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Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

 
haxin
Occasional Contributor

Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

I have a couple of Compaq Proliant servers at home that I received from work collecting dust and I want to put them to good use. I installed OpenBSD a while ago and it worked beautifully except for the fact that it doesn't have SMP support :) so I installed FreeBSD which worked like a champ! I let the machine sit for a while and just let it go until I recently got my hands on a copy of RH9. I figured why not - lets go crazy and install it on both of my machines.

For clarification:
The "dual" machine is a dual pentium pro 200 with 512k cache each chip and has 256MB of ram.
The "quad" machine is a quad pentium pro 200 with 512k cache each ship and has 384MB of ram.)

I don't know the model number of my machines but they're both identical except I cannibalized another server to make a quad machine. I am confident that they're ProLiant 5000's; I just don't know what series.

I popped the CD in and the syetem surprisingly booted fine without a problem. At the boot: prompt I hit enter which brought me to a nice screen that said that I didn't have enough memory. Clearly this was a mistake. I went ahead and entered "linux mem=393216K" and watched as it booted up. Everything went along just fine until it reported a Kernel panic:

EXT2-fs: unable to read superblock
cramfs: wrong magic
FAT: unable to read boot sector
isofs_read_super: bread failed, dev=09:02, iso_blknum=16, block=32
Kernel panic: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on 09:02

At this point the system was frozen with the caps and scroll lock lights blinking. (percussive mantenance on the keyboard results in various keyboard: unknown scancode or sequence errors) After rebooting I tried entering "linux mem=384M" thinking that maybe it didn't like "K" and I achieved the same results. (Mind you the machine works fine with OpenBSD and FreeBSD but then again those are two totally different Unix kernel based OS'.) At this point I was stumped. I tried using "linux expert" however that returned me to the not enough memory error and "linux expert mem=XXXM" results in a kernel panic. I even tried "linux expert mem=exactmap mem=640@0k mem=383@1m" (or something to that effect - I can't remember the exact params however you get the right idea) but that simply locked the machine after it says "Uncompressing Linux....OK"

I did quite a bit of searching and spent a lot of time on http://www.cpqlinux.com/ reading the documentation but it doesn't necessarily apply to my situation. For whatever reason the system will boot off of that CD just fine, but it will not boot ANY other Linux or Unix CD I have. For a while I thought that the CD's went bad or something but when I pop them in my other machines they work just fine. The RH9 cd I have is a copy of a legit copy that was recently purchased by my company for testing purposes (not that it really matters) and it works on the other machines that we've used it on in the office (Compaq EVO 500's) but then again this is a completely different architechture.

I went ahead and reconfigured the machine with the Compaq SmartStart CD and set it up for Linux. I then created some boot disks for RH9 and popped them in. They worked fine but got me to that same Kernel Panic or not enough memory error. Some documentation that I had read mentioned the fact that it doesn't have drivers for the onboard SCSI SO a CD install wouldn't work, and one would have to do a network install. I don't care what media I use I just want the darn thing to work! I've been working with this since Sunday and I decided to ask around yesterday hoping that someone had any information that could help me. So far nothing.

Any information would greatly be appreciated.
7 REPLIES
Morten Lange
Occasional Advisor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

Hi,

You say that this might be because of lacking support for the SCSI controller. So it seems you'll have to find out which model and make you have and download or produce a driver disk.
one driver disk at least is in image form on the RedHat CD1.

HTH,
Morten Lange
Its a _N_Iceland
Sven Geschke
Frequent Advisor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

Hi

I have a similar setup (Proliant 5000 R, 4 PPRo 200/512 CPUs, 1 GB of RAM) and I've got it working fine. Here some hints:

1. Do it from scratch! Use the SystemErase utility to completely clear your NVRAM to have the Machine in a defined state of being.

2. make sure that the most recent Rompaq and the newest firmware version for the array controller are installed (if you don't have a SmartStart CD <= Version 5.5, the Rompaqs are available for download and have to be unzipped to floppys). AFAIK, the links can be found on Rich Black's "cpqlinux.com" website.

3. the memory issue: When the linux install screen appears, type "linux mem=exactmapmem=640K@0Mmem=383M@1M
This should save the Installationkernel from being puzzled about your memory size. Actually you should append those commands to your bootloader configuration file as well, once the system is installed.

4. the disk issue: Depending on what type of controller you use (I tried the SmartArray 2/P as well as the SmartArray2/DH, which both worked fine) you should make sure, that they are properly initialized and configured wwith the DriveArray utility and that here are *NO* unconfigured drives connected to them.

Hope it helps
Rgds
Sven
***ceterum censeo redmondinium esse delendam***
haxin
Occasional Contributor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

I appreciate your feed back.

The drives work fine last I checked. They worked fine in OpenBSD before I performed the system erase utility and I believe that they have been properly configured using the SmartStart CD. Now, it could be a driver
issue but what do I need to type at the startup screen in order to tell the system to STOP DOING ANYTHING and load XYZFile.o from A: or D: (floppy or cdrom) and THEN continue? Is there such a thing? I type expert and it brings be back to memory error; expert plus the memory line brings me back to the Kernel panic.

Maybe I need to update the machine using a new SmartStart CD? Flash the BIOS etc. I recently got my hands on an hp Proliant essentials foundation pack which includes SmartStart 6.10 so I'll try to load that tonight and see what happens.
Sven Geschke
Frequent Advisor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

Hi

First problem: You won't be able to use a SmartStart CD newer than version 5.5 (strange but true)

HAve you tried to create a RedHat Install boot floppy disk and install from that? The the tools and images are on CD1 (in the folders "dosutils" respective "images")
***ceterum censeo redmondinium esse delendam***
haxin
Occasional Contributor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

Sven,

I created boot disks and I received the same problem: Memory and Kernel panic. I'll recheck the system configuration to make sure that the drives are properly configured and setup. I have two 4.3GB drives in there that I setup so that the system "see's" it as one 8GB drive. Maybe Linux doesn't like that? I don't remember if I did that in OpenBSD. I think it saw them as seperate drives. Do you think that maybe this is causing a problem?
Sven Geschke
Frequent Advisor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

It shouldn't be...
What kind of disk (SCSI/RAID?) controller do you have in that machine?
***ceterum censeo redmondinium esse delendam***
haxin
Occasional Contributor

Re: Compaq ProLiant 5000 RedHat 9 Installation Problems

Hey,

An interesting kicker. When the system boots up and it detects the RAM, Processors and array it says Smart-2/P HOWEVER when I go into the SmartStart CD and configure the drives from within that it shows up with Smart-2/DH (or a variant of, I should have written it down but I would have left it at home anyway no doubt!) which kind of threw me off. I printed a ton of documentation and if my memory serves me, the 2/P and 2/DH controllers are fine - its the 2/E and 'original smart array controllers' that one has to worry about.

Not that this should matter but the machine has four NIC's in there.

I want to thank you all for your prompt assistance! I understand that you all have jobs and lives too and I appreciate any help that you could provide me with. I'm currently trying to get together some information about my machine (make & model of machine, hardware components etc) so I can email Mr. Black of hp.