CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

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superfrog73
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CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/11 04:06:12

Ok folks, I'm referring to the brain trust...

I'm looking at installing the latest CentOS7 distro on my main computer, currently running Win10. It's an older Intel 1366 setup and I'm running a RAID 10 for my system (4x 128Gb SSD's). This is an old system and still performs well, so I am expecting once I get over this hurdle, I'll be good.

So, here's the issue I'm needing some guidance. I am familiar (not proficient) with RHEL from work. I'm researching drivers and such to get the installer to recognize the RAID. The only drivers I have found thus far are up to CentOS 6. Now, I know this isn't Windows, but is there a chance the older drivers would work with the newer distro? The specific RAID controller is the RocketRAID 2720 from HighPoint. I've had it for about 6-7 years.

If not, I may wait and get some more hardware (cables, SSD) and try a dual boot setup and run from the MOBO 6Gb/s SATA.

Thanks in advance. Additional information is available if needed.

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TrevorH
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby TrevorH » 2018/02/11 12:41:52

As far as I can see, the driver for that card is most likely already built in to CentOS 7. Since you didn't give the PCI vendor/device id from lspci -nn for that device I had to look in /usr/share/hwdata/pci.ids where I found that Highpoint is vendor 1103. They don't list a 2720 in that file but they did have a 2722 so I ran

Code: Select all

# grep 1103 /lib/modules/3.10.0-693.17.1.el7.x86_64/modules.* | grep -i 272
/lib/modules/3.10.0-693.17.1.el7.x86_64/modules.alias:alias pci:v00001103d00002722sv*sd*bc*sc*i* mvsas
/lib/modules/3.10.0-693.17.1.el7.x86_64/modules.alias:alias pci:v00001103d00002721sv*sd*bc*sc*i* mvsas
/lib/modules/3.10.0-693.17.1.el7.x86_64/modules.alias:alias pci:v00001103d00002720sv*sd*bc*sc*i* mvsas


and it appears that mvsas supports the 2720 as well.
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superfrog73
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/11 18:22:02

Trevor, first thanks for responding and thanks for looking this up.

Since this is the case, I'm going to have to look up how to install this driver/module during the CentOS installation. This is where my main problem lies, the only volumes that appear are two of the four RAID members and not the RAID itself. I need to figure out how to tell the installer to recognize the RAID.

The RAID is configured as a bootable device and I've actually tried setting the controller back to legacy (four individual volumes) and the installer still only sees the first two volumes.

But with this information, I may be able to find the answer on my own, but if I run into difficulties I'll be sure to ask.

Thanks again!

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TrevorH
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby TrevorH » 2018/02/11 18:56:22

Switch to one of the other consoles in the installer and check the output from dmesg to see if it finds the controller and what it says about it.
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superfrog73
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/11 22:01:47

Thanks again. Since I'm an end user at work, I normally get this "involved" with the builds. So, learning is occurring :D .

Anyway, I did a look at dmesg (dmesg | grep mvsas) and found that the card is being recognized:

Code: Select all

[     7.593788] mvsas 0000:04:00.0: mvsas: driver version 0.8.16
[     7.599427] mvsas 0000:04:00.0: mvsas: PCI-E x8, Bandwidth Usage: 5.0 Gbps
[    14.678113] scsi host0: mvsas


I verified by disabling the PCI/E slot at the MOBO and rebooted. No return on mvsas without the slot on. Thing is, I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at here to be honest. The bus is an x8 and B/W looks correct, just not sure about the driver.

Something else I found, looking at the /dev directory. I did a bit of an experiment since the installer GUI only shows two of the four disks. However, I can see the following drives in /dev:
    sda
    sda1
    sda2
    sdb
    sdb1
    sdb2
    sdc
    sdd

When I pull the last two drives from the array (currently set to two stripped raids), as expected, sdc and sdd were not present. Still not sure why the other two disks are not on the GUI, even as legacy devices.

