NeXTcube Computer #2 Restoration
This system has been in the lab space and untouched since it arrived.
Dan #2 powered the system on and found that the monitor, keyboard and mouse all worked. Unfortunately the hard drive would not spin up, so it would not boot. He opened the chassis and connected the hard drive to the power supply in a handy DELL server. After banging the drive a few times the stiction problem was fixed and the drive spun up. He reinstalled the drive in the NeXTcube and it spun up, but the system said that the drive was not ready.
I will bring a SCSI disk to the lab for NeXT Saturday so we can try an OS installation.
Dan started setting up a VM on his laptop that could run NeXTSTEP and be a boot server for the NeXTcube so we could install NeXTSTEP OS.
After reading the WWW page for this system we decided that looking for the external floppy and SCSI disk drive in the warehouse would be a good idea. We might as well look for the laser printer that came with it too.
If the external drive that came with the system was jumpered for drive 0, the normal boot drive, it would have a SCSI ID of 0, and the internal drive would be something different like drive 1 and have a SCSI ID of 2, or maybe 6 for drive 1. If we tried the bsd(), bsd(1,0,0) or bsd(2,0,0) that might give us a clue about the internal drive's jumpering. We could also try jumpering the internal drive to drive 0 without an external drive connected to see if it will boot.
Dan #2 jumpered the internal 40MB disk drive for unit 0, and then used the Monitor to see if it was bootable. The drive was not ready, so it is really dead. He installed a 1G drive that Mike donated and jumpered it for unit 0. Next week Dan #2 will boot the system over the network from NeXTSTEP VM and install NeXTSTEP on the 1G drive.
Dan #2 continued working on getting BOOTP, TFTP, and NFS configured on his laptop so we could net-boot diskless NetBSD and then use the dd tool to write an bootable image of NeXTSTEP onto the internal 1 GB SCSI disk. He got as far as getting the boot program and the kernel booted on the NeXTCUBE, but had problems with NFS serving the disk and swap partitions. That will be the project for next time.