Driving me nuts - Dell SAS card boot issue

Eric Rostetter rostetter at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Mar 10 13:44:23 CDT 2009

Quoting dnk <d.k.emaillists at gmail.com>:

> i install CentOS (5.2 - 64bit), all goes fine for the install, but
> upon reboot, it will never boot off of the drive. It just sits at the
> remote card (press ctrl+e) prompt.

Probably not the same problem, but here goes...

I've installed CentOS 5.2, and Openfiler (rpath) on some Dell PE 2900
machines with RAID 1 system disk.  In just less than half the cases, after
the OS install, the machine fails to boot, hanging in the BIOS startup
process or when starting to load the kernel, similar to above.

Power the machine off, then power back on, and it boots fine.  I've never
had it hang again after that point either, just that first time after the

It doesn't do this with every install on the same hardware either, just
maybe 30-40%, rough guess...  (Note, I typically run about 5-10 installs
on the same hardware before it goes into production, hence my observations
and noting that it is "on the same hardware...")

> Any ideas? I just preferred to use the RAID card as opposed to a
> software raid (which can be done if i have to).

Nope.  In my case, a power cycle always fixes it...

My notes for 2900 installs have the following entry:

   * NB: sometimes the machine will hang on reboot when trying to
     load the kernel.  If this happens, power cycle the machine and
     it should boot okay.  No idea why this happens spuradically.

> Thanks in advance.
> D

Eric Rostetter
The Department of Physics
The University of Texas at Austin

Go Longhorns!

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