NeXT workstation won't start up

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trucheli's picture
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Joined: Jul 30 2012
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I have a NeXTstation N1100 with a B/W MegaPixel Display that I want so sell in working condition, but it in the middle of start up it hangs, can somebody help me to get it back to life.
Here is a picture of the screen
I don't know anything about UNIX, so any help will be appreciated.
it stops booting at mounting file systems, or on the other photo says cannot lookup child, what is that???

Screen shot

Thank you

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Joined: Apr 11 2012
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Re: NeXT workstation won't start up

I'm no Unix expert but I would say that what you've got there is a corrupted operating system. Now on a normal Unix machine a problem like this could be solved with a fresh instal of *Nix (perhaps on a fresh drive) but this is different...

Well that's my 2c anyway.

As I said, I'm not a traditional Unix man (although I sorta wish I was) therefore my information was incorrect. I would trust what speedy said as he is very knowledgeable. I will attempt to freshen myself up with Unix (so to speak) before someone else has a Unix problem for me to look at.

Although as it happens I did misread the error. I may have arrived at the correct solution if I was in a better state. Although a could not mount filesystem error could have been a corrupted filesystem (Similar to a problem I had on Linux?) It is as speedy said because it is looking for a server and can not find one.

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speedyG's picture
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Re: NeXT workstation won't start up

Hello trucheli,
reading the protocoll entries that nextsystem
did check the floppydisks
line 9 to 16 - did check the harddisk and supposed the 4 partitions to be local accessable...
line 17 to 19 - thereafter the system initialized the Networkconnection....
then the displaytype was initialized ( thats when the display started to show the picture of the scrollbar )
line 22 -it initializes the soundchip....
line 23 - it set the secutity rights to access the harddisk to the Rootuser ( the one who installed the system )
line 24 empty ...
line 25 displaying internal clock also displays possible trouble....
its set to 1999 ( this might indicate a empty battery - and if there occurs in later time a compare with any timeserver
( probably accessable by internet connection or local net to a local server this might lead to a fail )

it prepares the harddisk for reading
line 31 - the sets the local IP adress to 127.0.0.0 - because it does not get another IP-adress from another availiable server
( this can be the start of the problem - it looks like that system had been used before in a network with
DHCP setup and did not get an IP-adress from another serversystem ....)

line 33 to 38 - it tries again to get contact to the other serversystem but gets no connection ....
2 last lines: it looks for a net-based-volume on another server to mount as network-accessable filesystem ( which probably contains the database with the security rights of the entire networksystem and also the requested legal users on this computer ) and does not get access and therefor that disk from the other Server can not become mounted....

SUMMARY:
This system was configured within a network with another computer defined as hostsystem.... and "security-master"
that computer is not visible to this system and it is not able to load the security-rights and permissions for this computer.... this is the point where the computer stops...
So if there is another computer there ( that probably is the missing Server ... ) that computer should be started up first an be running before this computer might startup....

otherwise if that computer is not availiable - there will be no chance to start this computer except booting from an installing device ( installdisk or installCD )and install an entire new system...

- there is only one exception from this indication: if there is a person local availiable with advanced knowledge to NEX-Unix-system ... that person might enter at the userpromt as root with rootpassword and mount for example an external harddrive with a fake-security-system - change startupscript by copying another startup-script from external drive to the local drive - a startup-script that does not contain any reference to the missing server but instead to a availiable local-server and refering to that other system .... then access the system from the other server as administrative root-user and restore another known user to this system by replacing and overtaking/overriding the rights within this system .... - but as explained this needs a person with very detailed knowledge as Unix administrator .....

remark: due to the fact that the clockbattery is outdated might lead also to a failure... if the server rejects the connection because the computer is "out of date" .....

sincerely speedyG

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speedyG's picture
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Re: NeXT workstation won't start up

swinsor wrote:

I'm no Unix expert but I would say that what you've got there is a corrupted operating system. Now on a normal Unix machine a problem like this could be solved with a fresh instal of *Nix (perhaps on a fresh drive) but this is different...

Well that's my 2c anyway.

As I said, I'm not a traditional Unix man (although I sorta wish I was) therefore my information was incorrect. I would trust what speedy said as he is very knowledgeable. I will attempt to freshen myself up with Unix (so to speak) before someone else has a Unix problem for me to look at.

Although as it happens I did misread the error. I may have arrived at the correct solution if I was in a better state. Although a could not mount filesystem error could have been a corrupted filesystem (Similar to a problem I had on Linux?) It is as speedy said because it is looking for a server and can not find one.

Hello Swinsor,
in fact your shot was not too bad ( the idea was correct ! ) - it just seems that you did not value the fact that the system recognized the local harddisk and the availiable partitions to be correct in the lines around 9 to 14.....
If the Harddisk would have really failed the system would have reported this in this section and would have started a procedure of errorcheck to the disk to find out which portion is trustable and which is not reliable...

indeed in fact it is one of the most commen problems that ( if a system is not taken down by aoftware nut instead with bad habit using the powerswitch ) that this bad habit leaves a system in a "bad state" with lots of opened files ( partially invisible to the user ) containing important information on opened windows and processes... that would cause such a system to examine the entire disk for such files and flushing them off from temporary status to deleted status... that is a timeeating process and most users then become impatient and kill down the system again with the powerswitch.... causing a "final shot" to the system... if this is repeated often enough it causes a overrun of the so called swap-area ( swap-partition )....
then a system gets realy bad stuck up and even access as root becomes nearly imposible....
sincerely speedyG

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trucheli's picture
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Re: NeXT workstation won't start up

Thank you speedyG for all the info, sorry I forgot to mention it used to start up fine from the internal hard drive, and it used to have root access available with no password when login, I don't know if this helps.
Do you think my best bet is to reinstall the OS from a floppy that I can download from here http://www.shawcomputing.net/resources/next/hardware/boot_floppies/boot_floppies.html
Do you think I can install OPENSTEP 4.2 in this one.

Thank you

trucheli's picture
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Re: NeXT workstation won't start up

thank you swinsor your right I'm going to do a fresh install is going to be much easier than solving the problem.