[CentOS] grub.conf corrupt in boot grub, fine in rescue shell

Sat Dec 15 05:42:01 UTC 2012
Kenneth Porter <shiva at sewingwitch.com>

I'm trying to load CentOS 6.3 on a used server based on a Tyan Tomcat 
n3400b motherboard. The first 2 drives are configured as a RAID mirror in 
the BIOS and the remaining 4 drives are not configured but apparently still 
have RAID metadata on them. I hadn't yet figured out how to fix that but 
went ahead and loaded the OS on the mirrored set.

After pulling out a drive from the unused set, grub stopped at the grub 
prompt. I can find (hd0,0)/grub/grub.conf but when I cat it I get 
corruption with recognizable fragments. I can use setup (hd0) without issue 
but reboots keep dumping me at the grub prompt. I booted into the rescue 
environment of the minimal install CD and grub.conf looks just fine. It's 
only corrupt when I look at it from the grub boot environment. What could 
be going wrong?