Fake RAID and CentOS 5.2 Problem

I installed CentOS 5.2 on a Dell Precision Workstation T3400 last week. T3400 has the Intel’s chipset for configuring hard drives as RAID volumes. The RAID setup is often referred to fake RAID on Linux.

I first used the chipset’s BIOS to set up a RAID 1 volume and install CentOS 5.2 on the machine. The CentOS installer recognized the RAID volume and the installation went smoothly. The system rebooted OK after the installation. The program occured when I updated the machine with the latest kernel. After the kernel was applied, the system booted to the grub prompt. At first, I thought the grub got corrupted and tried to repair the grub. It did not work. I learned that the problem is not due to corrupted grub installation, it’s due to a bug in the new kernel. It seems that the new kernel doens’t play well with the fake RAID setup. They expect to fix the problem in 5.3.

To my dismay, I wanted to break the RAID volume and install CentOS again using the soft RAID option. Right after I broke the RAID in the boot process, I found that I could boot the system up again before I re-install the machine. I did erase everthing and start from a fresh machine eventually to prevent any further problems.