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Old 02-03-2009, 03:52 PM   #1
ichrispa
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Dresden, Germany
Distribution: OpenSuse 11.2/3, Debian 5.0 , Debian 1.3.1, OpenBSD
Posts: 277

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SUSE Network Installer unable to circumvent raid controller


Hello everyone,

I am facing the following problem: I am using a MSI K9A2 Neo-F Motherboard (AMD64 arch.) and I am trying to install OpenSUSE 11.1. So far so good. The motherboard includes an onboard RAID 0/1/0+1 controller on the SB600 Southbrige SATA controller, which I deactivated via the BIOS settings because it caused a conflict with windows xp.

I use 2 (identical) 500GB SATA harddisks, one of which (sdb) serves as a backup partition and the other one holds the OS's (sda). sda is partitioned into 3 primaries and 2 logical partitions. I would like to install SUSE using the current partition layout. The installation disk is loaded from a IDE CDROM drive and is not associated with the SATA controller in any case.

I will repeat that to prevent any misunderstandings:
1) Hardware RAID (actually software on soutbridge, but whatever) is disabled in the BIOS.
2) I do *not* want to use dm_raid / dm_mirror / other software raid solutions ontop of the system.
3) I want to use partitions on the first HDD only for SUSE.


When I start the Network installer and reach the partitioning part (expert partitioner), I don't get to see any partitions of the drives sda1, sda2, sda3, etc. or sdb1, sdb2. Instead, I get a diskmanager combination mapped to /dev/mapper/beadh<something> when searching for drives in the "Harddisk drives" section. It remotely looks like this:

Code:
/dev/mapper/beadh<something> 496.26GB
/dev/sda                     496.58GB
/dev/sdb                     496.58GB
sda and sdb can't be partitioned because "partition is in use" and the mapped drive can't be deleted*. The numbers are not accurate in the post, I just intended to show that the raid information part of the disk is subtracted from the actual disk size, indicated raid is active.

I have tried booting with
Code:
brokenmodules=dm_raid,raid0,raid1,raid456
,
which works (modules are not being loaded. However, I get the same results in the partitioner, even though there is no /dev/mapper in the devfs ?!
*) which obviously is the reason no mapped drives can be deleted...

The partitions of sda and sdb can be seen in /dev and even edited with fdisk, but they do not appear in the installer (as shown above). When going into expert partitioner mode, I still get the option to choose between "BIOS raid drive beadh<something>" and "manual partition (expert)", which indicates that SUSE installer simply ignores bios setting in favor of local drivers.

This is actually not SUSE's fault, it's linux. I faced a quite similar problem with fedora core 10 (also unresolved).

As a last resort, I brokenmodule'd the ahci driver for the Southbridge - in which case no disks at all are detected...


Does anyone know how to get SUSE to stop using the raid controller and present me with my good oldfashioned partitioned disks to mount/format/encrypt/install/etc./etc.?

Thanks in advance for your advice and thoughts people.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
ichrispa
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Dresden, Germany
Distribution: OpenSuse 11.2/3, Debian 5.0 , Debian 1.3.1, OpenBSD
Posts: 277

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
And once again, I answer my own post...

The problem is not raid, as dm handels mirroring not as raid1 but with the dm_mirror module. brokenmodule dm_mirror, and you can access the partitions on both disks as you see fit.

I thank myself for the good solution and hand me a +1 chocolate cookie as a reward!

Btw: If you need to encrypt the SUSE root partition, ask. It took a lot of patching perl and mkinitrd scripts before it worked, but it is doable
 
  


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