Is it possible to use an old GDM 20D11 with the SGI320?
Yes, but with the following conditions:
This monitor uses only three input signals: red, blue and green. The green signal contains the signal for synchronization (Sync on green). This is not an issue with MIPS-based SGI workstations but poses a problem for the SGI320.
To get around this, the user must enter the command ‘Syncongreen’ (no spaces) in the OSLoader Options under the PROM’s Startup Settings. The user can then set the resolution of the monitor to a strict 1280 x 1024 @ 75Hz, which unfortunately means that any software that resets the monitor to anything below this (including the ‘safe mode’ option) will render the display unusable. The workstation often requires a restart to get the picture back.
Setting the resolution in the first place involves a second monitor at least capable of the required resolution/frequency. Once in Windows, set the display settings, shut down the workstation, plug in the 20D11 (using an adapter to convert between 13W3 to HD15) and then restart. The PROM displays properly, disappears as Windows defaults to 640 x 480 while booting, before the monitor syncs back to the resolution set earlier.
Long winded, but it works!
How do I play MIDI files on my SGI320 under Windows 2000?
The SGI320’s sound device uses the Yamaha S-YGX50 driver, which subsequently supports MIDI sound files. The driver is supplied on the original Silicon Graphics® Interoperability Toolkit CD but only works under NT. The driver is retained when upgrading to Windows 2000 from NT, but not if a fresh version of Window 2000 is installed. In this case the default driver Windows 2000 installs does not support MIDI files.
Purchasing the S-YXG50 SoftSynthesizer software will restore the SGI320’s ability to access these files, or alternatively installing a Turtle Beach Montego II sound card will give you the same MIDI functionality.
How can I fix a faulty FAT boot partition?
It is possible to copy the ARCSETUP, HAL and ARCLDR files (located in the folder \os\winnt40 or winnt50) onto a floppy disk and then simply switching the System Partition in the PROM. After booting off the floppy into Windows the files can be copied back to the FAT partition.
For convenience, download the ARCLoader Rescue Disk Maker, double click winnt40.exe (or winnt50.exe for Windows 2000) to copy the files to the floppy.
Problems powering up the SGI320 after power cut
One bug in the SGI 320 design has to do with the PSU not powering on in some cases (for example when you have a power glitch or power outage). The system refuses to power up again using the power on button on the front of the case.
The solution is to unplug the power cord from the power strip or wall outlet, press the black button on the front of the case several times, wait for a minute and then plug the power cord back in. Then try powering on the system. This procedure was the recommended fix on the SGI web site in the past.
A small number of users have also reported problems powering up their workstations as a result of loose screws holding the motherboard to the case. This may be a ground/fault and in such a case can be rectified by tightening the screws.