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Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Reinbold
Occasional Visitor

Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Hello,

I have a HP Proliant ML350 G5, with a P400 smart array (6 x 750 GB disk). RHEL 5.1 is certified to run on this machine.

After booting the server on the first Redhat 5.1 installation CD, Anaconda stop a the moment of partitionning with the error :
"your boot partition is on a disk using the GPT partitioning scheme, but this machine cannot boot using GPT". It seems impossible to go further with RHEL 5.1.

As it seems not possible to choose something else than GPT, I have try with RHEL 4.6 with no GPT support (using small partitions of 1 TB). This time, everthing went fine during the install process (the RAID array seems perfectly supported), BUT ... the installed system does not boot from hard disk ! However, booting from the CD in rescue mode after this installation shows that everything is fine.

Does anyone know how to install RHEL on the Proliant ML350 G5 ?

(by the way, I have not been able to boot from an USB drive either, even whith a simple dd of the diskboot.img)

Thanks by advance,


Pierre Reinbold
7 REPLIES
Nuwan Alwis
Valued Contributor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Hi,
Did you tried to re-writing the Grub. Some time you have to do this. because i have come across some issues like this while installing rhel 5.1 How to can be find in my blog lkdump.blogspot.com
Reinbold
Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Thanks for your reply !

In fact, the problem is fairly simple :
- The proliant ML350 G5 has a standard PC BIOS
- By design, PC BIOS are not able to boot from GPT labelled disks, only from MBR partitioned disk (<2TB)
- GPT partitionning is mandatory for a large RAID array of nearly 4 TB, as MBR partitionning scheme is limited to 2TB

The conclusion is thus simple : the ML350 *is not able to boot from the full array* !

You have thus to provide a MBR partitioned device (smaller than 2TB) so that the Bios may boot from it.

Two solutions :
1) divide the array in two, boot from a part partitioned with the MBR partition scheme. It works, but it's obviously ugly.

2) insert another device to boot. Quite interesting as the mother board as many additional connectors : Fast IDE, SATA and even optical. In fact, that's what I wanted to do from the very beginning.

The problem is that there is a *bug* in the Proliant BIOS configuration tool, that prevents it to boot from an additional disk (IDE, SATA or even optical).

It is of course also possible to boot from the CD-ROM drive (or maybe even USB with some tricks), but I do not want that for a production server.

As far as I know, the HP support *has no acceptable solution* to provide.
Farj_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

I'm have the same set up and the same problem. Does anyone already has a solution for this? So, whose problem is this supposed to be? Red Hat's of HP's?
Reinbold
Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

This is clearly an HP problem, completely related to the ML350 design.

The system *must* be allowed to boot from an additional disk if you do not want to break the array, and there is a *bug* in the Bios that does not allow to configure that.

On my ML350 G5, I have also an empty E200i array controller. It *may* be possible install the system and to boot from it (if it is smaller than 2TB of course).

RHEL 5.1 has *absolutely no problem* to handle the full RAID array of 3.75TB!

The only workaround that the HP support has proposed to me is to boot from the CD-ROM drive ...
Tony Hudson
Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Hello Pierre,

I too have a ML350, but with the P200 smart array. I am having the same issue as you with centOS (and any other linux flavor). For now I am going to attempt to take my array down to 1.5 T (from 2.5T), and see if I can get it working with that. I would very much appreciate it if you discover any newer info that you pass it along to me. Thank you so much

tony@fxvet.net
Reinbold
Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Nothing new at this time. My server is installed with the array splitted in two parts:
- 1 disk (in RAID 0 :-), 750GB) for the system :-(
- 5 disks in RAID5 for data storage
As far as I know, it is the only way to avoid booting from CD-ROM drive or USB.

As soon as it is configured like this, everything goes smoothly *but* I have setup the devices' labels by hand (with parted, not fdisk!) *before* installing RHEL : "msdos" for the system disk, and "gpt" for the storage RAID 5). Remember that the Proliant can only boot from a MBR partitioned device (labelled "msdos" by GNU Parted).

The HP support has proposed me to open a second level "research" ticket to see if it is finally possible to operate this machine with their "certified" OS... Wait and see :-)
Tony Hudson
Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing RHEL on Proliant ML350 G5

Hi,

thanks for the naming partitions advice! I finally got it all up and running. Now, if I could only get netatalk to work with samba I will be set.