Friday, May 9, 2008

reviving a cobalt

Surgeworks had a cobalt raq2 kicking around so I asked if I could try to get it running. I was able to put debian on it. Netbooting the installer resulted in "unit boot failed". Watching the serial console reveals the kernel elf binary was corrupt when it came time to execute it.

In the end it worked using another computer to put the installer on the hard drive temporarily.

download nfsroot.tar.gz referred to in
fdisk the hard drive, remove all partitions, create a single primary partition, at least 5MB
format the boot partition with mke2fs -r 0
untar nfsroot.tar.gz into the partition
move everything to the top directory: mv nfsroot/* .
modify default.colo to load everything from the disk instead of network:
-nfs {dhcp-next-server} {dhcp-root-path} vmlinux-2.6.18-6-r5k-cobalt {initrd}
+load vmlinux-2.6.18-6-r5k-cobalt {initrd}

Then put the drive in the cobalt, boot up, and let the installer take over the whole drive. The temporary partition gets overwritten.