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<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><p>This document describes in depth how to prepare your Iomega StorCenter G2 for installing NetBSD/sandpoint. The three supported models are:</p>
<li>StorCenter G2 Single Drive, 200MHz</li>
<li>StorCenter G2 Dual Drive, 200MHz</li>
<li>StorCenter G2 Quad Drive, 266MHz</li>
<p>All models have 64 MB RAM and a PATA disk interface. Note that newer StorCenter models use an ARM CPU and are not supported.</p>
<p>To install NetBSD/sandpoint you will have to open the case for getting access to the serial console. This is shown here for the Single Drive model.</p></td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter Single Drive" /></td>

Accessing the serial interface

We need a serial console to get access to the firmware. That includes
soldering a cable to the board and building (or buying) a serial adapter
to convert from the StorCenter's TTL levels to RS232 levels.

Disassemble the StorCenter Single Drive

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 1" /></td>
<td align="left"><p>The Single Drive model is somewhat tricky to open. Move the cover by applying some force into the direction away from the interface bezel. It will eventually snap open. Then remove the metal shielding. Again, there are no screws. It is held in place by some brackets. Just pull it upwards and you will see the hard disk.</p></td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 2" /></td>

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 3" /></td>
<td align="left"><p>Do not try to access the screws, which are securing the disk drive, through the plastic vents. To be able to pull the metal case up we have to remove four screws at the bottom first, which are hidden behind a plastic plate. Pry open the plastic plate using a levering tool, like a screw driver. You will need some force to do that.</p></td>

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 4" /></td>
<td align="left"><p>Remove the four screws at the bottom. Now you can easily pull the metal case out.</p></td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 5" /></td>

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter disassembly step 6" /></td>
<td align="left"><p>Remove the four screws which are securing the hard disk and unplug its connectors. Also remove the fan and the LED from the metal case. Now you can pull the mainboard out of the metal case, by moving it into the direction of the rear bezel.</p></td>

Locate the serial header

Look out for an unpopulated 8-pin header, called `J11` (marked red on
the picture to the left). The leftmost four pins can be used for the
serial interface. The pin assignments are shown in the table.

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter mainboard" /></td>
<td align="left"><table>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><strong>Pin number</strong></td>
<td align="left"><strong>Function</strong></td>
<tr class="even">
<td align="left">1</td>
<td align="left">3.3V</td>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left">2</td>
<td align="left">TXD</td>
<tr class="even">
<td align="left">3</td>
<td align="left">GND</td>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left">4</td>
<td align="left">RXD</td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="Header pin assignments" /></td>

Attaching a serial cable

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><p>It is not recommended to solder a header onto <code>J11</code>, because then you would no longer be able to close the case. Instead you should just solder a 4-wire ribbon cable, which is flat enough to hide under the disk drive. Also make sure to choose a small 4-pin plug, which you can connect to your external cable with the actual D-SUB 9 connector. Alternatively you can cut a hole into the case.</p></td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="StorCenter serial cable attached" /></td>

Serial connection

The serial port on the StorCenter is using 3.3V TTL levels, which have
to be converted into regular RS232 levels by a level shifter circuit. If
you are not anxious using a soldering iron you find detailed
instructions how to build such a converter here:

-   [Serial adapter for 3.3V TTL](

Make sure that the layout of the plug fits to the pinout of the
StorCenter's serial header, as shown above.

Another option is to buy such a converter. There are solutions for a
standard RS232 interface and for an USB interface. Look out for:

-   RS232 level shifter / breakout board (MAX3232 based)
-   USB to TLL serial level shifter / breakout board (FT232 based)

First installation

Accessing the Firmware

Provided the serial converter is installed and working correctly you
should be able to connect to the firmware's serial console. Iomega is
using [U-Boot](, the Universal Boot

Now you can connect with any terminal program to the StorCenter's serial
console. The easiest approach may be to use NetBSD's `tip(1)` command to
make a direct console connection at 115200bps.

    # tip -115200 console

Note that when using a serial connection via USB you may have to make an
entry for `/dev/ttyU0` in `/etc/remote`.

Immediately after switching your StorCenter on it will display the
following information (output is from a Single Drive model) and gives
you one second to stop autobooting.

