Report - Debian Sarge on 2950

Terry Gliedt tpg at
Thu Apr 5 08:16:55 CDT 2007

I've just managed to get Debian sarge working on our first PE2950 and I 
thought I should report my little saga. We've done armloads of sarge 
installations on various PowerEdge machines, but this was our first 
experience with a PE2950 and it's PERC/5 RAID controller.

I'll not bore you all with the countless reinstalls and combinations I 
tried and cut straight to the important part - what worked:

* Installed sarge using sarge-custom-0304.iso from  (I supect earlier versions would work also 
- after I figured out the next two steps)

* Complete the install, up to the point of removing the CD and 
rebooting. I you do reboot, you'll find the installed system will not 
work because there are TWO things wrong:

** megaraid_sas is not in the initrd that is loaded at boot time so the 
hard drive is not found
** /etc/fstab points to the wrong device

Fix these problems before completing the sarge install. Don't press that 
last fatal ENTER to reboot. Rather press Ctrl+F2 to get a new terminal 
window and do the following:

   df -h                to see what is mounted
   fdisk -l /dev/sdX    to see the partitions
   chroot /target       now using /target as /
   vi /etc/fstab        be sure the partitions are SDA
   vi /boot/grub/menu.lst    Set # kopt=root=/dev/sdaX ro
                        change other sdbX to sdaX
                        check grub root device  # groot-(hd0,0)
   #  Add modules for initrd (megaraid_sas, megaraid_mbox?)
   vi /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
   cp -p /boot/initrd.imgxxxx /boot.initrd.imgxxxx.orig
   update-initramfs -u   to make a new initrd
   exit                  leave chroot
   Cntl+F1               back to install, press ENTER, reboot, joy

The exact details of the partitions will vary based on what your 
particular situation is, but you should be able to fix things now.

Thanks to Bruno who pointed out the megaraid module issue (see

Terry Gliedt     tpg at
Biostatistics, Univ of Michigan  Personal Email:  tpg at

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