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  #1  
Old 17th February 2008, 10:37 AM
synic Offline
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GRUB Raid0 & Install "grub hard disk error"

Just out of interest ... calling all guru's.. calling all guru's... can grub be installed on a RAID 0 (zero) array?

I have just got myself a you beaut, super doopper raid card; a 3Ware 9650 4LMPL to be exact; hosed my system; ... twice ... trying to install this *!@*^!!! thing; talking about 4 install's here ... and then, in desperation and dispair, I happen on this thread in Ubuntu forum about a RAID & Grub ditty and it basically says forget Grub being installed on a RAID 0 (zero) array. !!!

Not happy about this ... not happy at all.

Is there any way around this? Or am I better off banking on a GRUB boot floppy or USB stick and leaving all my eggs in that basket?

I would love some help on this one, I just lost the last of my hair over this mess.

There simply must be a way to install GRUB to a RAID 0 array. I know that not have the capability to 'load' the 3Ware Linux RAID driver, which is supported nativly in Fedora 8 is going to be a significant impactor on this traumatic little exercise of mine, but, there has to be a way around it isn't there? It just feels like a bit of a waste of a $600.00 buck (A$) hardware raid card. All that money on a nice hardware raid card and it pulls a fast one on GRUB.

I can appreciate that a quick look over the GRUB Wiki might answer my question, but I was hoping on a 'low impact' lazy course of action here.

Takers anyone? Tips appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 17th February 2008, 11:05 AM
markkuk Offline
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The Ubuntu thread talks about Linux software RAID (md driver). Your card is hardware RAID, GRUB doesn't know or care about the RAID level you use. What's the actual problem that you are having? How is your RAID array configured?
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  #3  
Old 17th February 2008, 11:21 AM
synic Offline
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Thanks for replying.

My problem is, and I acknowlege this, that I dont fully understand partioning and how that applies to the partition that GRUB gets installed into and boots from.

I have tried 2 RAID 0 arrays, WindowZzz on one, with the MBR, and then a second RAID 0 partion on which to play with Fedora again.

For this exercise, XP boots off a dedicated RAID 0 array, and I disabled all the onboard native IDE / SATA ports to prevent confusion as to which drive to install on. The point being that only the configured arrays managed by the Hardwar RAID card were visible to either operating system.

The problem is more specifically that I get error "GRUB HARD DISK ERROR" when I tried to install grub into the MBR of what I throught is SDA1 (or HD0,0). When doing this, I got the grub error "hard disk error' and I was unable to boot even with the rescue disk and my repeated prodding around in the dark.

I also managed to get 'error 21' at some stage, which also, apparently, referes to GRUB not being able to locate a partion to boot.

When I tried isntalling to a /boot partiion on my 2nd RAID 0 array, it didn't work either and I had to repair the MBR with the WindowZzz disk in order to start again. (I know, obviously, that GRUB was installed on the wrong partion because the 2nd RAID 0 array wasn't bootable.) duh... I just got a bee in my bonnet and had a crazy thought that Grub had decided to reverse the partions for some reason.

So, I then plugged in / enabled my onboard sata ports, with direct attached hard drives, changed the boot order in BIOS back to HARD DISK, not RAID CARD (on an A8N32-SLI-Deluxe) and bob's my uncle, I get to boot.

So, I have, I thought, narrowed it down to the 'disk order' or the raid card, and then I happened upon the ubuntu forum about GRUB not being able to boot RAID 0 arrays. (I think this is a little weird considering it is an 'hardware' array, and should be 'invisible' to the O.S., grub, XP etc etc.

Suggestions. Or do I just need to brush up on GRUB because it's got me stumped.
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  #4  
Old 17th February 2008, 11:15 PM
bradchaus Offline
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you have to make a small raid 1 partition to boot off.

just 150MB or so ... dedicate the rest to raid 0

there is no workaround


the problem is that grub is not seeing the array as a valid block device on boot ... recheck your raid card settings.
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Last edited by bradchaus; 17th February 2008 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 18th February 2008, 09:24 AM
synic Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradchaus
you have to make a small raid 1 partition to boot off.

just 150MB or so ... dedicate the rest to raid 0

there is no workaround


the problem is that grub is not seeing the array as a valid block device on boot ... recheck your raid card settings.
Bugger ...

I dont suppose you have a quick link to a "grub raid howto".. would you ?

