[CentOS] Installation problem, possibly RAID

Edward Diener eddielee at tropicsoft.com
Sat Sep 10 02:58:32 UTC 2005

I burned a DVD for CentOS 4.1. I booted from it and everything went fine for the 
graphical screen installation. I choose separate partitions for my /boot (hde6), 
/ (hde9), and swap (hde12) areas. My /boot partition was ext2 and my / partition 
was ext3. I installed grub in my /boot partition successfully. I have a Boot 
Loader, System Commander 8.13 which controls the MBR. The installation then 
nicely ejected my DVD disk, told me to remove any other installation media, and 
rebooted my machine. It rebooted into System Commander, I chose the CentOS boot 
partition, and this rebooted me to CentOS without a problem.

CentOS now finished its installation steps, among which was setting up a user 
account, and attempted to bring up the login screen. My screen went dark, the 
icon went to a waiting/turning icon for a long time, and I said to myself uh-oh. 
Finally with most of the screen still dark a small message box appeared with an 
OK button which said:

"Can not start the greeter program, you will not be able to log in. This display 
will be disabled. Try logging in by other means and editing the configuration file."

I pressed OK, my screen went into text mode, and repeated lines of:

ext3-fs error
(device hde9) in start transaction, Journal has aborted.

continued to fill the screen.

The only way to proceed was to hit the restart button of my computer.

My thoughts of possible reasons for the failure are these. My hard drive is off 
of an HPT 374 Raid controller, without Raid being actually used on it, and is a 
160 GB hard drive, 147 GB formatted. The /boot (hde6) partition starts at 
approximately the 56 GB boundary, the / (hde9) partition starts at approximately 
the 76 GB, and the swap drive starts at approximately the 106 GB boundary.

Is it possible that I needed to turn on LBA32 as an install option, since there 
was a screen where I could have checked it but did not ? Is it possible that I 
needed to tell the install, when choosing my partitions for /boot,/, and swap 
that this was a Raid controller, event though I am not using Raid with it, since 
I noticed a Raid button on the Disk Druid graphical screen but used Edit instead 
to set up my partitions ? Is it possible that CentOS either does not support my 
Raid controller or supports it in some earlier release which does not work 
properly even when not using Raid, so that I need to install the proper release 
of it somehow during the installation process ?

I am groping for answers but am really hoping that someone has some knowledge of 
this problem so that I can use CentOS. Everything went well until the final 
disaster, and I was keen on getting CentOS to install on my computer. I had 
previously tried FC4 previously but that wouldn't even get past my graphical 
screen, failing because I have a Matrox P650 video adapter, but CentOS handled 
it with aplomb. I am a relatively Linux newbie although an experienced software 
developer and computer user, so if someone could help me get CentOS running it 
would really be appreciated. Thank you !

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