Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to install CentOS 5.7 on an HP Proliant DL380 G5 (with an HP P400 Smart Array RAID controller) and am getting the following error during the text mode installer:

ERROR: pdc: reading /dev/sda[Input/output error]

Input/output error during read on /dev/sda

To me, this sounds like either a faulty drive or unsupported hardware. That being said, the server appears to be fine (I'm in the process of running diagnostics) and I see it listed on the RedHat HCL:

Is there anything else I can be checking?

share|improve this question
A proliant probably has a raid controller. Is the raid array initialized? – Dmitri Chubarov Jun 15 '12 at 17:49
@DmitriChubarov It does indeed - HP P400 Smart Array RAID. Can you please clarify what you mean by initialize? – Mike B Jun 15 '12 at 17:52
Mike, When you set up a new server, on the first boot you enter the RAID BIOS and configure the array. – Dmitri Chubarov Jun 15 '12 at 17:53
See this array configuration guide – Dmitri Chubarov Jun 15 '12 at 17:57
@DmitriChubarov Perfect. I'll check it out. Thank you. – Mike B Jun 15 '12 at 18:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The HP ProLiant DL380 G5 should have an internal Smart Array P400 RAID controller. That controller uses the CCISS block driver under Red Hat/CentOS 5.x. This would present your logical devices to the OS as /dev/cciss/c0dXpY, where X is the controller number and Y is the partition number. For most systems, look for /dev/cciss/c0d0.

You may be selecting the wrong device to install to. Is there a USB device plugged into the server? There aren't any other devices in a standard DL380 G5 that would register as SCSI. The CD drive in that system would be /dev/hda.

Watch the BIOS messages as you boot the system, though. There is an option to enter the ORCA BIOS configuration utility for the P400 controller. Press F8. There needs to be at least one logical drive available for you to install to.

In the CentOS installation screen, it should show you the type of device you're installing to. Where in the process does this error surface?

Note: newer HP controllers, such as the Smart Array P410, use the new HPSA driver on current operating systems. They would show up using the /dev/sdX scheme, e.g /dev/sda1.

share|improve this answer
  1. Try the disk in another server.
  2. Check cables.
  3. Check Smart, do tests
  4. check for badblocks
share|improve this answer
Sorry. I should have clarified -- It has a raid controller (HP P400 Smart Array RAID). Would those tests still be valid in that case? – Mike B Jun 15 '12 at 17:51
Does the RAID controller sees the disks? Have you initializes the array? – Stone Jun 15 '12 at 17:57
I'll check, thanks. – Mike B Jun 15 '12 at 18:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.