QNX installation stops after displaying .....


I am trying to install QNX from a CD-ROM onto a Single Board Computer (SBC) over Serial connection. There is no graphics processor on the SBC.
After BIOS POST the message “Hit ESC for .altboot” appears - if I do not press ‘ESC’ - ‘…’ appears then it stops - nothing happens. If I press ‘ESC’ nothing happens - ‘…’ do not even appear.
When I cycle power to the SBC - I see a 'S’ showing up just before the BIOS shows up - this makes me believe that during the previous boot the ‘OS signature was not found’ (‘S’ did not get flushed out?) - what is interesting is that I have installed QNX on PC using this CD.
The SBC supports IDE - CD-ROM is Primary Slave and the Hard Drive is Secondary Master. I tried disabling HDD in the BIOS (to use QNX as LiveCD) that did not help either. The SBC has 2GB RAM.
Any inputs or suggestions or questions will be very helpful? I am going to try next with Floppy Disk.

What do you mean by “over Serial connection”?

The loader uses BIOS call to display data which would show on the serial connection of your BIOS has some sort of feature to route display to serial port, but after the BIOS isn’t use and QNX access the hardware directory so installation over serial port is impossible. If your SBC has PC-104 connector get a PC/104 video card.

The SBC is connected to a PC over Serial port - I run “Hyper Terminal” to observe the boot progress on the SBC. The BIOS has a setting called Serial Port Redirection (some vendors refer to it as Console Redirection) - after POST the messages continue showing up over the Serial connection.
The SBC is keyboardless and videoless - basically headless. It does not have PC-104 connector.
Does QNX support Serial Console similar to Linux’s serial console? The way it is done in Linux is by modifying lilo.conf

You could create a custom boot image that would work over the serial port. But to create an image you need to create it first.

Install QNX on a standard PC. Then create a boot image that redirect standard io to serial port. Replace the provided boot image with the one you created, then move the HD over the headless system. Then you should be ok.

You should also disable photon which starts automaticly and on standard install.

Look to me like you will need to build a custom filesystem anyway. Will that SBC run with a HD or some sort of flash device?

If you have the eval version, after 30 days you will not be able to create boot images.

Thank you for your inputs - Yes - the SBC has a Flash Device.

Your inputs have confirmed my “worst fears”!

We want to stay away from 6.3 is because our two leading vendors support 6.2.1 only. And 6.2.1 NC does not have the ability to create the boot image. The SBC is being used for a non-profit project, there is nothing much we (as in the team that I am part of) can do to influence our vendors to make significant changes to their products, they are indeed helping us by giving us their products “gratis”.

How about other options? Any comments from you will be very helpful.

[1] Use floppy disk to boot the SBC - though I am not too positive about this because 6.2.1 NC I am not sure will allow bootable floppy disk creation - I am yet to investigate this option fully

The other option [2] is to do a PXE boot - the BIOS on the SBC allows Network boot - but then I still need a image on the network host :frowning:

[3] Maybe I should create an image using 6.3 that supports serial port redirection and try the 6.2.1 application from the vendor on 6.3 - I am not too confident about this (6.2.1 app on 6.3) either. Maybe worth a try?

[4] Another option I have is if the SBC vendor gives 6.2.1 image with Serial Redirection - I can then load this image using PXE boot onto the SBC. Perhaps the best option.

Any suggestions / comments from you? Thanks a lot

If you want to use non commercial version you are screwed since you will not be able to build a custom image. Well with 6.3 you can but only for 30 days (unless you keep messing with BIOS date)

6.2.1 apps should work on 6.3, (however drivers may not (network, graphic, etc) )

Option 4 is probably the best, but then you will probably have to create an image anyway to support your flash (depends on the type of flash). It all sounds very messy.

Other option would be to get in touch with QNX and try to get a full version (they have educational plan) or use a different OS.

Thanks for your input / comments