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Old 07-02-2002, 05:59 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
Distribution: Fedora, Ubuntu
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Unhappy Installing RedHat On a Dell PowerEdge 2300

Hello Team,

I'm having trouble installing RedHat 7.0 on a Dell PowerEdge 2300 server. The problem is that when I get to the screen (RedHat Install), to install a custom configuration I get an error saying that there are no drives to install volumes.

The machine had been running NT, and there were definitly drives available. However it also has a raid controller and I believe this is the problem. Here is the conversation I had with one of our MIS folks;


"Ok, with RedHat, if it recognizes the drive it will initialize and format it for Linux. For whatever reason it was not recognizing the drives as actually existing. The RedHat site lists this model as certified compatible so I'm really surprised its not working.

So, I booted with a Win98 disk and tried running Fdisk on it. However it doesn't recognize any usable drives either. So I started poking around with the SCSCI utility and somehow I've disabled the drives entirely because now the machine wont boot at all.

It displays a "bios not installed" message when booting and then it just hangs.

I'm guessing this has something to do with the raid5. Is it hardware driven? Can it be disabled? What I would like to do is just use the physical drives themselves (I assume there are three), and I really don't care about the raid5.

- Sez"

"The drives are scsi drives plugged into a raid controller. You can turn off raid 5 but they will still be on the controller so you still need to load the drivers BEFORE installing anything. NT and 2000 both boot off the CD, then ask for the drivers, then load the OS. Somehow you have to get linux to do the same. You may have to create a linux boot disk, then load the drivers, then install the os to the hard drives.

You can try calling dell tech support. They helped me with an install a while back. They may be able to help with Red Hat. Did you notice any Red Hat drivers for this machine on their web site?


The RedHat site lists this machine as certified, so I thought I would be able to install and go on my merry way. But this is clearly not the case. Our MIS people are definitly not Linux compliant, and I don't have a lot of hope for Dell.

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of problem? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

- Sez
Old 07-02-2002, 06:14 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Distribution: Slackware
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The problem is almost definately with the RAID controller. That version of RedHat is pushing 2 years old, and the kernel it shipped with, 2.2.16, is older than that. RH 7.2 and 7.3 both have 2.4.x series kernels that almost definately have the support for that RAID card. You're having the same problem when using the win98 boot. It doesn't matter if you try to use the card as a regular scsi controller either as the OS still has to have a low-level scsi driver for the card. RH 7.3 has a nice walkthrough RAID part of the installer, so you'll probably be really happy with that.




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