Thursday, 27 November 2008

Hacking the aic94xx back alive...

Been trying to get my software raid of the Supermicro machine to work under Ubuntu 8.10 x64 server edition, which was causing quite a few pains, the initramfs was not able to load the firmware and bailing out at the very early phase. Down here some guidelines, FYI: I wanted to end up with a system which has a mirrored OS, striped swap and striped data partition, as it is going to be a temp development box anyways:

* First make sure to disable 'SATA Raid' and 'SATA ACHI' mode into the bios as you are not going to use it anyways.

* Next while creating the partitions, first create all the partitions and set them to be 'partition for RAID' and next Configure software RAID. If you have two disks of 500GB like me, do the following. Create primary partitions 10GB, 8GB, 472GB on both disks and set disk 1 to be bootable on both. Next using the 'Configure software RAID' combine disks 1 to RAID 1, disks 2 to RAID 0, disks 3 to RAID 0. Next have md0 be ext3 which will be your '/' mount point. md1 will be your swap and md2 is going to be xfs and mount it at '/srv' to make it your installed custom 3th parties data/program dir. (Installing OpenSSH Server might become handy for the next steps)

* Next complete the install and reboot again from CD into the recovery mode, ensuring to end up in a shell at disk /dev/md0.

* You have to download the new firmware and accept the license at the scsi linux section of adaptec [1]

* Replace the file in /lib/firmware/aic94xx-seq.fw with the new one and just to be sure, also copy it to /lib/firmware/`uname -r`

* Next rebuild your initramfs with the command update-initramfs -k all -c

* Reboot your machine and you should be good to go :-)


[1] If you find yourself in trouble find the expanded firmware due to the bloody rpm format do mind to read and accept the license first and then download the expanded file at my dumping ground in cyberspace

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