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Re: [debian-amd64] Installing on a dual Opteron with root on 3Ware 9500

I installed on nearly the same hardware - but I installed it on a WD raptor on the onboard SATA (SI8114?) first, then I copied over the install to the 3ware array once I compiled a kernel with support.

I would say all you need is an installer that's based off 2.6.8 or newer; a custom install disk may be required for you, but you could make a custom kernel with the driver compiled in, or a module...

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004, Peter Cordes wrote:

On Tue, Sep 14, 2004 at 09:08:04PM +0200, Harald Dunkel wrote:
In The Night wrote:
I've tried that.
I've tried mkinitrd -r /dev/sdb1 too...

The problem seems to be me having root on a SATA-drive....

mkinitrd fails to find the sata driver necessary to mount
your root disk. See


I just ran into that problem myself installing i386 Sarge on a dual Opteron
(Tyan S2881) with a 3Ware 9500 SATA RAID controller.

BTW, my 3Ware card is on a PCI riser with an EEPro 10/100.  How can I tell
if that's slowing down the PCI-X bus for the 3Ware card?  It might be better
to have one of those on the other PCI-X slot, but I don't want to slow down
the PCI-X slot that the dual tg3 ethernet is on...  Can anyone tell me
anything useful?   TIA.

Workaround is to add your sata driver to /etc/mkinitrd/modules
and rebuild the initrd.

Yeah, from a shell on another console in debian-installer, I had to
manually add 3w_9xxx to /etc/mkinitrd/modules and run
mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd.img-2.6.8-1-k7-smp 2.6.8-1-k7-smp

(It wasn't working at first;  It was generating an empty output file.  I
think that was when I had 3w-9xxx, instead of 3w_9xxx in the modules file.
It mkinitrd didn't give any error messages, it just made an empty initrd.)

I'm glad you mentioned this, otherwise I don't know how long it would have
taken me to figure out why the initrd wasn't doing its job, since I mounted
it loopback and saw that it included 3w_9xxx.ko, IIRC.  No wonder I always
like to build my own kernel that includes critical drivers built-in...
I'll have to do that anyway to get 3w_9xxx support in a 2.4 openMosix kernel.
(It'll rock when they get oM ported to 2.6 and AMD64 :)

What I _really_ do not understand is why this is not seen
as a serious problem.

Yeah, I think it's serious.  It certainly took a lot longer to get this
sorted out and finish installing i386 Sarge on a 3Ware 9xxx card than on IDE
hardware I've done it on.

Oh yeah, I said I was going to post info about installer support for 3Ware
9xxx cards:
pure64 netboot 20040915: yes
i386   netboot 20040916: yes[1]
i386   pxeboot rc1: no

presumably the CD versions would be the same.  When PXE booting,
debian-installer downloads some components from a Debian mirror, so you have
to tell it you want to install unstable for it to find the kernel modules
that match the kernel.  You can go back and re-do the mirror selection
question and select testing after it downloads the kernel modules and
installer components.  (And you don't need to be in "expert" mode.  You just
have to "Go Back" after downloading the modules fails, and it won't skip any
questions this time.)

[1] linux26 image only.  Hangs when booting on Tyan boards unless you set
the BIOS to ACPI 2.0: no,  or Multimedia timer: no.  Either of these makes
Linux not find the HPET timer.  When it does use the HPET, it hangs while
"Calibrating delay loop..."  (without printing bogomips, so I think it
actually hangs while calibrating, not after.)

#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter@cor , des.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BC

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