Compaq Proliant 360/370/380 G1 cpqarray problems with Ubuntu

Or, for that matter, any other Linux distribution that:

a. uses kernel 2.6.x up to 2.6.18

b. Does not dynamically create the initrd as part of the installation

Ubuntu, for that matter, is an example of not doing both. While it does create the initrd, it doesn’t create it dynamically per the output of ‘lspci‘, which results in inclusion of every SCSI module which exists.

The symptoms – you can install the system, however, you are unable to boot it afterwards. You might get into your Busybox initrd. The cpqarray module doesn’t detect any arrays. Error is “cpqarray: error sending ID controller” . You will notice that the module sym53c8xx is loaded.

I’ve searched for a solution and found an initial hint in this blog, however, the entry was not completely accurate. Following the tips given in this page, I was able to understand that there was a bug in the kernel which caused sym53c8xx modules to take-over the cpqarray. I was required to remove the modules from the initrd. I booted into rescue mode from the Ubuntu Server CD, and from there did the following:

1. mount /boot

2. add the following modules list to your /etc/initramfs-tools/modules – modules-proliantG1

3. Edit /etc/initramfs-tools/initramfs.conf to change “MODULES=most” to “MODULES=list

4. Run “update-initramfs -k 2.6.17-11-server -c” (this is relevant in my case – up-to-date Ubuntu server 6.10. For other versions, check what is the latest version of installed kernel. This can be found by a mere ls on /lib/modules/)

After reboot I was pleased to discover that my system was able to boot correctly, and I know it will do so for updated versions of the kernel

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