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Raid 5 server fails to reboot after os installation

Posted on 2004-09-23
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hello all,

We have a new RAID 5 server we built here at work. We can install Suse Linux Server 8 or Win2003 server
on it, and all seems to go well during the installation. The software "sees" the storage potential of 100
gigs and allows us to format the SCSI HDD's. Everything goes normal until it's time to reboot the systam after the OS install. After that it just comes up with an error that there is no bootable disk.
It's like it can't write to the boot sector or something. If I go through the setup again the OS "Sees" the
partition and that there is data on it. It even say's something about a previous OS already instaled on the system. We have it configed with 4 HDD's in the RAid set and a 5th one as a hotswap drive.
Anyone else see anything like this? We have upgraded all known ROMS by flashing them already.

Question by:lontek
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 12135861
You haven't told us what the RAID controller is!

Expert Comment

ID: 12136212
in the bios, set the first bootable device to your SCSI Controller. The procedure differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Author Comment

ID: 12136275
Adaptec 2015S Raid Controller.
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 12136549
It was a bit tricky to install that card with 2000, you had to hit F6 during install and load the third party driver or the install proceedure would do the initial copy but not boot into windows but I haven't tried it with 2003 yet.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Jared Luker
ID: 12137900
I would rethink your approach.  I would put another drive in the case (10 gig or so would be fine), and get your OS installed on that.  That way, you can set up your raid AFTER you get into windows and start setting things up.

This is a good idea for another reason - It's a bad idea to have your OS and swap file on your data's RAID array.  It causes a lot of unnecessary work for the RAID.


Expert Comment

ID: 12138460
Agree totally with jared_luker about installing OS on separate drive - if data protection is what you're after, install a OS software mirrored pair of drives for the OS and put them on the internal channels of your server's (PROBABLY ONBOARD) SCSI controller.  This way you maximize throughput btwn the two controllers.  

Preferred setup:
Onboard (or other card based) scsi controller
channel 1 :OS mirror drive 1
channel 2 :OS mirror drive 2
set this as boot device

RAID controller:
The rest of the drives

This solution will haul a$$ and be redundant<secure>



Expert Comment

ID: 12140979
Is your SCSI array in *Adaptec* configuration utility marked as "bootable"? You should be able to toggle that in RAID array properties. Also, in system bios first boot device should be that array.

Author Comment

ID: 12143016
Thanks guys for the speedy and knowledgeable responses, but:

I appreciate the OS mirroring solution and that would probably work in a pinch, but I disagree with
the approach because these SCSI drives can transfer 320-500 megs a second. So much of the daily operations occur through the OS that I feel we would really take a speed hit. We put the money in the system and went with the 320 SCSI card for the performance and redundandcy.
We are currently working with an Asus engineer and we have worked with the folks at Adaptec.

(Good answer-different strategy- if nothing better comes in the way of a solution I will probably split the points between bootscoot and Jared because theirs' would be a solution, albeit not the one our strategy is looking for ideally) The other answers are solutions/tips also, but to the best of my knowledge we have tried them all.

The bootable settings in the Bios and in the Adaptec SCSI settings have been tried. At least the more obvious ones. We still can't shake the feeling we are missing a setting somewhere though.....

What makes us think that is: Last night we removed the RAID 5 Adaptec add-in card and went with the integrated RAID 0-1 chipset on the ASUS board. SAME problem! Even trying RAID 1 produced the same issue. Well at least that eliminates the Adaptec SCSI 320 add-in board as the culprit.
The ASUS engineer wants to get his hands on the same hardware and try to duplicate the issue. Hopefully it won't drag out that long.

Expert Comment

ID: 12150054
hi, there

What Server Model is it. ?? Dell Compaq

In Dell Server under F2 System BIOS is under integrated device's the system must be RAID first and then SCSI is this the setting...

Author Comment

ID: 12163499
Hello all,

A bunch of good answers but it turned out to be a driver issue in the end.
Although we had tried different drivers at the f6 prompt to no avail. The Asus tech pointed us to a  driver on the Asus M.B. driver CD. The drivers we tried off of the websites did not work but the one on the Asus CD did!

Happy computing all!

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