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'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

 

'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hi,
I installed a Debian Squeeze (AMD64) system on my new DL120 G6 and it worked (i.e. I was able to boot it without any Problems). I've got two disks attached to the P212 controller which is set up to use them as a RAID1 array and this array contains/contained the the system.

Because I was really desperate about finding no solution for the disk performance problem (this issue is solved in the meantime) i also did update the controller Firmware to the most recent version (it was 3.00 I guess).

Now, after experimenting very much and after doing multiple reinstalls of the Debian system (with different partition alignments and block-sizes) i had to realize that I wasn't able to boot any more, even though i did every step of the installation procedure exactly as before.

I also tried to do multiple attempts to install the GRUB boot loader (manually, using 'grub-install /dev/cciss/c0d0', and also double checked the device.map). It always reported that GRUB was installed successfully to the /dev/cciss/c0d0 and no error did occur.

The only message I get (after the boot summary screen) is "Boot Failed" which doesn't look like a GRUB-error message (it actually looks like there were no bootable drives attached) and I suspect it to be due to the P212 doesn't report the array to be bootable (or it even doesn't report it at all). Looking into the BIOS 'Boot'-Screen i realized that the Harddrive is not unfoldable to select the RAID-Array (but I think it was before).

I also tried to restore the BIOS factory settings which didn't help as well.

I'm really close to throwing the machine out of the window as I'm looking for a solution more than 10h now.
Can you give me any suggestions how to make the array bootable again? I there a known issue about this? I there another chance to get it working except for booting from a different disk which is attached to the internal SATA-Controller?

This box really drives me crazy

Thanks in advance for any hint!
20 REPLIES

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

By the way this is the report from the CPQACUXE web fronted (i made it to run the cpqacuxe within a rescue system; I still can't boot regularly)

It seems to be virtually impossible to run the firmware installer for the 2.74 firmware within a recent Debian installation or on a Gentoo LiveCD.
(I also can't use the HP Firmware Update DVD as i have a really slow internet connection here and it will take more than five hours do download this iso file)

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

By the way this is the report from the CPQACUXE web fronted (i made it to run the cpqacuxe within a rescue system; I still can't boot regularly)

http://tom.back-in-five-minutes.de/report.zip

It seems to be virtually impossible to run the firmware installer for the 2.74 firmware within a recent Debian installation or on a Gentoo LiveCD.
(I also can't use the HP Firmware Update DVD as i have a really slow internet connection here and it will take more than five hours do download this iso file)

Patrick Terlisten
Honored Contributor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hello Thomas,

calm down. I can see that the logical drive is set as bootable. I would recommend to erase the MBR with DD and re-install GRUB. The system can't find any valid MBR. I think this is a result of you testing.

The configuration and install of a ProLiant is very easy. I did this a hundred times. There's no trick. :)

Regards,
Patrick
Best regards,
Patrick

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Now i've tried to install Debian Stable (AMD64) to a fresh disk (on which I have additionally cleared the MBR prior to setting up the new partitioning and boot loader using

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/cciss/c0d0 bs=4096 count=100

and some other sectors too) which is a Hitachi Deskstar HDP725016GLA380 and which is currently the only disk attached to the Server and it keeps saying "Boot Failed" exactly as before.

I've read through the diagnostic report and I found that information too which says that the array should be bootable but it actually doesn't boot and it doesn't report it to BIOS as well (at least it seems).

The Install is exactly the same as on each other system at least if you don't use a special sort of disks with the RAID controller and don't know of the WritCache being disabled. There was actually Problem except for the poor disk performance without the WC before upgrading the controller firmware.
Have you already tried to upgrade the firmware of a P212 to version 3.00? Does your controller still boot?
The report doesn't show any failures and works great and the firmware upgrade procedure (CP012538.scexe) from

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=329290&prodSeriesId=3885791&swItem=MTX-a2022caca9f645b39476d681a0&prodNameId=3885792&swEnvOID=2023&swLang=13&taskId=135&mode=4&idx=0

also reported having been successful, the only thing that doesn't work is booting (no matter whether it is Debian stable or testing and no matter how often i clear the MBR and reinstall the GRUB (which also always reported to be successful))

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Here's a dump of the flash operation:

livecd ~ # ./CP012538.scexe

HP Enclosure ROM Flash.
Flash Engine Version: 2.06.10
Copyright (c) 2006-2009 Hewlett-Packard Development Company L.P.

