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Old 07-12-2008, 04:03 PM
"Damon L. Chesser"
Default bios disk order vs OS disk order and grub

I had a complex setup with 4 hd and two controllers.

after either one controller (pci card) or one HD went bad (unable to determine
the root cause) I lost the ability to write to /home (mdadm raid1 off of the
pci card controller). kernel log showed I lost a HD (sdc which is win and
lin / and not part of the mdadm)

I rebooted. win and lin / are on the first HD on the onboard controller
(again PATA). While rebooting, zero HDs were seen on the pci card
controller. MB Bios checked failed saying the 1st (on board) HD was
reporting as cylinder was outside the range (paraphrasing, sorry, not exact
and I did not write it down).

Tried to install SIDUX to the stricken 1st HD without the pci card controller
installed. It worked and I was able to reboot. Re-installed the pci card
w/the mdadm raid1. It all worked.

So, I was looking at a MB failure, a possible first HD on the onboard
controller failure, or the pci card was knocking off coms on the pci bus.

I simplified. All the above is just an explanation of events leading to the
current situation. I bit the bullet and purchased a fancy, new fangled SATA
HD. Removed the pci controller with the mdadm raid1.

with just one SATA HD I installed win. Installed PATA disk1 of the mdadm
raid1 to onboard controller. Started to install Debian.

Debian installed just fine. Installed Grub to the MBR.

rebooted, no OS found. Re-installed Debian (only base system installed, so
just as fast as doing recovery), installed Grub to /dev/sda NOT MBR.

That worked, however the kernel would not boot.
root (hd1,1) was on the menu, edit it to (hd0,1), now kernel boots.

so, I have a situation where the install OS saw the HDs one way and the
installed OS sees it differently. HD0 is SATA, hd1 is PATA (as I guess grub
and the installed Debian sees it, but not as the installer saw it).

Of course I edited menu.lst to reflect the correct, working HD numeration, but
how do I fix Grub so that everytime I install a new kernel, or re-make the
initrd it will come out correct with out manually editing menu.lst?

After note: mdadm is happly rebuilding the raid1 from the "seed" PATA HD and
a partition on the new, big SATA hd. Even though raid is NOT a backup,
pretty slick. /home is intact with all data. Of course, I saw no reason to
have the OS on any raid, this being a home box, only the data is important,
not recovery time.
Damon L. Chesser

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