One work around may be simply running two SATA cables to the MOBO SATA 6Gbs (not used at the moment) for LINUX and use the HP2720 for a stripped RAID for Windows.

In case anyone's wondering why the 2720, originally I had a RAID 5 along with the system RAID which I out grew, and since my MOBO has limited SATA 6Gb/s support.. I ended up getting a REAL H/W RAID card for a second machine and am using it as a glorified NAS (Rockstor) for a larger and more robust RAID 5. The trick with the work around will be being able to switch loads without having to enter the boot menu. Not sure if LINUX boot loader will see the Windows boot loader. That will be another bridge to cross when I get there.

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TrevorH
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby TrevorH » 2018/02/11 22:35:46

Can you put all of the output from dmesg up on pastebin.centos.org and post the link here.
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superfrog73
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/12 01:49:41

Here it is: http://pastebin.centos.org/544821/

I did install CentOS on the first pair of drives letting LINUX do the stripping and restored Windows on the second (as a Striped RAID). I can load both, but at the moment can only switch by changing the SATA controller BIOS setting (which drive boots). If I can figure this out, I think I'll be fine for now but eventually I want to run Windows in a VM when I need it.

But thanks again for your help. I got a long ways to go, but getting CentOS installed and updated, and usable is a good first step.

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TrevorH
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby TrevorH » 2018/02/12 02:13:51

That appears to be presenting all 4 individual drives to the o/s separately rather than seeing the RAID array and presenting that as a single entity. I did wonder if some other driver was loading first and grabbing the controller and seeing it as standard SATA and then mvsas wasn't seeing the already claimed drives but from the dmesg it looks like it's working fine ... apart from not seeing the array. It does seem that it sees a partition table on one of those drives that is trying to tell it that the disk is bigger than it really is and that looks dangerous to me.
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superfrog73
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/12 02:39:41

I think I see what you're saying about the one disk:

Code: Select all

[   15.362252] sdc: p2 size 498515969 extends beyond EOD, enabling native capacity
[   15.362712] sdc: p2 size 498515969 extends beyond EOD, truncated


Makes me think, I've had these disks probably going on 8 years. I could try and "clean" them using diskpart and see if that fixes the partition table. If not, I will ask some questions at work, I know we have tools for that for our production systems. What I can try is see what happens if I pull this suspect drive and try the installer. I think it's a long shot but it might be what is keeping the installer from displaying all four drives.

Since this isn't a priority for me, it may take a couple of days.

superfrog73
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Re: CentOS7 and HighPoint RocketRAID 2720

Postby superfrog73 » 2018/02/12 04:27:47

Just a quick update.

I shuffled things around a bit to see if I can get to the root symptoms. I did run diskpart on all drives and ran the installer. Looked in dmesg and there was no truncation. As soon as I configured a RAID0, sdc was truncated. Swapped sdc and sdd devices and now sdd was truncated. This makes sense, the RAID controller reported RAID good, but the installer is only seeing logical devices, which moved. Next, I cleared the RAID and ran the installer again, this time no truncation on any device. Out of morbid curiosity, I moved the original truncated disk to where sdb is (logical volume 1) and then created two RAIDs (disk 0-1 and 2-3). Ran the installer, sdc (completely new disk) is now truncated.

I restored Windows on the second RAID (with the truncated disk) without any issues and is running stable as before. Windows only sees the RAID volumes, but all tests and observations don't show anything out of place.

Still not sure what is going on, but for some reason the controller is making only that 3rd disk appear larger that it is, but only in a RAID. I will do some more testing next weekend, see what happens when I change the type of RAID (4 disk stripe, mirror...). I also want to look at my BIOS settings, see if there is something set that is complicating how the CentOS is detecting the disks.

Worst case, earlier reading I saw installing an image on a separate disk and then configuring the driver. Then compiling a new image for install. I compiled once... in a LINUX class about 6 years ago, so this should be fun.