    U-Boot 1.0.0 (Sep  2 2005 - 14:49:11)

    CPU:   MPC8241 Revision 1.4 at 199.999 MHz: 16 kB I-Cache 16 kB D-Cache
    Board: StorCenter
    PICR1 is now 00141b98
    PICR2 is now 00040605
    AMBOR is now c1
    DRAM:  64 MB   
    FLASH:  8 MB   
    In:    serial  
    Out:   serial
    Err:   serial
    Net:   PCI device RTL8169#0: unknown chip version, assuming RTL-8169
    PCI device: TxConfig = 0x0
    Hit any key to stop autoboot:  0


The `altboot(8)` utility functions as a bridge between the Iomega
firmware and the NetBSD kernel startup environment. NAS firmware often
provides no means to boot a kernel from disk or from the network and
doesn't initialize all hardware correctly. We will also use it to pass a
bootinfo list to the kernel.

The `altboot` boot loader has to be loaded and started using U-Boot.
Usually there are three ways to invoke it:

-   **loadb** to load a binary file via serial line in kermit mode
-   **tftpboot** to load a binary file over the network with TFTP protocol
-   start it from the flash memory

The last option is prefered once the installation is completed, but
obviously it is not possible for the first time boot. Fortunately U-Boot
has set up the network interface, which we can use after configuring the
`ipaddr` and `serverip` environment variables:

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>setenv ipaddr</strong>
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>setenv serverip</strong>
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>saveenv</strong>
Saving Environment to Flash...
Un-Protected 1 sectors
Erasing Flash...
. done
Erased 1 sectors
Writing to Flash... done
Protected 1 sectors

Once you have set up TFTP and DHCP ([read below](#altboot_install)) you
can download `altboot` like this:

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>tftp 1000000 altboot.bin</strong>
TFTP from server; our IP address is
Filename 'altboot.bin'.
Load address: 0x1000000
Loading: ###############
Bytes transferred = 74732 (123ec hex)

<a name="altboot_install"></a>
Boot the INSTALL kernel with altboot

Now you can use `altboot` to launch the `netbsd-INSTALL` kernel for
installing NetBSD. You may choose to load it with TFTP or from NFS. For TFTP
you have to enable `tftpd(8)` in `/etc/inetd.conf`, and for NFS there is
a documentation at [The Network File
But in both cases you have to set up a DHCP server, which is explained
in the [DHCP Howto]( An
appropriate `dhcpd.conf` entry could look like this:

            host storcenter {
                    hardware ethernet 00:d0:b8:xx:xx:xx;
                    option root-path "/export/storcenter/root";

The `root-path` option is only needed when using NFS and should match
your exported NFS directory. Uncompress `netbsd-INSTALL.gz` from the
NetBSD/sandpoint distribution and copy it into the NFS or TFTP directory.
Then start the DHCP, NFS or TFTP server and boot the installation kernel
from the firmware either with

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>go 1000000 tftp:netbsd-INSTALL</strong>

or from NFS:

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>go 1000000 nfs:netbsd-INSTALL</strong>

Our bootloader configures the hardware, determines the IP address, loads
the kernel via network and launches it:

    ## Starting application at 0x01000000 ...

    >> NetBSD/sandpoint altboot, revision 1.8 (Wed Nov 23 21:51:40 CET 2011)
    >> IOMEGA StorCenter G2, cpu 200 MHz, bus 100 MHz, 64MB SDRAM
    channel 0 present
    wd0: <ST3300822A> DMA LBA LBA48 286168 MB
    wd0: no disklabel
    MAC address 00:d0:b8:xx:xx:xx
    Hit any key to enter interactive mode: 0
    loading "netbsd-INSTALL" 5222228+112540=0x516b78
    entry=0x90000, ssym=0x5a66f0, esym=0x5a6b78
    Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,
        2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
        The NetBSD Foundation, Inc.  All rights reserved.
    Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
        The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.

