Proxmox on no-RAID Dell Poweredge R220 does not boot

giovvv

New Member
Aug 4, 2018
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After having experienced several horrendous filesystem corruptions at boot with Proxmox & ZFS on Dell Poweredge R220, despite having set the PERC RAID controller to passthrough, I have now moved the hard disks to the motherboard SATA ports, abandoning the PERC controller completely (believing it was the cause of my problems).

Now, on this configuration, Proxmox installs without complaining (disks are seen as sda and sdb). But then, it does not boot. Just a black screen. No GRUB, no "No bootable device found" message, nothing.

Rescue mode from the proxmox CD does not even start.

Debug install from the proxmox CD does not show anything special.

I have tried with RAID1 ZFS and then with ext4 on a single disk, same result.

The onboard SATA controller is set to AHCI and the disks appear to be recognized. The boot sequence appears to be right. I am now short of ideas. Anyone can help me?

Thanks.
 

HE_Cole

Member
Oct 25, 2018
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Miami, FL
Hey there!

I have sevral r220s in the data center here, I would like to know what RAID card you are using in your r220's? And as a note on my r220s i have we have never had good luck with the onboard sata ports.
 

giovvv

New Member
Aug 4, 2018
23
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Hey there!

I have sevral r220s in the data center here, I would like to know what RAID card you are using in your r220's? And as a note on my r220s i have we have never had good luck with the onboard sata ports.
We experienced occasional catastrophic destruction of the zfs filesystem at reboot with a PERC H310 controller on PowerEdge R220. Same on the PowerEdge R210II (I think the controller was PERC H200 in that case), despite all being set in Non-RAID mode. This is the reason for we are trying to get rid of those PERC controllers, it seems they don't play well with zfs.

Now if only the onboard SATA ports would boot...!
 

HE_Cole

Member
Oct 25, 2018
45
0
6
28
Miami, FL
We use the h200's in all of our Dell servers. If you run them with a more recent firmware they support jbod natively and they don't require you set any thing special to use jbod. Are your h310's and h200's flashed to a different firmware? and they using the internal slot or normal pci slot.
The h200 is a very stable card we have never lost any and we have 100+ of them in servers using jbod with our ceph cluster.

There is a lot of confusion on the web regarding the h200 and h310 and that you need to flash it to an LSI bootstrap to get JBOD/it mode but that is NOT true the newer free firmware, dell provides for the h200 and h310 allows for jbod. All you need to do is not configure any raid volumes and at post CTL+C for RAID bios and set your boot disk on the raid card bios then in your system bios set the boot disk to match selected raid slot "there should only be one choice in dell boot order for the raid card" and the disk are passed directly to the OS as single disks SMART data and all.

Now with the onboard SATA ports we have never had much luck using them for any thing " no idea why dell even puts them on the board" regardless for the on board sata you need to make sure the dell system bios is current i recall dell patched some issues with the on board SATA ports.

On a weird note what is your IRQ priorty set to in the system bios for compute or io?

Now, on this configuration, Proxmox installs without complaining (disks are seen as sda and sdb). But then, it does not boot. Just a black screen. No GRUB, no "No bootable device found" message, nothing.
Reguarding this,, Too me this sounds like the boot order is wrong, How are you installing promox via usb?

Also i would check your hard drives to make sure they are passing all tests maybe with another system. I just find it odd that you have issues with raid cards and on board sata that nothing seams to work best to check the those disks. SMART data can lie FYI.
 

giovvv

New Member
Aug 4, 2018
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You never mention zfs, which is the original reason for I am into all this mess. It is common knowledge that zfs requires complete control, and hates with a passion whatever stands between it and the disks, i.e. any RAID controller, even when RAID mode is turned off. On this very forum you can find several examples of this problem, and many others can be found on the FreeNAS forum (FreeNAS relies on zfs). That kind of setup can lead to random complete corruption of the filesystem, which is what I experienced. By the way, that happened on all machines I have (three), and always with RAID1 (mirror), so it is basically impossible that the cause was a disk failure.

This is why I have moved the disks from the PERC controller to the onboard SATA ports. To appease zfs. But, as I said, it didn't boot.

Anyway. After your doubts, I asked Dell support if it is possible to boot from the R220 onboard SATA ports at all, and they said not only that it is possible, but that some configurations rely on it. So, yesterday I was like this:

1) installed Proxmox (two disks, RAID1, zfs): does not boot
2) installed Proxmox (one disk, ext4): does not boot

And today, I tried again – without changing anything (except perhaps my expectations :)), and got:

3) installed Debian 9.6 (one disk, ext4): works
4) installed Proxmox (one disk, ext4): works
5) installed Proxmox (two disks, RAID1, zfs): works

I don't really understand...
 

giovvv

New Member
Aug 4, 2018
23
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Spoke too early.

6) rebooted Proxmox (two disks, RAID1, zfs): does not boot

:-(
 

Brendan Hoffmann

New Member
Jan 24, 2017
3
0
1
Having a similar issue with ZFS install on my Dell r710.

During the install, I choose two drives for a ZFS RAID 1 install and the rest of the process goes really smoothly. Upon rebooting, I will get a black screen when the computer boots off of the HBA. This setup has been used before and has worked fine. Even checked the HBA to ensure both drives were marked as bootable and they were.

Booted off of a rescue USB to wipe all the partitions off the drives including any MBR/GPT tables using wipefs. Tried reinstall again and same result
 

masterdaweb

Member
Apr 17, 2017
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I can also enforce that the black screen after Proxmox installation also happens with Dell R610 and R410
 

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