upgrading to Debian 5.0

Curtis Brown curtisb at yuma.acns.colostate.edu
Sat Feb 28 23:07:36 CST 2009

Jared wrote:
> The biggest thing that worries me based on what I've read so far is the
> mdadm/RAID issue.  I have a PERC5/i on a PE 2950.  Is this something
> that I should look out for?  I'm using hardware RAID w/ LVM, and I
> believe that mdadm only comes into play with software RAIDs, so I think
> I should be safe here.  I'd rather be safe than sorry, though.

I just wanted to offer my experiences. Although it's not Debian 
related, this sounds a lot like a problem I ran into with mdadm 
and SCSI disks.

I was tasked to install RedHat Fedora 10 on a PowerEdge 2650. 
The install seemed to work fine. I made my logical volumes, set 
the hostname, ip, timezone, etc. It downloaded RPMs and processed 
them just fine. Everything looked smooth until the reboot into 
the newly installed kernel. The kernel loaded up and then hung 
around a line saying "waiting for root filesystem". I tried a 
couple of things like smart scan the disks, redo the install, and 
so on. But I had to google for an answer.

I found a long-winded dicussion here...

The problem seemed to center around mdadm not waiting for some 
kind of scsi scan to complete, at the best I could understand. 
The most touted answer had to do with mounting your /boot 
filesystem, chroot'ing to it and then use mkinitrd with a 
--with=scsi_wait_scan option. Other people described using UUIDs 
in grub's menu.lst. What had worked for me was a reletively easy 
solution: adding scsi_mod.scan=sync to the kernel line in menu.lst.

title Fedora (
        root (hd0,0)
        kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00 rhgb quiet scsi_mod.scan=sync
        initrd /initrd-

I don't know if that's what you're going to encounter. YMMV, but 
I hope this helps somebody.

Curtis Brown, unix system administrator     
Academic Computing and Networking Services   
Colorado State University                   
curtis.brown at colostate.edu

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