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Old 01-29-2008, 09:25 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: NYC
Distribution: CentOS 5
Posts: 54

Rep: Reputation: 16
After loss of RAID drive, can't boot CentOS

I've got a new server with one DVD drive and 6 SATA2 drives. When I installed CentOS 5.1 in December, I set up RAID1 on /boot for sda1 and sdb1, with sdc1, sdd1, sde1, and sdf1 as hot backups. I created LVM for /, /var, and /home, and everything was working great, until sda1 died (it was a brand new Seagate Barracuda).

I thought I would get an automatic failover to sdb1, but apparently, I did something wrong. I tried booting into rescue mode and changing things around, so that hd0 was dev/sda1 (the new sda1, since I removed the bad drive) in for grub. I tried keeping /dev/md0 as the boot device (I even changed it so that sda1 was the only disc in the RAID).

I eventually used fdisk to change sda1 to a Linux (as opposed to Linux RAID) and changed my fstab to look for /dev/sda1 as /boot, instead of /dev/md0 (I put a '#' in front of the /dev/md0 declaration and created a new line with /dev/sda1).

In each of these cases, I found that my computer would get past "Boot from CD:", and get stuck after "GRUB" appeared just once at the bottom of the screen (under the "Boot from CD:" line).

Any suggestions? I have spent more than a day on this, and I am ready to tear out my hair!

Thanks in advance!

I found the solution. After reading this, I realized that I needed to install grub into the MBR of all of my drives (this should also allow the system to reboot if my first drive goes again). So, basically, by using "linux rescue" then chroot /mnt/sysconfig, I was able to go into grub, then
Grub>device (hd0) /dev/sdb
Grub>root (hd0,0)
and then:
Grub>setup (hd0)

I then repeated this for all of the drives in the array, rebooted, and voila!

Last edited by ABL; 01-29-2008 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Found Solution
Old 01-30-2008, 06:14 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Western Australia
Distribution: voidlinux with LXDE
Posts: 5,509

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well done.

You may wish to investigate other backup systems. The cost of external drives is coming down and dvd burners are an option depending on your data sizes....never used a tape drive but I think they are still the cheapest per Gig?
Old 01-30-2008, 12:33 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: NYC
Distribution: CentOS 5
Posts: 54

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Thanks for the suggestion. It's in the works!

I already have a RAID5 array for my /home directory (and for my /) with 2 hot spares (1, now that a drive died). I also replicate /home offsite (2-way, using Unison), and I'm about to set up external storage to store 30 days of changes to /home.

I thought I already had a belt and suspenders, but I apparently forgot to close the belt and button the suspenders to my pants.


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