Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Installing RHEL on SATA using an Adaptec 1210SA Controller

I have a Supermicro server in my lab with an Adaptec 1210SA controller connecting to a couple of SATA drives I use for testing. Given that Adaptec does not provide an RHEL driver, I've had a hard time installing the OS until I had an epiphany a week ago. Adaptec may not provide an RHEL driver for the 1210SA card they do provide a driver for the 2020SA card. Here's how I got around this little problem:

1) Got to the Adaptec site and download the RHEL driver for the 2020SA card.
2) Download and install the RAWWRITE binary for Windows

3) After downloading the RHEL package, unzip it, select the driver image based on the server's architecture, and use RAWWRITE to copy it into a floppy.

4) Power on the server, insert the RHEL CD #1 into the CDROM, and at the boot prompt type: linux dd

5) During the install you will be asked if you want to install additional drivers. Insert the Floppy and select "Yes".

At this point the driver will be loaded and then you can proceed with the OS installation.

I need to stress that this is not the recommended way of doing things but rather a workaround I use for Lab purposes only. I don't even use this system for demos. If you are considering placing such a server in production, I would highly recommend that you purchase a controller with support for the OS version you need to install.

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