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How to deal with raid drives then Installating Ubuntu to a HP Proliant server

Posted on 2010-08-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I am trying to install the latest release (10.04) of Ubuntu server. Hardware is a brand new HP Proliant DL380 G6 with four SAS hard drives at 146 GB each. I want to run RAID5 or similar with one spare disk.

Since linuxinstallations are not my best area of knowledge I got stuck.

First attempt I just run the installation, choosed the 440 GB harddrive in the partitioning part of setup for installation and went on. All went fine until setup was done and server rebooted, it then stopped without any message in the beginning then trying to find bootable devices (I.e., it did not find the Ubuntu installation at all I think).

So after some reading I decided to go for software raid. I went into disk manager at BIOS (F8) and deleted the array so that I should be presented with four 146 GB disks during setup. At least I thought. In the config application in BIOS the array was deleted and it says: "No arrays definied".

This time, at the partitioner during installation, still only one disk shows up. I'm trying to give you a "screen dump" of the partitioner screen in the code section below.

Since it still tells me the disk is 440 GB  (raid5 with 3 units x 146 GB) there are three cause for this:
1  I failed to delete the array in the BIOS setup of raid array
2. Ubunbu installation has automatically created it for me (hardware raid)
3. Ubunbu installation "guess" I want i RAID5 with 3 units and have already done it for me with software raid.

Please guide me in the right direction.
Regards
Martin

Guided partitioning

Configure software RAID

Configure the logical volyme manager

Configure excrypted volymes

Configure iSCSI volumes



SCSI.CCISS (-,0,0= (cciss/c0d0) - 440.3 GB Compaq Smart array

                  pri/log       440,3 GB   FREE SPACE

SCSI3 (0,0,0 (sda) - 4.0 GB Kinston DataTRaveler 2.0

                #1 primary      4.0 GB    B   Fat32

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Question by:Martin_Radbo
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yarwell earned 167 total points
ID: 33435747
As it says "440.3 GB Compaq Smart array" the firmware RAID is still doing its stuff and presenting as a single drive.

Physical drives would show up as sda, sdb etc like your USB stick above.

I have installed Centos and Debian to a Compaq RAID server in the past, but memories are hazy. I do recall that it ran as a RAID array and installed to a single logical disk.

Did you use the "guided partitioning, select entire disk" option ? below is anoutput from a similar install :-

"Setup detected and suggested the following disk to manage (the virtual disk that the controller presents to the Operating System):
/dev/ida/c0d0 -  54.6 GB Compaq Smart Array

And the partition configuration that Ubuntu suggested was a simple "data + swap":
partition #1 of /dev/ida/c0d0 as ext3
  partition #2 of /dev/ida/c0d0 as swap"
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by:shlafrock
ID: 33435756
I don't understand why do you want to use a software RAID - AFAIK your server should have hardware RAID controller - when system boots you should be able to get into RAID config - just create a new array and define RAID5 with HotSpare - that config is quite easy.
Or maybe you don't have hardware RAID controller , but having such a good server without one is a mistake I think.
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33435762
The server do have hardware raid and I would like to use it if possible. But as I wrote in my original post, it did not work. If you read it again I think you can understand what happened. If not, ask again and I will try to explain in another way.
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by:shlafrock
shlafrock earned 167 total points
ID: 33435780
>> First attempt I just run the installation, choosed the 440 GB harddrive in the partitioning part of setup for installation and went on. All went fine until setup was done and server rebooted, it then stopped without any message in the beginning then trying to find bootable devices (I.e., it did not find the Ubuntu installation at all I think).  
 
What RAID controller is it ?
Where did you choose 440GB drive and how is it possible, with 3 drives RAID5 you have ~290GB ?
1) You go to your RAID Controller setup ( is should show while booting )
2) You create a new Array - use 4 drives one with HotSpare option
3) Initialize the array
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33435806
Well, you might have a point there. A 440 GB drive is strange, seems to be the size of three drives but of course a RAID5 would bot be more than 290 GB. But I have no idea if it is a raid at all, I can just tell you have it is presented for med.

Well, at first attempt, I just started the ubuntu installation CD and after a while, in the "partitioner" part of the setup, I choosed the 440 GB harddrive without thinking of this, and continued the installation.