Device [Smart Array P212]
Flash this device? [NO, yes, quit] yes
Preparing to flash devices on the array controller...
Requesting flash - this could take up to 15 minutes...
Flash complete.
The array flash operation succeeded.
Patrick Terlisten
Honored Contributor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Good morning Thomas,

I don't think that you problem is related to the firmware upgrade. I think it's a "layer 8" problem. :) Double check the BIOS settings.

Can you give us the output of fdisk -l?

Regards,
Patrick
Best regards,
Patrick

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

I've checked my BIOS settings a couple of times but maybe I've missed something. Is there a particular option that you think might be misconfigured?

(As I mention I noticed that the boot order screen doesn't show a '+' in front of 'Harddrive' any more but i seem to remember it was there once. Pressing the return key while the 'Harddrive' was selected and the '+' was visible showed the RAID-Array (at least I think so).

As I said before I've also done a 'restore default settings' which also didn't help.

At the moment I don't have any access to the server and so I can't do a 'fdisk -l' since I'm not at my work place right now but I will be this afternoon and provide you with the information as soon as possible.

Thanks in advance!
gregersenj
Honored Contributor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

A sling shot.

You can check if the Smart Array is no longer boot controller:
Hit F8 at the Samrt Array prompt.
If you get a 4th. line in the main menu:
Select as boot controller.

Then it is no longer boot controller
arrow down to the 4th line and hit enter.

A BIOS / FW update should normally not caurse that, but someone did mention a known issue some months ago.

BR
/jag

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hey gregersenj,
thanks for the reply.

I currently don't have physical access to the server (and so I can't tell it for sure) but I remember having only the items
1. create logical drive
2. view logical drive
3. delete logical drive
4. manage licenses
5. cache settings
I guess I would have noticed such an additional line to make the controller be bootable again. The report of the CPQACUCLI controller/array diagnostics tool says that the disk should bootable currently and that's why I suspect the whole thing to be a bug.
See http://tom.back-in-five-minutes.de/report.zip for more information from the diagnostics tool. This might be a BIOS problem too. I also tried to do a hard reset by pulling off the BIOS buffer battery but it behaves exactly as before.

You mentionend that you remember someone saying that there's a known issue? Do you know what he did?

Thank you very much!
gregersenj
Honored Contributor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

No I don't know what he did, I'm trying to find it.

BR
/jag

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

So here is the output of 'fdisk -l':

http://tom.back-in-five-minutes.de/fdisk-output.txt

and these are some screenshots (sorry for the bad quality) of the system BIOS and controler BIOS screen:

http://tom.back-in-five-minutes.de/screenshots.tar.bz2

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hey Guys!
I finally got it working again! I downloaded the Firmware Update DVD from

ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/cd/p1040529012/v56950/firmware-9.00-0.zip

and the version 2.74 firmware from

http://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1/sc-linux-fw-array/p1997486963/v59217/CP012446.scexe

and downgraded the controller fw to that release.
Here's a detailed solution:



If you're unsure do NOT perform the steps described below.
THIS MAY LEAD TO HARDWARE DESTRUCTION OR DATA LOSS!
I do NOT assume any liability for the correctness of the following instructions, take this into account!!


This applies only to the Proliant DL120 G6 server, if a P212 Smart Array Controller is installed which was accidentally upgraded to FW 3.00 hence not bootable any more.




Put the cp012446.scexe on an usb flash drive (as scp or ssh is not supported by the firmware upgrade dvd) plug it into the server's USB socket, mount it, change to the mount point and run cp012446.scexe


For the less experienced users:
1. attach a SATA-DVD drive to the DL120 G6 (if it doesn't already have one). you have to open the hood and connect the SATA-power cable and you've got to connect the drive to one of the SATA-sockets on the mainboard (which has six SATA sockets in total) using a special SATA cord. You should preferably choose SATA1.

2. put the -- previously created -- firmware DVD into that drive

3. Check the BIOS settings (F10 to enter the BIOS-screen) to have the server boot from the DVD drive (maybe you've got to enable the internal SATA-Controller first and put the DVD (I think BIOS calls it a CDROM drive, but I'm not sure about that any more) at the first place of the boot order.

4. Have your DL120 boot from DVD

5. When asked select 'Interactive Firmware Update'

6. Once the boot is complete, change to the first console by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1

7. mount your flash drive (where you've previously put the 'cp012446.scexe' on) using 'mount /dev/sda1 /mnt' (though the first argument of this command depends on which drive/partition shall actually be mounted.

