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ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Hello all.... sorry for the cross-post, but it applies everywhere.... It has been a rough week. I have some questions, to which I cannot test the answers to (until Monday), and though I'd come seeking some help ... my Googling hasn't come up too well. Several months ago we bought a system from Monarch Computer, equipped with a Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW-P, which has a FastTrack RAID controller on it. I installed the controller, and dual 80GB hard drives, which after some trouble, I settled on the native ataraid driver, running RH 7.3. It's been running fine, until this morning, when I ...

  1. #1

    Default ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

    Hello all.... sorry for the cross-post, but it applies everywhere....

    It has been a rough week. I have some questions, to which I cannot
    test the answers to (until Monday), and though I'd come seeking some
    help ... my Googling hasn't come up too well.

    Several months ago we bought a system from Monarch Computer, equipped
    with a Gigabyte GA-7DPXDW-P, which has a FastTrack RAID controller on
    it. I installed the controller, and dual 80GB hard drives, which
    after some trouble, I settled on the native ataraid driver, running RH
    7.3.

    It's been running fine, until this morning, when I totally hosed it.
    Lack of sleep, no attention to detail, etc... and I went ahead and did
    a system upgrade to it. To the latest GLIBC, from RH 9. Most of our
    other systems are RH9, I completely forgot this one wasn't, and when
    the package I was installing requested the new GLIBC, it didn't
    register. Bad, bad, bad sysadmin.

    Anyway, RPM got hosed as per the
    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=89135 and by the
    time I had decided on a "downgrade path", my SSH connection got
    dropped when a disk failed in our firewall.

    Long and short of it ... GLIBC 2.3.X uses different POSIX threads (or
    POSIX threads in general?) and aren't compatible with a lot of
    programs not written for POSIX use. Including our primary database,
    the SSH installed on it, mount, you name it. It won't boot much past
    grub now.

    We spent a couple of hours rebuilding the firewall (not bad
    considering it was 1800+ miles away and the tech re-installing the OS
    has never used Linux), and are proceeding to the main system, which
    now that no one can log-in, is completely hosed.

    We rely on some programs that must stay on RH 7.3, so it cannot be
    upgraded, but I don't have a nice boot/rescue disk that will do the
    ATA RAID. Booting from the stock RH 7.3 ISO discs, RH finds no hard
    drives, and has no way to do ataraid. The hard drives are mirrored,
    and the / partitions are ext3, with the other partitions on LVM.

    I have the weekend to locate an acceptable "downgrade" solution, or,
    at worst, a complete reformat and load from tape. However, it would
    appear from the solution at
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/archive/5/2003/09/1/57607 that
    there is a possible solution.

    My question:

    a. If I boot from a RH9 disk 1 (ISO) instead of RH7.3, will it find
    the /dev/ataraid/d0 and /dev/ataraid/d1? If not, can I drop to a
    shell and load up the kernel modules to find them?

    b. Will the RH9 ISO locate the LVM partitions? If not, can I somehow
    locate them?

    c. Assuming I've managed to find the drives / partitions, is it then
    feasible to load up the RH 7.3 disk's in cdrom1, and perform a rpm
    -ivh --force --root /mnt/sysimage/ glibc*.rpm binutils*.rpm
    tcp_wrapper*.rpm

    d. If these aren't valid, is there a standard distrib / kernel I can
    build / setup an ISO to burn for them to locate the drives and do the
    downgrade?

    The goal is to bring up the system asap on Monday morning, so we can
    all get back to work.

    Thanks for your feedback. I'll be posting results (I can't be the
    only person with a ATARAID drive running LVM who needs a rescue disk).
    Anthony Guest

  2. Moderated Post

    Default Re: ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

    Removed by Administrator
    Nico Guest
    Moderated Post

  3. Moderated Post

    Default Re: ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

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    Anthony Guest
    Moderated Post

  4. #4

    Default Re: ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

    Oh, I know for SURE that the chip is a PDC20276 from Promise .... does
    Redhat 9 support it out of the box (ie, from booting off of disc 1)
    .... or do I need to create a custom kernel that I can (possibly) plug
    into the RH 9 ISO?

    --Anthony
    Anthony Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

    Anthony Presley wrote:
     
    >>
    >>See above. *MAYBE*. And why are you wasting time and CPU with LVM on a
    >>server with a hardware RAID controller? Do you have somewhere on backup
    >>or offsite a tape with your old /etc/fstab and LVM settings, for reference?[/ref]
    >
    >
    > Err ... nope, the backups are onsite. What are you alluding to with
    > LVM and hardware RAID controller?[/ref]

    I was unclear. With a RAID controller, you *should* be able to merge a
    large number of disks into a single RAIDset and have that occur in
    hardware, saving cycles from doing other sophisticated tasks (like LVM).

    What do you expect to gain from using LVM?
     