That means I am going to have to image my WindowZzz somewhere 'safe' to save me the bother of starting again. crap... really didnt want to have to do that.
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Old 18th February 2008, 10:12 AM
bradchaus Offline
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further to my previous post. i have to correct some things.

my comments about a small raid 1 partition apply to linux and grub for software raid.

if you are using hardware raid, the devices should show up as a block device off which to boot. like a scsi device device or something.unless the raid if "fakeRAID".

fakeRAID is bios "supported" raid, which is not true hardware raid. True hardware raid has a bios that sets up the array to look like a single hard disk. In that case grub can see it, DOS can see it, anything can see it.

The fact that you are having a problem leads to me to believe that something is amiss with the setup, assuming of course you are doing true hardware raid.

may i suggest some reading. the links dont apply exactly to your particular raid card, but there is worthwhile stuff in them ... you need to distinguish between hardware raid and linux software raid.

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/os.html#OSRAID

assuming your hardware raid 0 is set up correctly, you should indeed be able to boot of that array.

to summarise... either the hardware raid is not presenting itself as a block device at boot, or use linux software raid.
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Old 24th February 2008, 12:45 AM
synic Offline
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Thanks Bradchaus.

I have been looking around the web and, admittedly my searching’s have been less than 'concise' but I am still under the impression that I should be able to install and boot grub from a hardware based raid zero setup.

I have been over my 'hardware' setup and all looks to be fine. I am using a 3Ware 9650 series 4LMPL raid card with 4 x Samsung spinpoints setup in 2 raid Zero arrays. Off my Fedora install I 'manually' chose to assign and format partitions and only the partitions and disks as presented through the hard ware raid setup were presented as options. In short, I was not offered 4 separate disks to install to. I was only offered those disks as partitioned, so I think this my draw lack of understanding with how grub counts partitions from Zero rather than 1 as Fedora does.

One thing I have noticed, and I dont know if this is also derived from my lack of partitioning 'know how', is that Debian distro's seem to count partitions differently to Red Hat based distro's. Is this the case or is it just me getting confused?

Further, for some reason, when booting manually from Grub, I am unable to access my WindowZzz XP install. Even when I specify the (hd1,0) which is where the XP install is located, I am given Grub errors. When I specify the Raid card as the first boot device, I am able to boot into XP without error.

I will post again with my fstab, fdisk –L and my grub.conf shortly.

ta
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Old 24th February 2008, 10:45 AM
bradchaus Offline
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ok...let me try and deal with your issues.

bear in mind I am no expert on raid, but i think I have a good working knowledge.

Firstly, during the install, linux has control of your partitioning etc ... GRUB booted of the CD/DVD. So, obviously Fedoras has the necessary drivers to talk your array.

Secondly, GRUB is not linux ... it is much simpler. , In order to boot, GRUB needs to reside on a partition that the computer BIOS in its boot up process is able to read and pass control to. Even though the linux kernel may support your RAID card, it doesnt matter yet; grub still has to load before it can load linux. In fact, GRUB needs to be able to be loaded from the MBR. GRUB can only read BSD FFS, DOS FAT16 and FAT32, Minix fs, Linux ext2fs, ReiserFS, JFS, XFS, and VSTa fs; not RAID partitions, Your5fr computer BIOS OR[U] RAID card BIOS need to find the MBR for GRUB.

The MBR has to reside on something that the computer BIOS can load it from. So, that means that the MBR must be on the first sector of IDE DISK 0, or SATA DISK 0., or SCSI disk 0

Now, once the first sector is bootstrapped, it will pass control to GRUB proper, which then has to display the boot menu. To display the boot menu, GRUB has to be able to read, via the BIOS, some sectors off the boot disk.

http://tldp.org/LDP/sag/html/boot-process.html

It may be that your RAID card is able to present your array as a scsi drive. If so, maybe your computer BIOS can be set to boot from SCSI. OR maybe your RAID card can take over the boot process.

the point is, GRUB needs to be able to find the boot sector. If its not an IDE or SATA partition that it can read, or not on a "SCSI" device presented by your RAID card, it cant boot. It has to be able to read a partition that is BSD FFS, DOS FAT16 and FAT32, Minix fs, Linux ext2fs, ReiserFS, JFS, XFS, and VSTa fs.

Thats how I see it. I guess I will be corrected if I am wrong.
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Last edited by bradchaus; 25th February 2008 at 03:33 AM.
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