-386i SUNOS 4.x
Keywords: Installboot nightmares, disk block 0 black magic.

If you don't have a SUN 386i (Roadrunner) count yourself lucky and
delete this mail message. If you are unlucky save this HOWTO
message for a rainy day.
Special thanks to Doug Hay ,U o Waterloo, for the basic installboot
procedure that made this whole fix work.

What I did (that actually worked) to setup a repaired 386i disk.
This 386i does not have a tape drive, thus the following procedure.
Attach the new disk to another working 386i with SCSI id 0 (sd0).
The default SCSI id for the root disk on a 386i is 2 (sd2,roota etc...).
Run format and partition the new disk.(Usually it is already setup this far
from SUN anyway, you should at least be able to read a bad block list off
the disk. If you can't you will have to get another disk from SUN.)
Newfs and fsck the filesystems on sd0.
Mount the filesystems on root as say /sda /sdg /sdh etc...
Copy the filesystems onto the new disk.
    ie: cd /sda; dump 0f - /dev/rsd0a | restore rf -
For some reason it was necessary to reboot at this stage to get installboot
to work next. (It complained about the superblock on sd0).
No amount of syncing and chanting seemed to work here.
When the system is back up again, make sure the new disks / (sd0a) partition
has been mounted again on /sda then:

  /usr/mdec/installboot -v /sda/boot /usr/mdec/bootsd /dev/rsd0a
  mkdir /sda/sda
  mv /sda/boot /sda/sda/boot (Note: must be mv not cp.)

Note you will need to alter the /sda files slightly to change the
hostname.(ie: /sda/etc/net.conf, /sda/etc/rc.boot ... )
Make sure this new system name is setup on the YP server (should I say
NIS server to avoid suit from British Telecom) for mounting the filesystems
in /sda/etc/fstab. (ie: exports, netgroup, hosts, ethers)
If the system was up previously and this was just a disk repair this
should already be the case.
Shutdown the system.

Move the disk back to the original 386i system changing the SCSI id
back to 2.
The system should successfully boot now.
Then, once booted on that disk,

  mv /sda/boot /boot
  /usr/mdec/installboot -v /boot /usr/mdec/bootsd /dev/rsd2a
  rmdir /sda

The system should successfully boot itself now with the proper setup.


John Ratcliffe. UCSD Division of Engineering.

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