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Last night I upgraded a server (Dell 2970) to have four 1TB Hard Drives in RAID 5 which leaves a 3TB block. I tried to partition this but keep getting an error that GPT is not supported so.

I found a site online telling me I need to run the dd command and right random data to /dev/sda. This is great (if it works) but taking forever. I have two more machines to upgrade today and not a chair in sight! Does anyone have advice on how I can avoid this issue beforehand?

Thank You for your advice and support.

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You should have gotten a proper server. Seriously. One that supports light's out - by having a remote desktop solution integrated. I was upgrading the BIOS on my servers two months ago and installing operating systems - NOT being at the colocation facility. Check what Dell offers in this area and get your servers upgraded. – TomTom Apr 1 '10 at 14:36
You probably mean the DRAC cards. The 2970 should work with DRAC5. – dyasny Apr 1 '10 at 14:38
@TomTom - DRACs are common add-ons to Dell servers. It certainly is a "proper server," it just seems that the OP left that option off. – MDMarra Sep 2 '10 at 15:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Do you really need such a large partition? I would split it up into smaller chunks using LVM on top of the RAID array, to avoid using unsupported workarounds.

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To the guys who mention the DRAC card, I do have a DRAC card but need to be here so I can upgrade three more systems after this machine is done. But thank you anyhow. The RAID array was created in the Dell Utility. Should I great a software RAID array in the CentOS installer and put LVM on top of that? I don't have much skills in manually partitioning my drives what I have right now is /dev/sda1 is 2 gigs for /boot /dev/sda2 VolGroup00 is 700 Gigs and than the rest is free space. Still getting same error about GPT. – sxanness Apr 1 '10 at 16:38
If you have a PERC5/i or PERC6/i in there, you better leave the array configured there, and build the LVM on top of that (should show up as a really large /dev/sda) You can create another VG on the free space, or use the free space as a new PV for another LV in VolGroup00 - that's up to you – dyasny Apr 1 '10 at 19:03
Thank you, this is what I did and it worked. Thank you for your help. – sxanness Apr 1 '10 at 19:20
Glad I could help :) – dyasny Apr 1 '10 at 20:41

You can install CentOS onto GPT disk layouts using a combination of SystemRescueCD, CentOS 5.0 and a patched version of grub.

Although it does involve unsupported work-arounds this is only for the installation itself. The result is a standard CentOS server.

It is quite a lengthy process but can be achieved and I have written up this how to Install CentOS onto large partitions using gpt disk layout on my blog.

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Richard, your link is broken, would you try to fix it please? Thanks. – Chopper3 Jan 24 '11 at 15:10
Chopper3: Sorry about that. I have set up a new blog and edited the link so it should work again. – Richard Holloway Mar 2 '11 at 23:04
I get a lot of people click through to my site from this link but the answer here has only one upvote and my post has no comments. I want to make sure that my post helps people get around the limitations of CentOS5 installation. If it doesn't, can you let me know so I can add more detail? – Richard Holloway Feb 15 '12 at 22:58
If your drives are 2Tb or less it's much easier to just use SystemRescueCD to convert the GPT partition tables on the drives to MSDOS (if you are stuck using CentOS 5 for compatibility reasons). I did this last night to solve the SolusVM Xen problem. – linux911 Feb 3 '13 at 13:14
If you have <2TB drives, yes you don't need to mess about with GPT and can use MSDOS. – Richard Holloway Feb 5 '13 at 11:52

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