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I have a HP Proliant DL360 g5, and am trying to install archlinux. It has a HP Smart array controller with 6 drives (all green) creating two logical volumes (one volume with 5 RAID6 drives, and the boot volume with one RAID0). I used the ORCA (array configuration tool) to select the smaller volume as the boot volume. I installed archlinux (using pacstrap, and the Installation Guide), and I created a single GPT partition (ext4), installing syslinux and its BIOS bootloader (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Syslinux#Installation). When I reboot, Proliant says "Non system disk or disk error". I also tried setting the other volume as the "bootable" volume (in case I had chosen the wrong one), but this didn't help.

Is GPT+BIOS+Syslinux a viable booting strategy on this server?

My reading suggests that the server is incapable of EFI/UEFI booting, so I'm pretty sure MBR/BIOS installation is correct.

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    Since you state that the server is incapable of EFI/UEFI... this would probably also mean it doesn't do GPT. I would recommend doing an install with a regular old-skool MBR/Partition Table. Make sure to mark the boot partition as 'bootable'. You should be able to use lilo/grub/syslinux after that. – Sig-IO Apr 20 '15 at 13:35
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    Did you install using any USB or other devices attached to the server? – ewwhite Apr 20 '15 at 13:38
  • @Sig-IO Thanks for the quick response. I'll give that a go if nothing turns up. – Limited Atonement Apr 20 '15 at 13:48
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    Why not use grub like everyone else? – Michael Hampton Apr 20 '15 at 14:23
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    This server is from 2005-2008... There's no way it would have UEFI capabilities. – ewwhite Apr 20 '15 at 19:07
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The simplest solution is to use grub. Syslinux was designed primarily to boot from media other than hard drives, and while it technically can be made to boot a hard drive, it's not even the default bootloader (grub is), and probably has little or no support for GPT.

  • Thanks for the information! "not even the default bootloader" What do you mean by default? Archlinux has very few defaults. – Limited Atonement Apr 21 '15 at 15:56

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