Debian-9.8-netinst, Supermicro X8STI-3F (Xeon E5504, 2.00 GHz, Bios ver 1.0c, LSI MegaRaid 8208ELP (rev 08) with four SAS HDD 146Gb Seagate. During installation debian doesn't recognize HDDs.

What was done:

  1. Four separate RAID0 disks was created in MegaRaid Utility. During installation these HDDs doesn't shown up in partmanager. Then installer was booted up with options expert dmraid=true and expert mdadm=true - nothing, no HDDs. But installer (in separate console) sees these 4 HDDs as `/dev/sdXX', I can access them, get info etc.
  2. According to previous I tried next thing: fdisk /dev/sdX on each HDD and wrote changes. After reboot RAID said, that disks are not online, I continued, and - VOILA - debian sees all 4 separate disk. So, I successfully installed debian on mdadm-created array.

BUT - after reboot motherboard BIOS doesn't see ANY HDD in boot options, in boot menu, so I can't boot from installed linux! But MegaRaid BIOS sees and show all these HDDs...

Tried using non-free version of debian installer - nothing.

mdadm --zero-superblock /dev/sdX said "no write access". Only using fdisk as above I could zero HDDs and create GPT partition table.

Tried to switch jumper on motherboard from SW RAID to IP - it even doesn't start HDDs.

BIOS has only one option of SAS - "Advanced PCI/PnP Settings -> Load onboard SAS Option ROM" with "Enabled/Disabled" state

RAID BIOS doesn't have any options of "mapping" HDDs to MB BIOS.

So, how can I install debian on these hardwarem not using fake-RAID?

  • Is the question confusing HW w/ software RAID? – Rui F Ribeiro Apr 10 '19 at 15:31
  • I do not need SW RAID from supermicro, I only need from server to see SAS HDD as separate devices. Then I plan to use mdadm – Someone Apr 10 '19 at 15:55

To show separate SAS HDDs two things has to be done:

  1. LSI SAS controller has to be flashed to support IT-mode instead of RAID only mode. Here: ftp://ftp.supermicro.com/driver/SAS/LSI/1064_1068/IT/Firmware/B3/L8i/1.30.00/ - is firmware for my controller and DOS/Win/Linux flash program in archive. As for me I successfully booted SystemRescueCD x64 from USB and flashed up controller.

  2. Motherboard jumper JPS2 (RAID On/Off) has to be unlocked (X8STI-3F m/b).

After that SAS HDDs are powered up, LSI configuration utility shows CTRL-C to configure conroller (instead of CTRL-M in RAID mode), motherboard's BIOS sees these HDDs as bootable devices in F11 boot menu.

Then, pass expert dmraid=true boot installer, switch to console and zeroing each HDD using fdisk /dev/sdX and writing changes. Again reboot to debian installer with expert dmraid=true and, at last!, I can see HDDs and can continue installation.

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