Subject: Re: SGI 540 (Intel Xeon SMP box).
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: port-i386
Date: 04/09/2005 13:24:03
On Sat, Apr 09, 2005 at 07:59:11PM +0200, Hubert Feyrer wrote:
> [Full text included, to give Bernd Sieker a chance to catch up :]
 [...then omitted since he only needs it once...(^&]
> As far as I understood, these machines don't have a "normal" PC BIOS, but 
> an ARC BIOS as found on the SGI (-> NetBSD/sgimips) machines. This will 
> need writing a completely new boot mechanism (access disks & display, find 
> memory, etc.) to get the machine going.
> Maybe Bernd can tell more here, he has/had such a machine...

Thanks for the info.  Yes, the BIOS is really not like a PC BIOS.
That was pretty clear when I first poked at it (about 15 minutes
after I discovered that this machine was an SGI box rather than a
commodity PC).

Unfortunately, the machine is not in my possession.  It is just a
system that I was asked to look at.  I had hoped to attach a
NetBSD-installed hard drive to poke around at it.  (It has
MonopolySoft's window system, 2000, installed.  Some things are
difficult (impossible?) to find out about a system with that OS
installed, so I wanted something a bit more familiar and friendly.)

I had also hoped to run a memory test on it, and had a memtest86+
CD for that purpose.  But when I saw that it was an SGI box, I
didn't hold much hope.  I tried to get it to boot from CD, but...nada,
rien, el zippo...(^&

There is a remote chance that I'll get a more protracted chance to
play with it.  (I.e., get to take it into my possession and fool
with it for a few weeks or months.)  If that happens, I'll
definitely need assistance (and I'd only undertake that for the
joy of seeing if I could somehow bring NetBSD up on it; (^&).

Thanks for the info, though.

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."