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Re: trouble booting system with I2O hardware RAID
- From: Aleksandar Milivojevic <amilivojevic pbl ca>
- To: For users of Fedora Core releases <fedora-list redhat com>
- Subject: Re: trouble booting system with I2O hardware RAID
- Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 14:00:36 -0500
Aleksandar Milivojevic wrote:
Basically, install process seems to go fine, however the machine doesn't
wan't to boot after it.
The system in question has one of I2O Adaptec RAID controllers. I've
configured LVM with one volume group and several volumes. If I boot
into the rescue mode, all looks fine and dandy. Anaconda finds the
installation, and I can access all volumes.
However, when doing "real" boot, it gets into trouble. All required
modules are loaded from initrd image (as far as I can tell). The I2O
modules are able to locate the RAID devices (I see all partitions
reported: /dev/i2o/hda1 (empty, unused), /dev/i2o/hdb1 (/boot), and
/dev/i2o/hdb2 (rest of the system under LVM). The only thing different
from rescue mode is that i2o/hda and i2o/hdb are reversed (this is
strange, but it shouldn't affect things since /boot partition has a
label "/boot", and all the rest is under LVM, so everything should be
device name independent). I have no idea why i2o device drivers are
detecting volumes in different order when loaded from initrd image
during boot, and by Anaconda during installation.
The last couple of messages printed on the screen are:
Creating root device
Mounting root file system
kjournald starting. Commit interval 5 seconds
EXT3-fs: mounted filesystem with ordered data mode.
mount: error 2 mounting none
Switching to new root
WARNING: can't access (null)
exec of init ((null)) failed!!!: 14
umount /initrd/dev failed: 2
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempted to kill init!
Ah, found it... I was bitten by that nonsense called file system
labels. Again. And it even might be that LVM volume information was
also read from the wrong place. The problem isn't I2O related, and can
probably happen with any other hardware configuration.
I'll summarize, so that folks with similar problems in the future know
what to do.
I2O RAID controller with two volumes. First RAID volume is used for the
system. Second RAID volume is used for some data storage. Since kernel
assigns them different device names during installation, and when the
system is booted from the disk after installation, I'll call them
"system RAID volume" and "data RAID volume". When I reference device
names, it is just a reference as what name system saw them in particular
During installation, i2o device drivers report the volumes in expected
order. /dev/i2o/hda is the system RAID volume, /dev/i2o/hdb is the data
RAID volume. Exactly the order they are defined in I2O BIOS. hdb is
not touched by installation process and it contained single partition
hdb1. /boot is installed on hda1 and "/boot" file system label written
onto it. hda2 is configured as LVM physical volume with the rest of the
system (including root partition).
After the installation is done, and system reboots, for whatever strange
reason data RAID volume is detected as /dev/i2o/hda, and system RAID
volume as /dev/i2o/hdb. This should theoretically work fine since
device names are never used as-is in system's configuration. However,
the disks in data RAID volume were previously used (they were not
clean), and since system detected them first, this was the root of the
problem. It seems that those disks had (once apon a time) system on
them, and set of LVM volumes defined, so that was used instead of the
"real" information from first RAID volume. I'm not sure if disks were
used connected to this I2O controller, or if they were used somewhere
else and it just appeared that this information fell into the "right"
spot when RAID volume was assembled.
OK, so I wiped all partitions from data RAID volume. This time system
actually boots (because it can see only partitions on system RAID volume
that it detected as /dev/i2o/hdb, so it reads correct LVM information).
But the story does not end here.
I created single partition on data RAID volume (/dev/i2o/hda), defined
it as LVM physical volume, and created new volume group with single
logical volume on it. Created file system, mounted it, updated fstab.
So far so good. Reboot. Ups, the system doesn't boot, and complains
about duplicate "/boot" labels. Back into the rescue mode. And sure
there it was. e2label reports that first partition on data RAID volume
(which is of type LVM and contains LVM physical volume) and first
partition on system RAID volume (which is of type Linux native and
contains ext3 file system) both have label "/boot". Ooops.
Apperently, Anaconda was smart enough to ignore the label on something
that was not an file system. Whatever goes on during "real" boot wasn't
Used e2label to wipe out the label from data RAID volume. This time
system booted, no problems at all. For good measure I wiped out logical
volume/group and physical volume from data RAID volume and recreated
them (didn't wanted to risk e2label used on something that is not file
system screw some metadata for LVM). All is happy now.
It could have saved me tons of time and grief if Anaconda checked during
install process (and detected) conflicting LVM information and
conflicting file system labels. Or if file system labels were randomly
generated (insted of using mount point names), like the labels usded by
MD and LVM drivers.
Hopefully this info will be usefull to somebody in the future.
Aleksandar Milivojevic <amilivojevic pbl ca> Pollard Banknote Limited
Systems Administrator 1499 Buffalo Place
Tel: (204) 474-2323 ext 276 Winnipeg, MB R3T 1L7
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