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I'm a happy owner of a Areca SCSI card that has an open source driver that is not integrated into the kernel. I managed to load CentOS 5 onto a server and can boot from the scsi card now, but had a couple of questions regarding kernel updates, or situations like attempting to use a liveCD which doesn't have this particular driver compiled.
Currently, when a new kernel gets installed a la 'yum -y update', I have to manually re-compile the driver and then re-run mkinitrd. The problem I've been running into is that no matter what I've tried, I cannot get mkinitrd to include the dependencies that the Areca driver requires (scsi_mod.ko and sd.mod.ko). So I'm left with running mkinitrd, and then gunzipping and cpioing the resulting file, copying the two dependencies, editing the init script, and then cpio + gzipping the file back together again before I can boot into the new kernel. Is there a trick here to make this process easier? I've tried things like --force-scsi-probe and --with options of mkinitrd, but it doesn't seem to help, or it loads the extra modules AFTER the scsi driver instead of before it which causes things to break when booting.
The second problem I've ran into is how to deal with situations where one has a livecd that doesn't have the particular driver I need. Paragon's latest version of their partition manager doesn't support this scsi card either, and I'm trying to figure out if there is a way I can generically compile the driver so that it can skip the kernel version checks that will prevent it from loading. I understand that there's a possibility that this will cause the driver to fail, but I'd at least like to give it a try to see first. Otherwise, are my only recourses in these situations to download the matching kernel, compile it, and then compile the driver?