is there any way to use Compaq Smart Array 431 controller on 3.x kernel?

I have 431 board with 4 disks, that are seen by the controller during POST, but I'm unable to communicate with it on Linux Mint 17 x86_64 with 3.13.0-24 kernel.
I had it working on other machine with 2.6 kernel.

Tried loading cciss and hpsa and reloading udev, but nothing happened.
Also tried to recompile kernel with CONFIG_BLK_CPQ_CISS_DA=y.

The device is
04:00.0 RAID bus controller: Digital Equipment Corporation DECchip 21554 (rev 01) and according to Debian HCL should be driven by cpqarray driver, that I believe is controlled via config flag mentioned above.

I have cpqarrayd installed, but it won't start since it cannot detect the controller.

What am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


That equipment is just too old to use safely...

enter image description here

The Smart Array 431 RAID controller is pre-HPSA and pre-CCISS, dating back to the old CPQARRAY driver. So you're trying to use ancient 1999-era hardware with a 2014 operating system. I don't think that's reasonable.

The cpqarray driver was removed from the Linux kernel config options in version 3.13 - Here's the Git commit and accompanying notes:

block: disable cpqarray in Kconfig Mike writes:

"cpqarray hasn't been used in over 12 years. It's doubtful that anyone still uses the board. It's time the driver was removed from the mainline kernel. The only updates these days are minor and mostly done by people outside of HP."

If nobody yells, we'll remove it from the kernel tree completely for 3.15.

You could yell, but in reality, that board and anything attached to it should be retired. 4.3GB Wide SCSI hard disks, for instance :)

enter image description here

  • Yes, I know that is a really old piece of hardware, but all SCSI RAID controllers I have, are taken out of prehistoric HP servers, so I'm trying to do something with these. Anyway, thanks for the answer, at least I know which commit I need to revert in my sources.
    – daneos
    Jan 4, 2015 at 4:41
  • It's not only old, but I can't think of any reason you'd want to use one today. Is this for experimentation?
    – ewwhite
    Jan 4, 2015 at 4:43
  • Well, I need some failsafe storage (not much), so I thought of these boards lying somewhere around, instead of buying new controllers and disks.
    – daneos
    Jan 4, 2015 at 4:46
  • 1
    @daneos The only good reason to use one of these is to rescue data you can't get to any other way. If you need a cheap RAID controller, see eBay; reasonably modern used RAID cards can be had for $50-$100. Not to mention that there are now USB sticks that have more storage than the drives which will connect to that ancient controller. Jan 4, 2015 at 14:20
  • 4.3 Gigabytes disks FTW!!
    – ewwhite
    Jan 4, 2015 at 16:14

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