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Installing RHEL4 on x3650 fails to boot with "GRUB loading stage2..."


When installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Update 5 on an IBM System x3650 using ServerGuide and the "Other network operating system" option the server will fail to reboot after the initial install with "GRUB loading stage2..." displayed before rebooting. When configuring the RAID set the Express option is used with Quick initialisation.

During the ServerGuide installation the firmware on the ServeRAID 8k is updated to version 11844.

The operating system installation is successful, and only the GRUB bootloader fails to write correctly.

The issue does not occur if ServerGuide is not used, the ServeRAID firmware is not updated, and the RAID set is configured from the ServeRAID BIOS.

If the server is re-installed the issue does not re-occur. If the server is left for an hour between configuring the RAID set and installing the operating system, the issue does not occur.

The issue has been seen before with ServeRAID adapters and initialisation options other that Quick, where the disks cannot be written to until initialisation is complete. It would appear there is some initial background initialisation of the disks that only occurs once, and prevents or causes an issue for GRUB writing to at least part of the RAID set.


To resolve the issue reinstall the operating system, or rewrite the GRUB bootloader.

To rewrite the boot loader:
- Boot from the RedHat EL 4 CD/DVD
- Enter "linux rescue" at the LILO prompt
- Enter "chroot /mnt/sysimage"
- Enter "grub-install"


Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
IBM System x 3650
IBM ServerGuide 7.4.14

Created: 4th November 2007
Updated: 4th November 2007

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