[CentOS] Dell mirror raid boot problems

Gregory P. Ennis PoMec at PoMec.Net
Wed Apr 29 03:20:21 UTC 2009

On Mon, 2009-04-27 at 18:06 -0700, John R Pierce wrote:
> Gregory P. Ennis wrote:
> > Everyone,
> >
> > I was recently given a Dell raid 386 server that had drives that had
> > gone bad.  I replaced the drives with a couple terrabyte sata Seagate
> > drives, and set up the bios for a mirrored raid configuration.
> >
> > I was able to install Centos 5.2 without difficulty, but when it was
> > time to perform the 1st boot it went to grub instead of booting off of
> > one of the mirrored drives.
> >
> > I could not figure out how to boot through grub, so I changed the bios
> > to look at both drives unmirrored.  At that point I was able to boot to
> > one of the drives, and the second drive was not mounted.
> >
> > The raid logic is within the bios and mother board of the Dell machine.
> > Can any of you point me to some literature about making this system work
> > as a mirrored raid system.
> >   
> What model Dell server is this?  Surely, this isn't a 386 (16 to 40mhz 
> from circa 1989?!?)     What Dell RAID controller model does it have?  
> They are pretty much all called PERC something, but there are many 
> generations.      Is this a true raid (controller based, with a battery 
> backed write cache), or a bogus soft (fake) raid setup?  if its the 
> latter, I'd set it up with linux native raid, and not use the BIOS raid 
> at all

Thanks for everyone's comments.

To make things as clear as I can this is a DELL XPS Gen 2 Series a 32
bit machine using an i386 Centos OS 5.2 that was automatically upgraded
to 5.3 by yum.

The RAID controller appears to be on the mother board to me.  The CPU is
an Intel Pentium 4 3.00GHz.    BIOS version of A02.

In the bios I can turn on RAID on but when the system boots I get a grub
prompt.  The only way to get the system to boot is to turn off the RAID
configuration and boot to one drive.  

I have not seen anything regarding PERC.  The SATA drives are connected
directly to the motherboard.

I have still not been able to make it work as RAID.

Thanks to everyone for your help.  This is my first RAID controller.


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