Kickstart RHEL 3.0 Upd 4 on PE 2650 with PV 220S attached - UPDATE

Matt Domsch Matt_Domsch at
Sun Apr 3 18:04:15 CDT 2005

> On Mar 9, 2005 11:55 AM, Ronald Reed <rreed at> wrote:
> > You have hit the same problem that I have with a PE 2550 with a PV
> > attached. The internal raid is an accraid device, while the external
> > raid is a megaraid device. The install will always find the megaraid
> > first, which will make it /dev/sda. You are supposed to be able to put
> > device parameters inside the kickstart file, but they do not appear to
> > work. I have filed a bug at bugzilla (#150238), but so far, no response.
> > 
> > If I find a workable solution, I will let you know.

RHEL4 has a new feature in anaconda by which the installer can know
which disk you've set up in BIOS as the boot disk, and it'll choose
that as the disk to install onto.  It does this by writing a unique
signature into the MBR of each disk (if not already present), and
requires an extra reboot if it has to do the writing, but regardless,
it works.  Thanks to Rez Kabir (Dell) and Jeremy Katz (Red Hat) for
getting that written and merged.

Now, onto older OS releases (like RHEL3).
This one really is easy for a human to do, especially when you've got
disks on multiple controller types.  It's called the expert noprobe +
devices lines in kickstart method.  (Maybe someone can come with a
more clever name.)
At the boot: prompt, type:
boot: expert noprobe

Now, anaconda won't try to load *any* device drivers, and you get to
choose the driver load order yourself.

If you're installing by hand, easy, just select the SCSI drivers in
the order you want.

If you're installing from a kickstart file, add device lines that
indicate the order you want:

device scsi aacraid
device scsi megaraid

voila, onboard PERC3/Di aacraid driver is loaded first, then the
add-in PERC4 megaraid driver loaded thereafter.

Oh, and don't forget to include lines for your network chips then too:

device eth e1000
device eth tg3

or whatever you've got.

On Sun, Apr 03, 2005 at 10:40:05AM -0400, mark mclarnon wrote:
> I have an update for this thread I posted a few weeks back:
> Not only can my client not kickstart his PE 2650 with his PV220S
> attached BUT now he cant even load it using plain old RHEL 3.0 Upd 3
> disks. He claims when he loads the OS, it will load fine and during
> the first reboot AFTER the install the machine reaches a black screen
> with the word "GRUB" and does nothing after that.
> This is crazy! On a hunch I told him to try and old copy of RedHat,
> RedHat 7.3 thinking it would work and sure enough it did. What in the
> heck is up with the RedHat Enterprise 3.0 Update 3 CDs?
> I know (based on the responses I got originally) that others have
> experienced a similar problem but this problem appears to be at the
> boot loader!

Yes, the boot loader got put on the wrong disk (anaconda assumes
/dev/sda is your BIOS's boot disk, which is a wrong assumption in your
case).  With the above method, it won't.

That works great when you've got controllers of different drivers
there.  But, you ask, what about our brand-spanking-new PE2850
servers, with onboard PERC4e/Di controllers (megaraid2 driver) and you
add in brand-new PERC4e/DC card with your PV220.

On RHEL3, you're going to have a problem.  (we did this
right in the aacraid driver, somehow looks like megaraid2 isn't quite
so add-in card friendly...)  The PERC4e/DC card is going to get found
first.  If you care to fiddle with the megaraid2.c driver source, you
can "fix" this by switching around the entries

static int
megaraid_detect(Scsi_Host_Template *host_template)
        int     i;
        u16     dev_sw_table[] = {      /* Table of all supported
                                           vendor/device ids */
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_DELL,             PCI_DEVICE_ID_PERC4E_SI_DI,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_DELL,             PCI_DEVICE_ID_DISCOVERY,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_DELL,             PCI_DEVICE_ID_PERC4_DI,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_AMI,              PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMI_MEGARAID,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_AMI,              PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMI_MEGARAID2,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_AMI,              PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMI_MEGARAID3,
                PCI_VENDOR_ID_INTEL,            PCI_DEVICE_ID_AMI_MEGARAID3,

so that the cards you want found first come first in the
list. (DISCOVERY is the entry for the PE2600 ROMB).

Likewise RHEL4, only there devices are found in the order listed in

(yes, the ROMBs really should be listed before the add-in cards in
this table, unless you don't want the ROMBs found first, in which
case, forget it...)

So, start thinking more about using devlabel (RHEL3) or udev (RHEL4)
to give your disks good names, names that are meaningful to you
(/dev/PV220, /dev/romb, /dev/mybootdisk) and don't worry about what
name the kernel gives them (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, ...).


Matt Domsch
Software Architect
Dell Linux Solutions &
Linux on Dell mailing lists @

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