8. change to the /mnt directory by typing 'cd /mnt' and check whether cp012446.scexe is contained (using 'ls')

9. make the cp012466.scexe readable and executable for every user (for the sake of simplicity): 'chmod a+rx cp012446.scexe'

10. call the firmware updater (downgrade) and supply '-f' (force): './cp012446.scexe -f'

11. answer the questions and then BE PATIENT!!! The downgrade might take some minutes.

12. reboot by typing 'reboot'

13. check your BIOS settings (especially the 'boot' screen). 'Harddisk' should be unfoldable ('+' in front of 'Harddisk') and the P212 controller should be listed as a child entry if the downgrade was successful.


Excuse me for the poor english!
gregersenj
Honored Contributor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Sorry have been away, since my last post.

Glad you found a solution.

Just a comment on the downgrade procedure.

I haven't used FWDVD 9.0 yet.
But on privious versions
You could perform a downgrade from the gui.
copy the fw file to the packages folder.
from the gui select allow down grade.
select the fw in the selection screen.

It used to list all fw in the folder, that apply for the machine. Also if mulitble FW versions was available.

BR
/jag
zeroDefects
Occasional Visitor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Successfully installed firmware update 3.30 to a P212 SmartArray in a Win2008 environment.

At POST after subsequent reboots it keeps reporting an error related to the mass storage controller.

OS doesn't boot anymore.

I have downloaded the HP-USB-Key utility and the firmware-8.70-0 iso file.

I'm going to try to downgrade the controller microcode to the previous version.

Is this the right way?

Thanx,
Alessandro

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

i'm not quite sure since you didn't tell us the exact error message. first double check your BIOS settings.

additionally you have to consider that the above description applies to the 3.00 firmware of the P212 and i did the downgrade using the 9.00 firmware DVD. so it's hard to tell whether this is the correct way to do it...

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

(I'm using the P212 in a Proliant DL120 G6)
zeroDefects
Occasional Visitor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Thank to Thomas the solution he provided worked for me too :)

Shame to HP, this box is a real piece of junk, at least in this 5 users TS environment running W2K8. My customer's previous server was an ASUS desktop based solution on the same TS environment running W2K3. The integrated RAID controller was faster than light compared to this P212(w/256 MB), AND much much cheaper.

DL38x/ML35x series boxes are great servers but why should I push to buy so expensive hardware 4 just few users?

Thank you again Thomas!
zeroDefects
Occasional Visitor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

I realized I forgot to mention the box I was talking about is a ML110 G6 (X3430@2.40 GHz,4 GB RAM,2 SATA drives,P212 w/256).

Alessandro.

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hi zeroDefects,
I can't really complain about the speed of the P212 or my DL120 G6. You might have a problem that experienced too: What type of harddisks do you use? Probably your disks use 4k blocks internally instead of 512b sized blocks. The correct partition alignment and a special block size setting would make a tremendous difference then.

Another thing that causes a really poor write speed is that the P212 (at least in my case) came without a battery buffered write cache hence write cache is disabled completely by default as long as you do not activate it manually. (You need to enter the raid-controller setup screen (via F10 at bootup) and enable the "Override Write Cache Battery" or something like that). But be aware that without the battery pack and this setting turned on you might experience a data loss in case of a power interruption.
freexy
Occasional Visitor

Re: 'Boot Failed' on Proliant DL120 G6 with P212 RAID-Controller

Hi Thomas,

Today I have experienced almost the same problem as you:
I could not boot Debian Lenny 5.0.8 x64 after installing it on HP Proliant DL120 G6 with HP Smart Array P212 v3.5 configured as RAID 1 logical volume with 2 SATA 750Gb disks,

and I solved it another more simple way without downgrading HP Smart Array firmware,

here is the solution:
I have reinstalled Debian Lenny and on the step of the question of installing Grub on the MBR - I answered NO and then I chose to install Grub on (hd0,0) which was failed 2 times and then Debian installer offered to me to install new Grub 2 version instead of legacy Grub - I answered Yes to this question and then again I denied to install new Grub 2 onto MBR and then on the installer question where to install new Grub 2 - I answered to install it onto /dev/cciss/c0d0 - i.e. onto HP Smart Array RAID 1 logical volume MBR
and that is perfectly worked for me so
Debian Lenny 5.0.8 x64 booted up and now running :)
Anyway thank you very much for your post because it gave me hope to resolve this booting issue with HP Smart Array P212 RAID1.

Regards, Oleg