Possible to FORCE a network boot on Rev A?

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355

I have a Rev. A that is misbehaving and I cannot get a good boot with any extensions. I have the following:
* HD has 9.2.2 installed (existing HD for this machine and proven to be in good condition logically and physically)
* CD is not recognized by Profiler (have new on coming but not here yet)
* 512 MB RAM
* stock 233 MHz CPU

I want to boot of a network drive and reinstall OS X.2 because I cannot boot off of the CD at this time. I need to get the machine up and running, because some of the software and files I need (desperately) only exist there. These tools require certain extensions, but I can only ever boot with extensions off - even the 9.2.2 base set causes lock up. I had hoped to boot up and get a network connection and then off load my stuff and slick the drive. Can anyone help?

Thx
-- Doug-Doug

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
It may be worse...

After trying to boot with the Base set, I am now stuck on the grey screen that comes after the mac folder and before the Welcmoe to OS9 message. Ohhhh, it is not good. I fret deeply. Please help.

--ddtm

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

rael9's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 215
CD

Can you boot from a CD?

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James M. Baker
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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
Nope...

The drive will spin the disk a revolution or three and then stop. It is ignroed from that point forward. It gets SOME power as it will open when the button is pressed, but System Profiler cannot recognize it. On one or two previous attempts, it DID recognize the physical drive, but would not mount any volumes (even Apple OS CDs). My assumption is that the drive is bad. Could it be possible that the ROM is hosed somehow? I have two different HDs known to be in good order and a CD that just stopped for no reason. The machine did have OS X.2.8 installed on a previous HD config. How can I tell?

I can boot up with Command+Option+o+f, but other than reset-nvram and reset-all, I do not know what to do here.

--Dg

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

rael9's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 215
Well...

To NetBoot, you need a NetBoot server, first of all. Then you need to be able to boot the client machine (your iMac) at *least* from a CD so that you can run the Startup Disk utility. AKAIK, there is no way around this, so you may be SOL until your CD drive comes in.

You could always throw the HD in another Mac to get your files off of it.

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James M. Baker
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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
What if...

What if the new CD does not work either?

I have toyed with the idea of upgrading the CPU to a Sonnet Harmonmi G3 (the one with the Firewire port). If memory serves, isn't the ROM located on the CPU card? My honest fear is that my baby has become a boat anchor. If replacing the CD does not work, I need a backup plan and replacing the CPU is a thought.

What is a NetBoot server? Can I configure an existing machine to do this type of work?

--Dg

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--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'

rael9's picture
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Joined: Dec 26 2003
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NetBoot etc.

iMacs and above don't have a hardware ROM anymore. While it's possible that your CPU is bad, it's not overly likely. I suppose it could be bad RAM or some such, but if it has been running fine until now without any changes, that's not very likely either. Unless you had a power surge or something, I'd say it's more likely that it is the HD. They tend to be a lot less robust than solid state hardware like RAM and CPUs. The only way to find out really is to play around with different combinations of replacing HD, pulling RAM, etc.

NetBoot serving requires one of the server versions of Mac OS, wether that be the original Mac OS X Server, or the newer Mac OS X 10.x Servers. So, yes you could set up another machine as a NetBoot server, but you would need a copy of one of the server OS's.

As to the HARMONi, I'm not sure it's really worth $350. If you sell your iMac for $150-200 and add that to the $350 you'd spend on the HARMONi, you could probably get yourself a nice low-end G4 tower. The iMac is so limited with respect to it's video and bus speed, upgrading isn't really worth it unless you have no other choice.

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James M. Baker
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dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Google NetBoot and OpenFirmware

and you'll find all you need...

short answer - NetBooting MacOS pretty much requires Macos X Server _and_ a netboot image file. Any Mac capable of running X Server can offer NetBoot services. I've never used NetBoot, but the setup, while non-trivial, apparently isn't terribly difficult. I think some understanding of Unix and TCP/IP would probably make things go more smoothly.

AFAIK, any PCI Mac can NetBoot, but anything with older-than OF v3.0 requires specific directions be entered at the OpenFirmware prompt. You do _not_ need a CD drive to NetBoot (or any local storage for that matter,) just a working LB, ram, and network interface, and either a working local KB and display, or a serial console connection from another 'puter (hmm, that last approach is tough on an iMac though Smile

I question however if you are truly asking about NetBoot, or just about mounting shared remote volumes to allow you to install an OS over your LAN? For that you do need a locally bootable device (eg: CD-ROM or HD/w/OS). Of course, one could obviously NetBoot a Mac and use that environment to then install an OS to a local blank HD.

Dan K

PS: rev A = iMac? I assume . . . Smile

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
Joined: Apr 14 2004
Posts: 1355
some progress...

Well, I took some advice from a contemporary and left my iMac unplugged for a while, then I pulled the battery, and did a CUDA, put it back, booted with CmdOptPR, then booted CmdOptOF resting the nvram. I was able to boot up. Note that at this time, I have TWO (2) IDE HDs running of a single cable passed to the outside of the box. CD is sill dead.

It took some trial and error, but I turned off all Extensions and systematcially readded enough to get a good network connection to another machine I have. From there I was able to access an OS 9 disk and I reinstalled the boot partition of the larger drive, but StartupDisk keeps booting me off of the smaller drive, ignoring what I tell it. I will reposition on the IDE and retry later.

The plan is to boot off of the larger (120G - yes, I had this running stablely before) and run the original System restore disk against the smaller drive (4.3G). Once this is done, I will drop back to one HD and see if the CD is working. If all goes well, I will lowlevel format my larger, do a clean install, and drop it back in the case.

Since I am now bootable and was able to get a network connection up, I consider this case closed.

Thanks for the insight on netboots.

-- Doug-Doug

__________________

--DDTM ('Fritter Critter' since Apr 26 2004 - 18:16)

'If it ain't broke, take it apart anyways. If you can't take it apart, break it so that you can fix it.'