Software RAID - making the spare bootable

Architecture specific questions.

Software RAID - making the spare bootable

Postby mattbrock » 13 Dec 2010, 12:52

Hi there.

I've been using YDL on Xserve G5s for a couple of years now and it does a great job. Recently I decided to rebuild one with software RAID to get disk redundancy. I did all of this through the installer. The server has three disks, so I set them up as RAID 1 with a spare.

This has all gone very successfully apart from one detail. The two disks in the RAID set are bootable, i.e. I can remove either of those disks and the machine will still boot as normal. That's fine so far. Then I permanently removed the first disk and brought the spare third disk into the RAID set instead. Once the RAID set is then fully rebuilt I can boot off the original second disk, but the third disk which was previously the spare disk is not bootable. It gets to the first yaboot stage, and then the blue icon which represents OpenBoot failing to find a boot disk appears superimposed over the yaboot screen. That process just loops over and over again and never boots.

I've tried using ybin to make the Apple boot partition bootable with the correct yaboot config, but that didn't help. I've tried dd-ing the entire second disk onto the third disk then zeroing the RAID superblocks, and that didn't work. I've tried resetting the NVRAM and that made no difference. I'm sure it's not a hardware problem with the disk because I've tried this twice now with the disks in different slots each time, and it's always the spare disk which has the boot problem even though that's a different physical disk each time.

I hope there's someone out there who can help because I'm tearing my hair out over this. I can't see what else would be needed to make the third disk bootable... yet there must be something! Without getting this working the full redundancy I'd hoped for can't be achieved, which would be extremely frustrating.


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