Adding 3rd Party RAID card halts Linux boot

Nathan Milford nathan at outbrain.com
Sat Apr 17 13:09:51 CDT 2010


Howdy

I have a Dell PowerEdge 2950-III (BIOS: 2.6.1) with a PERC6i (FW:
6.2.0-0013, DRIVER: 00.00.04.08-RH2) that is built into a single RAID5 array
happily running CentOS 5.4, and has been running happily for some time.  We
use it to dump impressions data and DB snapshots to.

(Possibly useful info: we use LVM and we're at kernel 2.6.18-164.11.1.el5)

I recently installed a RockerRAID 2314 PCIe card (
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/usa/rr2314.htm) and got an eSATA JBOD chassis
(http://www.rackmountmart.com/html/SA4001.htm) to add a little more cheap
storage for "less important" data.

Brought the RocketRAID's BIOS up to date (v2.5), built the latetst driver
from source, loaded it and everything was peachy. I built a RAID5 array with
a spare on the live system with the Web-based Management System (v1.4-10),
formatted and mounted it.  Yay.

We hadn't begun really using the volume yet when I rebooted the machine a
few days later for a memory upgrade and it hung on boot at the following
screen:

  Booting 'CentOS (2.6.18-164.11.1.el5)'


> root (hd0,0)

 Filesystem type is ext2fs, partition type 0x83

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.18-164.11.1.el5 ro root = /dev/obnas/root

   [Linux-bzImage, setup=0x1e00, size=0x1d6b1c]

initrd /initrd-2.6.18-164.11.1.el5.img

   [Linux-initrd @ 0x37cb5000, 0x33a982 bytes]


So, I power cycle the machine, went into the Card's BIOS and delete the
array and it booted fine.

I think the RocketRAID is confusing GRUB or something like that when it has
a bootable volume.

So I went through the all the BIOS settings, boot orders, array settings on
the RocketRIAD BIOS etc.. no luck.

I have a ticket open with HighPoint (makers of the device) but it is the
weekend so I don;t expect a reply for a while.  I've got a crazy week up
ahead before I am out of the office for surgery so I want to try to get this
done.

My gut feeling is that it is a common enough problem with add-on cards that
have their own BIOS and i am either dense or an awful researcher.

I would greatly appreciate anyone's insight.

Any thoughts?

Nathan Milford
Operations Engineer
Outbrain
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