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B120i issues with Ubuntu 14.04


skusa
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Hi All,

 

HSS newbie here.

 

Having a bit of trouble getting raid on my g8 going with Ubuntu Server 14.04. (Was using FreeNas with software raid for a while, but decided to switch to Ubuntu very recently).

Basically, following the guide here or the HP Advisory for installing with the raid drivers shows no disks. Removing the ahci blacklist fixes the issue, and I can install Trusty via AHCI no problem.

 

On POST, the controller boots with firmware (3.54), but so does the AHCI controller immediately afterwards, leading me to suspect that the AHCI is taking over?

 

Bios is latest (June 2014), and so is Intelligent Provision (2.00). 

Have run the 2014.09 service pack disk via iLO virtual disk, but no updates were made to the b120i.

 

Installing the HPVSA driver after installation has no effect, the driver does not load (checked via lsmod). lspci shows an intel sata controller - i presume this is the fake ahci stand-in?

The b120i is enabled in the bios though and setup as follows:

 

There are two WD Red's in bays 1 & 2 (raid 1, 1st logical volume), followed by a Samsung 320GB laptop hdd in the ODD bay installed in a caddy (raid 0, second logical volume).

Stock memory installed.

 

Furthermore, the iLO web interface can't see the b120i when Ubuntu is running, but can see it when the Array configuration utility is running.

 

 

 

Any insight appreciated! :)

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The b120i controller is actually just special HP firmware together with the built in Intel SATA controller. It isn't a hardware RAID controller as everything is done by the main CPU.

 

Basically, following the guide here or the HP Advisory for installing with the raid drivers shows no disks. Removing the ahci blacklist fixes the issue, and I can install Trusty via AHCI no problem.

This is your problem. You need to work out why it isn't accepting the Smart Array driver. You're bypassing the b120i firmware and accessing the Intel SATA controller directly which is causing your problems.

 

On POST, the controller boots with firmware (3.54), but so does the AHCI controller immediately afterwards, leading me to suspect that the AHCI is taking over?

That is normal.

 

Have run the 2014.09 service pack disk via iLO virtual disk, but no updates were made to the b120i.

2015.03 SPP is out now. The b120i firmware is inside the main MS firmware + the driver you're running. It isn't a separate update.

 

Furthermore, the iLO web interface can't see the b120i when Ubuntu is running, but can see it when the Array configuration utility is running.

That is normal. iLO can only monitor it with the cooperation of the OS and the b120i firmware + driver. As you're accessing the SATA controller directly, it can't monitor it.
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So after a day of hair-pulling, figured it out.

 

The hpvsa drivers are kernel specific. The exact kernel in the very latest distribution of Ubuntu Server (14.04.2) is 3.16, while the kernel drivers are built for 3.13. 

 

Had a look at the revision history, and 14.04.1 runs 3.13. Downloaded that, installed with driver injection disk, added the ppa and rebooted, all good! Hpvsa drivers are loaded and the fans are spinning at the magic 6%.

 

Nb, in order to not have automatic updates break the installation, I have pinned the kernel packages in aptitude. Hope this helps anyone with similar problems.

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New problem: it has spontaneously decided not to boot to the raid controller any more, *unless* there is a usb key present (in this case the fat32 formatted driver injection disk, with nothing bootable on it)...go figure.

 

Have run the March 2015 service pack, so everything is absolutely up to date.

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Yes initially, but then I formatted it to see what difference that made. Problem remains. USB is completely blank.

 

It's almost as if it's skipping over the raid controller, so by putting in a phony usb to boot from, it gives it more time to initialise?

Without the usb it doesn't even get to grub, just tries to boot straight off the NIC (after "trying" to boot off USB/HDD first)

 

Will try with other USB sticks and devices for lols.

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Update:

 

Another random USB I had on my desk didn't didn't produce the magic trick.

 

had a look in gparted. This particular USB had the bootable flag set. Removed it, and of course it didn't boot.

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I doubt it. Re-installed grub just to be sure. The only change that was made from stock config was blacklisting the AHCI so that the b120i driver can kick in.

 

Like I said, grub needs to load before ubuntu does, and it doesn't even get to that, which makes me question the controller.

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