Hard drive weirdness.

Jimmy Montague rhetoric102 at iowatelecom.net
Wed Jul 23 14:09:57 UTC 2008

My guess would be that the Promise RAID controller preempts the system
bios and sees hda residing on its own strap. Secondary status is
assigned to the ide device on the mainboard controller.

That's only a guess, but I bet it ain't far off the mark. Have you tried
doing away with the ide drive and just running the Promise controller
and the two RAID drives?

On Wed, 2008-07-23 at 09:56 -0400, David Gibb wrote:
> I'm experiencing some weird behaviour with my disk drives, and I was
> hoping someone might be able to give me some hints.
> I have an oldish computer (AMD athlon 850) that I wanted to use as a
> file server. I had a 20GB PATA drive lying about, and I bought a
> promise sata300 tx4 card plus 2 500GB sata drives that were on
> special.
> I hooked the 2 sata drives to the card, and the PATA drive to the
> motherboard's controller, and then I installed ubuntu server 8.04 on
> the 20GB drive. Everything went smoothly until I rebooted after the
> install, when it couldn't find the system drive. I played around with
> the boot settings in the bios until I found that none of the 'IDE-X'
> settings worked, but 'SCSI' did. Once ubuntu started up, I found that
> the 20GB pata drive showed up as /dev/sdc, and the 2 500GB SATA drives
> showed up as /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. I found this to be a touch weird,
> but everything seemed to be working so I left it as is.
> I then installed software RAID 1 on the two 500GB drives, then LVM on
> top of them, samba, etc, etc. Everything works great. I still wanted
> to simulate a drive failure, so that I could verify that the RAID
> mirroring was working, and to figure out which physical drive was
> which. Here's when the trouble started.
> When I pulled sata drive #1, I get a blank screen with a blinking
> cursor. No GRUB, no nothing. When I pulled sata drive #2, I get "GRUB
> Hard disk error". When I pull both disks, I get a "System disk not
> found" error.
> I guess my questions are as follows:
> 1) Does anyone know why my PATA drive isn't showing up as /dev/hda?
> 2) I guess I could possibly explain the "GRUB Hard disk error" if the
> absence of a drive caused the drive number to change, but I don't know
> why the absence of the other drive causes a blank screen.
> 3) Any idea how I should tinker with this system so that I can still
> boot it in case one of the raid drives fails?
> Thanks!
> David

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