    NetBSD 5.99.59 (INSTALL) #10: Fri Dec 30 18:53:09 CET 2011
    Model: iomega
    total memory = 65536 KB
    avail memory = 57904 KB
    OpenPIC Version 1.2: Supports 1 CPUs and 26 interrupt sources.
    mainbus0 (root)
    cpu0 at mainbus0: 8245 (Revision 0.4), ID 0 (primary)
    cpu0: HID0 0x90c000<DOZE,DPM,ICE,DCE>, powersave: 1
    eumb0 at mainbus0
    com0 at eumb0 unit 0: ns16550a, working fifo
    com0: console
    com0: interrupting at irq 40
    ociic0 at eumb0
    iic0 at ociic0: I2C bus
    dsrtc0 at iic0 addr 0x68: DS1307 Real-time Clock/NVRAM
    satmgr0 at eumb0 unit 1: button manager (iomega)
    satmgr0: interrupting at irq 41
    pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0
    pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0
    pchb0: vendor 0x1057 product 0x0006 (rev. 0x14)
    viaide0 at pci0 dev 13 function 0
    viaide0: VIA Technologies VT6410 IDE controller
    viaide0: using irq 17 for native-PCI interrupt
    atabus0 at viaide0 channel 0
    atabus1 at viaide0 channel 1
    ohci0 at pci0 dev 14 function 0: vendor 0x1033 product 0x0035 (rev. 0x43)
    ohci0: interrupting at irq 18
    ohci0: OHCI version 1.0
    usb0 at ohci0: USB revision 1.0
    ohci1 at pci0 dev 14 function 1: vendor 0x1033 product 0x0035 (rev. 0x43)
    ohci1: interrupting at irq 19
    ohci1: OHCI version 1.0
    usb1 at ohci1: USB revision 1.0
    ehci0 at pci0 dev 14 function 2: vendor 0x1033 product 0x00e0 (rev. 0x04)
    ehci0: interrupting at irq 20
    ehci0: companion controllers, 3 ports each: ohci0 ohci1
    usb2 at ehci0: USB revision 2.0
    re0 at pci0 dev 15 function 0: RealTek 8169/8110 Gigabit Ethernet (rev. 0x10)
    re0: interrupting at irq 16
    re0: Ethernet address 00:d0:b8:xx:xx:xx
    rgephy0 at re0 phy 7: RTL8169S/8110S/8211 1000BASE-T media interface, rev. 3
    rgephy0: 10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, 1000baseT, 1000baseT-FDX, auto
    biomask 1f000000 netmask 1f000000 ttymask 1f000000
    uhub0 at usb0: vendor 0x1033 OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
    uhub1 at usb1: vendor 0x1033 OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
    uhub2 at usb2: vendor 0x1033 EHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 1
    wd0 at atabus0 drive 0
    wd0: <ST3300822A>
    wd0: 279 GB, 581421 cyl, 16 head, 63 sec, 512 bytes/sect x 586072368 sectors
    boot device: re0
    root on md0a dumps on md0b
    root file system type: ffs
    WARNING: preposterous TOD clock time
    WARNING: using filesystem time
    erase ^H, werase ^W, kill ^U, intr ^C, status ^T
    Terminal type? [vt100]

Just follow the usual procedure to install a NetBSD system.

<img src="//" alt="Sandpoint installation window" /></td>

Post installation steps

After a successful installation you want to make the system boot
standalone when switched on, without the need for a serial console. So
you have to modify the `bootcmd` in U-Boot's environment and write the
`altboot.bin` binary to the Flash ROM.

To find a suitable place in the Flash ROM you can use the **flinfo**
command and look out for empty sectors `(E)`. On my StorCenter I have
chosen `0xffe80000`. Replace that in all the following commands if you
have chosen a different address.

Load `altboot.bin` into memory at `0x1000000` again, as explained above.
Then execute the following commands to write it to Flash ROM:

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>protect off ffe80000 ffe9ffff</strong>
Un-Protected 2 sectors
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>erase ffe80000 ffe9ffff</strong>

. done
Erased 2 sectors
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>cp.b 1000000 ffe80000 18000</strong>
Copy to Flash... done
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>protect on ffe80000 ffe9ffff</strong>
Protected 2 sectors

Finally adapt the `bootcmd` environment string to autoboot `altboot` and
start the `netbsd` kernel (which is the default name) from `wd0` on each

IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>setenv bootcmd cp.b ffe80000 1000000 18000\; go 1000000 wd0:</strong>
IOMEGA=&gt; <strong>saveenv</strong>
Saving Environment to Flash...
Un-Protected 1 sectors
Erasing Flash...
. done
Erased 1 sectors
Writing to Flash... done
Protected 1 sectors

The `\` is important for **setenv** not to misinterpret the `;` as the end
of the command.

Have fun with your mini NetBSD server!

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