Fedora Core 6 Upgrade (Part 1: RAID array)

Filed under: — Stormwind @ 1:55 am

I finally upgraded wumple.com to Fedora Core 6 from Fedora Core 2 since the Fedora Legacy project has closed and there is no hope of security updates for FC2.

In case it helps others, here is part 1 (RAID array) of a multi-part series about the trials and tribulations an upgrade to Fedora Core 6 entailed.

RAID array:

I moved from a standard non-RAID disk layout to a three 500GB drive RAID5 array since Lisa and I don’t want to loose any of our digital photos, audio files, documents, or other important files due to a bad drive (even the few files we might loose between backups).  And one of our old hard drives was making the "click of death" that signaled an imminent demise.

After creating the RAID 5 array and moving our current FC2 install to it, I upgraded the FC2 install to FC6.  After the upgrade, the system would not boot.  GRUB (the boot loader) could not find the /boot filesystem and thus the kernel file to boot.

I knew it would work on wumple.com’s new hardware because I did a test clean install (not an upgrade) of FC6 on the same hardware before attempting the FC2 upgrade to FC6.

I eventually figured out the following:

– For some reason, the upgrade install’s /dev/sda drive became /dev/sdc after the install reboot.  And for some reason this swap caused the RAID array to rebuild one of the disks overnight.

– It appears the two SATA interfaces on the Gigabyte 8KNXP motherboard (one Intel ICH5 and one Silicon Image SiI3112) are seen by the BIOS and thus GRUB in one order during the boot loader phase, and by the kernel during startup in the opposite order.  After boot, "grub-install –recheck" records /dev/sdc as hd2 in the /boot/grub/device.map file.

– I ran "grub-install /dev/sdc" (since the /boot partition is now on sdc which was sda during the initial install).  However, during boot GRUB could not find sdc aka hd2.  But it could find sdc as hd0 instead!  So during boot, GRUB sees sdc as hd0 but after boot it sees it as hd2.  Very strange, but at least the machine boots after changing grub.conf to look for hd0 instead of hd2.

– And then, after upgrading to kernel 2.6.18-1.2869.fc6 via yum update, the interfaces reversed again and sda that became sdc is now sda again!  Well, at least my /boot partition is back on sda again, which makes more sense.

Stay tuned for smartd and networking in part 2.

3 responses to “Fedora Core 6 Upgrade (Part 1: RAID array)”

  1. andyp says:

    Interesting information. I completely broke my RAIDed box in upgrading from FC3 to FC6. I’ll take another look at this and see if it helps – I think I may even have the same motherboard as you. However, I think I’ve manage to get it to see a kernel by manually going through the GRUB command line, and it still breaks during boot. Grr. Need to spend more time on it, and don’t have much to spare.

  2. lisa says:

    About time you posted, geeze!

  3. Neal says:

    I recently did an upgrade of a software Raid1 system as follows: Fc3 system, attempted upgrade to fc4 via yum, mostly successful, afterwards couldn’t get yum upgrade to fc5. Gave up, had bought new hardware. Used Ghost4Linux to Click-n-Clone one of the pair to new chassis, then click-n-clone the new drive to it’s sister. Then I did an FC6 upgrade install. It actually worked, except it’s not recognising the swap space. swapon -s show no space.

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