    >>
    >>*FIRST*, try this:
    >>
    >> cp glibc*.rpm binutils*.rpm tcp_wrapper*.rpm /mnt/sysimage/tmp
    >> chroot /mnt/sysimage
    >> rpm -Uvvh --replacepkgs --oldpackage {packages.rpm}
    >>
    >>I've never trusted the rpm "--root" command.
    >>
    >> 
    >>
    >>See above. Promise is *VERY, VERY, VERY* bad about Linux support. They
    >>say their stuff is compatible, and then they publish drivers that do
    >>stupidities like auto-renumber your IDE controllers so the Promise
    >>controllers are *always* first. That drove me nuts when I did a kernel
    >>change and had to rewrite fstab depending on which kernel I booted with,
    >>because a manager refused to permit us to use partition labels.[/ref]
    >
    >
    > Huh ... strange. Nope, I agree, and had I known what I knew now, some
    > 8 or so months ago, I wouldn't have implemented the hardware RAID,
    > would've stuck with software (which I know much better).[/ref]

    That wouldn't have helped against *THIS* problem. You wouldn't have been
    able to use the Promise chipsets *at all*, even for non-RAID use.
     
    >
    >
    > The contract address is valid, and the machine is in NY. I have some
    > good people in VA, but that's too far to be going to do what I need.
    > May be possible to have it overnight'd, with morning service to me on
    > Monday so that I can work on it Tuesday and have it back Thursday
    > morning. That is, if my current plan doesn't work (VERY reliant on
    > Redhat having some built-in ATARAID support ... any ideas about
    > Knoppix, or others?).[/ref]

    Various forms of hardware and software RAID have been in the Linux
    kernels for ages. ATARAID is not the problem. It's the Promise chipset
    and drivers for it: be *very* clear on what you need.

    Do you know the chipset of the FasTrak system? Can you have someone boot
    the damn thing and write down what it says? And what is your disk layout
    like?

    Nico Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: ATARAID RH 7.3, need startup disk ... RH9?

    It was a harrowing day, but I wanted to list what happened for future
    seekers of the path to being a superior being.

    I have VMware on a machine, running RH7.3 (same config as the hosed
    machine, but with no Promise chip). I booted it up, and did the same
    thing (over-wrote glibc), which killed rpm (seg fault when trying to
    run), but it rebooted fine, came up, and I could log in. Very
    confusing.

    After checking around, I built a custom RH9 Boot ISO (with ATARAID,
    which the default BOOT kernel doesn't have), as well as prepared a
    KNOPPIX boot CD for emergency use. My plan was:

    --Attempt to boot the hosed machine and login. Upon failing....
    --Attempt to boot into single-user mode. Upon failing....
    --Attempt rescue with RH9 stock ISO. Upon failing....
    --Attempt rescue with custom RH9. Upon failing....
    --Attempt rescue with KNOPPX CD (which DOES include ATARAID, Promise
    20276, LVM, etc... from BOOT). Upon failing....
    --Break the RAID, attempt to access w/o the RAID. Upon failing....
    --Scream, ship the box to TX for repairs.

    That being said, Monday morning came around and we were ready to walk
    through on the phone, having done the restores about 30 times over the
    weekend. They came into work, booted it up (step 1), and it said it
    could not find any hard drives (after grub and the kernel loaded). We
    rebooted, and went into single-user mode, at which point it found the
    hard drives, and booted perfectly. Curious, I thought, so we rebooted
    and tried step 1 again -- it worked fine. Furthermore, I could login
    with SSH, etc... Everything was fine. RPM didn't run, but rpm2cpio
    did -- so I restored everything using rpm2cpio * | cpio -iudv and then
    updated /etc/ld.so.conf. I then did a rpm -e of the glibc packages I
    had ed up, and then reinstalled the RH7.3, without a hitch.

    Which makes no sense. Friday, I could not login, could not startup
    Informix, could not get networked, etc... and today it worked fine,
    even with GLIBC 2.3.2 running on RH7.3 -- how WEIRD.

    If anyone can explain, please do. I was expecting a day of hell, and
    instead, at 8am, it worked fine.
     
    >
    > I was unclear. With a RAID controller, you *should* be able to merge a
    > large number of disks into a single RAIDset and have that occur in
    > hardware, saving cycles from doing other sophisticated tasks (like LVM).
    >
    > What do you expect to gain from using LVM?[/ref]

    Resizable partitions that I can allocate based on the owner's desire
    to launch new programs (ie, customer websites or a new database) w/o
    running into as many growing pains.
     
    >
    > That wouldn't have helped against *THIS* problem. You wouldn't have been
    > able to use the Promise chipsets *at all*, even for non-RAID use.[/ref]

    Well, I'm still not sure what *THIS* problem was, because by my own,
    yours, and everything I've read -- I was not in a good situation. I
    couldn't have written a simpler "restore" solution.
     

    Yup -- it's back up, so these are less important. But, around X-Mas
    we will be moving from ATARAID to software RAID, with a good restore
    solution hanging around.
    Anthony Guest

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