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I've been using RHEL distro's for several years and always managed to find the answers until now. I know this is more of a hardware issue, but I've been working on this for over a week and trust Linux and the IT community to help more then HP.

I have CentOS 6.3 installed on an HP ProLiant DL145 G3 server with the BroadCom HT1100 IO controller and ServerWorks SATA Controller MMIO BIOS v3.0.0015.6 Firmware. This controller does not support large drives fully.

Here's what I've tried and the results;

  1. Stock setup - Freezes on the ServerWorks POST screen. Can't even enter CMOS without disconnecting the drives.

  2. If I simply disconnect the SATA cables before it gets to the ServerWorks screen and reconnect afterwards I can boot from a CD, USB, PXE fine. However fiddling with cables at ever boot isn't practical.

  3. If I enter the BIOS config I can set it to not try booting the drives but leave the controller enabled. This lets me boot normally but the drives are not visible in the OS (live CDs or USB installed).

I used method #2 to install and update CentOS. I have the /boot partition on a USB drive (everything else is on the SATA drives in software RAID1) hoping that would work around the issue but I get this

Kernel panic - not syncing:Attempted to kill init!
Pid: 1, comm: init Not tainted 2.6.32-279.9.1.el6.x86_6 #1
Call Trace:
[<ffffffff814fd6ba>] ? panic+0xa0/0x168
[<ffffffff81070c22>] ? do_exit+0x862/0x870
[<ffffffff8117cdb5>] ? fput+0x25/0x30
[<ffffffff81070c88>] ? do_group_exit+0x58/0xd0
[<ffffffff81070d17>] ? sys_exit_group+0x17/0x20
[<ffffffff8100b0f2>] ? system_call_fastpath+0x16/0x1b
panic occured, switching back to text console

I'm sure it should be possible to talk to the drives without the BIOS boot check since the BIOS doesn't see them in method #2 either, their disconnected when it checks, but Linux sees them fine. If anyone could help figure out how I would greatly appreciate it!

The other possible option I've come across is a complex firmware update. Tyan has a few boards on their website with the HT1100 and a ServerWorks v3.0.0015.7 update which says "adds support for TB drives" in the release notes. If someone could help me get the Tyan SATA firmware into the HP ROM file so I could just reflash that would also be very much appreciated.

Thanks for any help you guys can offer!

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It is an HP server. It's a ProLiant DL145 G3. Thanks for the quick reply –  Jeff C Oct 14 '12 at 20:26

1 Answer 1

It's an old server. Seriously, it's an OLD server. I'd place the date at 2005-2006...

  • 1TB disks did not even exist at the time the system was released...
  • This system only supports first-generation 1.5Gbps SATA disks.
  • We're talking about a system that sells for $40US on the used market.

Either way, if you wish to use this system, the most-recent blessed firmware for the system board (and onboard controller) is from 2007. Nothing else will work reliably.

Why don't you just add a dedicated controller to the system to use the drives? It supports the HP Smart Array E200 and a any standard SAS controller (e.g. LSI).

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That server belongs in a museum! Donate it to one and replace it with modern hardware. That'll cost a lot less than spending all your valuable time on it. –  Michael Hampton Oct 14 '12 at 21:21
    
Yup. I work in non-profit social services and we're phasing stuff like that OUT, not IN. –  Magellan Oct 14 '12 at 22:55
    
Believe me I would and badly want to, but I'm in start-up and need them to finish this round of projects so I can afford decent servers. I actually did buy a SATA card for it but the much longer SATA cable caused air flow issues, as a temporary measure it maybe worth it. Thanks guys. –  Jeff C Oct 16 '12 at 14:37
    
I would not be concerned about cooling or airflow on that system. It's not fragile, so you should be able to get by with the separate controller. At least you'll get the drive compatibility you need. –  ewwhite Oct 16 '12 at 15:27
1  
As a side, it is possible to obtain decent hardware at good prices. Today, in the ProLiant range, G5 servers are the oldest you should buy. G6 and G7 are preferred. –  ewwhite Oct 16 '12 at 15:28

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