July 16, 2006
PCI SATA Controller is Working
In my recent post about creating bootable CD images, I talked about the reasons why I was trying to build a bootable CD: I needed to install an updated BIOS to try and get my new ($19, BTW) PCI SATA controller to show up.
The new card is built using a
lspci did show and identify the PCI SATA controller.
I decided to try it again in the file server box, so I put the whole thing back together and fired it up, entering a rescue mode using a RHEL 4 ES DVD that was lying close by. Nothing from
lspci, so I decided to button up the box (I had it sitting on the back of my desk while working on it) and replace it in the server stack so that I could at least use the storage I had.
Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise.
"Oh well,: I was thinking. "I tried. It just doesn't look like it's going to work on that motherboard. I guess I'll have to start planning on building the next file server. Let's see, I want to have PCIe in it and I want it to be and AMD Opteron, probably supporting multi core processors...2 or 4 ... or the new 8-way from Tyan? Yeah, that would be cool! Of course, RAM isn't an issue as any of the boards that I could use to build that system will support more than I need for a home file server." Wow, all that in the time it took me to get the panels back on and put in most of the screws. Then it hit me, "I forgot to put that Adaptec AHA-3940UW card back in. So I pulled off one panel, remounted the "omitted" card, replaced the panel and finished putting in the screws.
A few moments later, I had the server snugly back it's shelf (I'm not rack mounting, yet :( ) with the LVM cables plugged back in. I powered on the monitor and switched the LVM to the file server while pressing it's power button. I needed to select the second kernel to boot (I still haven't fixed the "newest" one), so I sat and watched. That's when it happened.
All of a sudden, there it was, on the screen ... the PCI STAT controller card's BIOS showing it had found the one drive plugged in and that there were no RAID arrays configured (it has some kind of "on-board RAID0/RAID1 capability, which I'm sure is actually FRAID). "It's ... working!?" Wow, cool. I hit
<CTRL>+<ALT>+<DELETE> on the keyboard. "Let's see if it does that again. It did.
It's always nice when hardware starts working, but sometimes, it can be a little frustrating not knowing for certain why it suddenly started working. Oh, well, it's running! I'm not complaining one little bit.
The only thing I could think of was that after having initialized the card for it's first time in the dual Opteron box and replacing it in the file server system, it was still in the same slot, so the BIOS didn't try to "re scan" the PCI bus fully as it saw the same device list and, therefore, skipped the card when I had tried the rescue environment and the
lspci command didn't show it listed. But when I added the SCSI controller back in (there are no drives on it, but I sometimes hook up external devices), the BIOS did rescan everything and decided it knew what to do with the SATA controller. Well, that's the only theory I have at this point.
So, I rebooted with a SUSE Linux 10.1 CD. When I reached the partitioning, it saw all 4 drives. Yipee! So, I configured the partitioning, reformatting all the partitions that had RHEL 3 on the
system LVM VG and creating the mount points for all the
data VG's LVs. In fact, I started writing this post before it started installing files and it's already finished, rebooted and been sitting there for at least 5 or 10 minutes until now, when I checked on it. I finished up the installation (there's going to be some more housecleaning and services configuration to do, of course) and then returned to finishing this post.
Posted by lamontp at July 16, 2006 11:23 PM