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Old 05-24-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
Fotiman
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Registered: Mar 2005
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Dell Utility Partition - Can't access it after RHEL4 installation


Hardware:
Dell PowerEdge 1425 SC with 2 SATA hard drives

Problem:
After installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 ES, I can no longer get the Dell Utility Partition to boot by pressing F10 when the system starts. I suspect it has something to do with the way I partitioned my drives or something to do with GRUB, but I'm not sure exactly what.

With a clean system (no OS), I can install the Dell Utility Partition and press F10 during boot to access the utilities.

Next, I install my Red Hat. During the install, I can see the partition with the Dell Utilities listed (in Disk Druid). I leave that alone. Next I create a /boot partition, ext3, on the first hard drive. Now the first drive has 2 partitions and a bunch of free space. Next, I create a Software RAID partition on the first and second drives, and then make a Software RAID device (/dev/md0) from the partitions. This is the swap drive. Next, I create a Software RAID partition on the first and second drives, and then make a Software RAID device (/dev/md1) from the partitions. This is the / drive. Note that I never selected the checkbox to make a partition the primary.

Linux boots with no problems, but now I can no longer access the Dell Utilities. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem reinstalling everything (which I suspect I'll need to do).

Thanks,
Peter
 
Old 05-25-2005, 05:39 AM   #2
Xolo
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This rang a bell as I lost a similar function on my IBM Thinkpad once when Windows got currupted.. the Rescue function (F11) no longer functioned, and I had to restore it by using a diskette containing a program that would restore the 'special' bootloader software that tied into the restore button.
But in your case it's just a thought since i'm not familiar with how Dell handles that kind of features like a 'Utility Partition', but to me it sounds like after installing GRUB, Red Hat hosed your Utility partition information (the partition is there, but the loader is overwritten by GRUB)
Is it possible to install the Dell Utility partition -after- installing Red Hat?
 
Old 05-25-2005, 08:38 AM   #3
Fotiman
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I tried recreating the Dell partition after installing Red Hat. That seemed to hose Red Hat, and still didn't let me into the utilities. That is, I could no longer boot the system at all.

One more thing to note... I tried adding the Dell Partition to the grub.conf file so I could try booting to that partition through the bootloader, but that didn't work either. I saw "Starting Windows 95..." and then it prompts me for the location of a command.com.

Any other ideas?
Thanks,
Peter
 
Old 06-05-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
mhallbiai
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you can resolve this in one of two ways. the "official" way would be to move bootloader from mbr to the first linux partition (/dev/hda2) and then reinstall the dell utility partition. the 2nd would be to use the entry in grub.conf that you made but you would also need to press the F10 option during POST and then select the 'boot to utility' option from your grub.conf menu.

when you reinstalled the dell util partition it overwrote the mbr again which is why you had the problem booting RH after that.

the reason the option from grub.conf did not find the command interpreter is because the F10 option was not chosen. if you hit F10 (it wont boot to the util partition but it will make the bios call that would normally boot to it) and then choose the option from grub.conf it will boot the util partition.

i am not sure how the sata disk are presented to RHEL. i would think hdX like parallel ide disks but i only deal in scsi on Dell PowerEdge servers.
 
Old 06-05-2005, 07:33 PM   #5
Fotiman
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Thanks. I'll give that second method a try this week!
 
Old 07-08-2005, 05:01 PM   #6
Fotiman
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A bit late, but I finally got around to trying that. It didn't work. I got the same prompt asking for the command interpreter. Oh well. I guess it just can't be done on a 1425. Thanks anyway.
 
Old 07-08-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
mhallbiai
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you are correct Fotiman. My apologies. I had never attempted this on an SC server before (of any version). My experiences have been with the higher-end (non-SC)servers.

i did a search and found this:
How do I install the utility partition on my Dell™ PowerEdge™ server?

it states: This option is not available on SC Platforms

i have learned that in ceratin occasions this is read as: Dell does not support it; if you get it to work great...

that being said, if it works before the RHEL install then it is going to be in the way the install is performed. since i do not have a 1425 around to even attempt a test i do not believe that i will be much further help in this arena.


[EDIT: cleaned up url]

Last edited by mhallbiai; 07-08-2005 at 08:45 PM.
 
Old 04-10-2008, 03:46 AM   #8
jdros
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Registered: Apr 2008
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Thumbs up grub workaround...

Hi,

I had the same problem with an SC1430 server. I found on the web the following workaround with a grub entry:

...
title RedHat Enterprise Server 4 SMP (2.6.9-55.ELsmp)
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.9-55.ELsmp ro root=LABEL=/
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.9-55.ELsmp.img
title Dell Media Direct | System Diagnostics
root (hd0,0)
savedefault
makeactive
chainloader +1



Seems to work for a long time now :-)...

Last edited by jdros; 04-10-2008 at 03:47 AM.
 
  


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