One of my Debian servers (kernel 2.6.30-AMD64) refuses to start the software RAID array that houses the root partition in initramfs. It dumps me with a busybox console. When I follow the necessary steps to continue booting it works fine (start the array with mdadm -A and then have LVM scan the volumes with pvscan and then vgchange -ay).

I've tried starting with boot options rootdelay=10 to no avail.

Also I've updated the initramfs and unpacked it to inspect whether it really tries to assemble the raid array (it does).

Output before dumping to console :

mount: mounting none on /dev failed: No such device
W: devtmpfs not available, falling back to tpmfs for /dev

and then some lvm messages saying it can't find the volumes holding the root partitions.

Does anybody have a clue how I could fix this?

  • have you changed the partition IDs to RAID autodetect? (set 1 raid on in parted) – Hubert Kario Oct 18 '10 at 21:36
  • yes, well, I didn't change them, they were already set on creation. Under 'Flags' in parted it says raid on all partitions that need to be assembled. – Jasper Oct 19 '10 at 11:11
  • Do you have your RAID described in /etc/mdadm.conf? – poige Feb 28 '11 at 18:41

You may need to create /etc/mdadm.conf and possibly rebuild initramfs. Check this answer for details.

  • yes, I have the /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf (this being Debian) and it's correct and I did update the initramfs and checked it and it's correct. I can also see that the initramfs 'knows' it's correct, because I can assemble with mdadm --assemble --scan (in initramfs shell). – Jasper Nov 25 '11 at 14:43

For starting server by hand, please try:

(initramfs) mdadm /dev/md0 -A /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1
(initramfs) mdadm /dev/md1 -A /dev/sda2 /dev/sdb2
(initramfs) mdadm /dev/md2 -A /dev/sda3 /dev/sdb3

and so on, all of your md partitions.

If you have LVM, go on with:

(initramfs) vgchange -ay
  3 logical volume(s) in volume group "pve" now active

then simply type:

(initramfs) exit

and if all is fine, your system will boot.

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