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IBM NetFinity 4500R ipsraid install

© December 2003 Tony Lawrence

IBM NetFinity 4500R ipsraid install

A client bought one of these on Ebay for $200.00. Not a bad deal at all, 2 8 GB drives mirrored, plenty of RAM: just the thing to replace an aging SCO 5.0.5 system.

But it turned into quite a struggle. First, he couldn't find drivers. Well, he could easily find a page that listed drivers: https://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&q1=netfinity+4500r&q2=sco+openserver&uid=psg1MIGR-39737&loc=en_US&cs=utf-8&cc=us%0A=en, but couldn't actually download any. A manual ftp to the indicated links turned up empty too; the images weren't there. Were these removed, officially or unofficially, because of the SCO lawsuit? Or was it just ordinary web site screwups where things have been moved? I don't know, but I confirmed that these couldn't be found.

However, I knew darn well that they don't make different CD's for every OS out there, so I went to https://www-3.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-39729.html. The README file there showed me that SCO BTLD images were on the "Linux" CD, so I downloaded that and made a BTLD floppy from it.

You neeed to boot the NetFinity from that CD to upgrade the BIOS and configure the array. That part went fine, but I was thrown off by the the interface which kept referring to Controller 1 and Array 1. I would have assumed that was just renumbering for humans, and that it was actually 0 and 0, but other IBM documentation showed (incorrect) examples of

defbootstr link="ipsraid" Sdsk=ips(1,0,1,0)

so I tried that, with no luck. I was also confused by IBM references to the ID that would be presented by the array. Ordinarily, that's going to either take the lowest ID of its members (in this case that would be 0), or it is something you can specifically set. Well, nothing in the config allowed you to set it, and I would have assumed it would be 0, but again documentation seemed to suggest that it might be 1. After floundering around for a bit, I realized that my instincts had to be right, so I used:

defbootstr link="ipsraid" Sdsk=ips(0,0,0,0)

which worked fine. This was one of those dumb cases where I would have been better off if I hadn't read the docs.

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This sounds like some of the experiences I have had with the Netfinity. It's almost as though the machine was design solely to run some flavor of Windows. In any case, at 200 dollars it's a deal. At it's new price, it was a clunker, IMHO.


I am putting this request here because I don't know where else to go. I bought an IBM Netfinity 4500R Model 8656 for a couple of hundred dollars. The computer had Windows 2000 and worked well, but had only 128MB memory. One of my staff tried to add memory, but regretably did it so by installing non-IBM memory. Since that day, the computer will not even boot. The error sound alert when the system is switched on is 3 sets of 3 rapid beeps. According to the documentation, the system cannot detect the memory. I know the memory is OK (the original IBM DIMM)

I am trying to find a users group where I can find some help to fix this problem. I shall appreciate if anyone can direct me to one.



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