I think the raid was preconfigured by HP in the first try, but I am not sure. But as I wrote, between first and second installation, I went there and DELETED the already existing array.

The controller is a HP ARRAY P410i controller by the way.
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by:shlafrock
ID: 33435825
ok, did you create another array after you deleted one?
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by:svs
ID: 33435841
No surprise there: you have four drives, so a RAID5 array with no spare disks would be exactly 440GB in size.

Is the server actually set up to boot from P410i controller?
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33435871
No, my idea was to be able to choose software raid (and configure the 4 single harddrives with that) in the ubuntu installation, but as I said, the Ubuntu install program had obv. created the array (hardware raid) for me. It had made a raid5 array with all four drives included.  Yes, that is no surprise to be 440 GB...  
:-)

This could be fine for me, but after installation that way (first time installation) the server could not reboot.

I am trying once more right now, but this time I have manually created the raid array in the bios F8 setup, with one spare drive, and the installation now accept that and show a 286 GB drive instead.
So far so good.

Now the installation is done, rebooting, server is trying to find any boot device, trying C:\-drive....

It is told to boot from P410i controller yes. And this time I think it does, I have even tried to enter F11 to manually choose boot drive.

Unfortunately the result after boot is an immediate red screen with error messages, starting with: "Illegal Opcode" and quite a lot of info like: EAX=000E0005 and similar.

I think Ubuntu has problem with this raid controller/driver in some way. Therefor I can accept to go for software raid instead, but then I need to disable the built-in raid controller so that Ubuntu does not try to autoconfig the hardware raid for me.

Are my thoughts correct in this case?
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 166 total points
ID: 33435954
You can't disable RAID on a Smart Array Controller (you've got a P400 in your server). Although you deleted your array it probably created a default one while it was booting but if you don't configure one you won't see any hard disk. All HP have on installing Ubuntu is at ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/pubsw-linux/p1976866454/v55141/Ubuntu-ProLiant-Support-Notes-20090730.pdf

I think the Ubuntu installer mis-detects the Smart Array Controller as something else so you have to download the correct driver for the P400 from HP and tell it to use that during installation.
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Expert Comment

by:svs
ID: 33439128
I don't think that Ubuntu installer has code to configure CCISS (SmartArray) RAID controllers.

Before red screen, do you see GRUB boot menu?  Can you make a screenshot of the red screen?
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33439735
Please see attached file for screenshot.

No GRUB screen at all, I think this error comes first and then nothing more of course...  
;-)
screendump.jpg
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33439743
andyalder: I'm not an expert in installing linux-distributions so I know I need more exact instruction if I should be able to use a special driver during installation. And I have no clue where to find it either.

In general terms, there must be plenty of people out there using HP:s standard servers for running Linux, so I still hope for someone who has actually done this and succeded.

Anyone?
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Expert Comment

by:svs
ID: 33439897
This is a message from HP's firmware, and the CS:EIP pair might point to GRUB code (stage2 bootstrap, perhaps).

Google doesn't have a plain answer to this problem, but you can first try to update system and SmartArray firmware, and then reinstall :-)
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by:yarwell
ID: 33439943
I would try Centos or Debian to see if you get the same issues. Ubuntu are using Grub 2 now and that might be part of the story. I have installed both on this type of machine (not the exact one, but an HP hardware RAID).
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Author Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33553497
After trying several different version of Ubuntu server I finally tried 9.10 and oops, it just worked out. Strange since both 9.04 and 8.10 were supported due to HP and Ubuntu as far as I could see.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Martin_Radbo
ID: 33840543
No
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Expert Comment

by:MentalSolutions
ID: 33859988
You can't disable RAID on a Smart Array Controller (you've got a P400 in your server). Although you deleted your array it probably created a default one while it was booting but if you don't configure one you won't see any hard disk. All HP have on installing Ubuntu is at ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/pubsw-linux/p1976866454/v55141/Ubuntu-ProLiant-Support-Notes-20090730.pdf

I think the Ubuntu installer mis-detects the Smart Array Controller as something else so you have to download the correct driver for the P400 from HP and tell it to use that during installation.
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