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Old 12-12-2003, 11:24 PM   #1
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Problems installing SuSE 9.0 on Dell Poweredge 2300 /w SCSI HD's

The FTP download and installation seems to go smoothly, and the Dell Poweredge 2300's RAID 5 Setup (Adaptec 7890 + 7860 and a LSI MegaRAID PERC 2/SC all firmware updated) seems to be detected properly by the SuSE installation disk.
The Problems start after installation is finished and I get this error:

kmod: failed to exec /sbin/modeprobe -s -k block-major-8 err no=2
VFS: Cannot open root device "sda1" or 08:01
Please apppend a correct "root=" boot option
Try booting with PCI=noacpi, acpi=ht or acpi=off on the command line
DMI: BIOS: Dell Computer Corporation, A10, 07/07/1999
DMI: System: Dell Computer Corporation, Poweredge 2300/500, <NULL>
DMI: Board: <NULL>, <NULL>, <NULL>
Kernel Panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 08:01

My guess is that it stops detecting the SCSI config after installation is completed, and cannot find the /root upon this, but I am not sure, and I have searched the web quite a bit with no answer:

If it helps, the System Specs:
Dell Poweredge 2300 Server
PIII 500 x 2
384 MB PC100 ECC RAM
3 9GB SCSI HD's (2 Quantum's, one Seagate in a RAID 5 Config, effectively 17GB in space)
Adaptec 7890 + 7860 SCSI Cards
American Megatrends MegaRAID PERC 2/SC (detects as LSI, I believe this to be correct)
ATI 2 Meg Rage II onboard video

Also, Redhat 9 installs perfectly fine on this system without any trouble, expect for the need of a firmware upgrade for the RAID card (SuSE asked for this as well) but other than that, the RH9 install worked properly.

Any help is appreciated,
Old 12-13-2003, 03:50 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Long Island, NY USA
Distribution: RedHat, SUSE
Posts: 336

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Try looking at this site. This guy is the s**t when it comes to Linux on Dell servers.
Matt Domsch
Old 12-19-2003, 12:01 AM   #3
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Registered: Dec 2003
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Thanks for the link, it did not provide me with a solution however.

I have managed to boot the system into SuSE, but only through the aid of the boot CD; booting using only the HD still results in failure, I have also tried a newer kernel, but with no luck as well.
Old 12-19-2003, 07:40 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Long Island, NY USA
Distribution: RedHat, SUSE
Posts: 336

Rep: Reputation: 30
I don't what to sound rude, but I need to know what level a experience do you have with Linux. That way I know what type of details I need to convey to you. I am going to assume you are at immtermediate.
Lets see what I can do to help you.

What controllers have disk hanging off them?
What controllers has the root partition?

You have a Megaraid controller. Megaraid is LSI. Dell doesn't really make there own controllers they buy them from LSI and rebrand them Dell PERC. That card has been supported in Linux for a long time. That is good. You also have to Adaptec controllers. I think they both have a long history of support in Linux. Are the Adaptec controlles on the motherboard are the PCI? Just wondering doesn't really matter?
What I think is the problem is that the boot process is not finding the partion when booting.
The kernel is being told by the boot loader that the root file system is on /dev/sda1. You probably knew all of this already.
You are probably using modules to load the drivers for the Adaptec controller and the LSI controller which is good, but... The devices /dev/sda,/dev/sdb ... are assigned in the order they are found. Radhat labels the disk when installing, that way it does not mater what device they are assigned but rather what label is written to the partition SUSE does not. What has happen to me in the past is the OS loads the drivers on one order and creates the /etc/fstab assuming that is where the devices can be found. At the end of the install it installs the vmlinuxz kernel, installes the modules, builds the initial root device, installs lilo and reboots. The problem is with the creation of the initrd. It loads the scsi controllers in a different order and thus /dev/sda is /dev/sdb on reboot.
I can go through the steps to fix the initrd.
1)You are going to need to get the initrd off the hd
2)unzip the initrd from the boot partion (gzip -dc /boot/initrd-2.4.21-144-default > /tmp/initrd.unzip)
3)mount the unzipped initrd using the loopback option (mount /tmp/initrd.unzip /mnt -o loop)
4)edit the linuxrc and make sure that the scsi device that has the disc that you installed root on is loaded first.
5)umount /mnt
6) mv old initrd out of the way
7) gzip the initrd back to boot (gzip -c /tmp/initrd.unzip >/boot/initrd-2.4.21-144-default)
8) run lilo


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