Lilo, Fdisk, and the Compaq Array Driver

Are you having problems during installation? Is your /sbin/lilo or /sbin/fdisk too old? If your version / distribution of Linux has no built in support or beginning support for Compaq Array Controllers, then there is a possibility that your version of /sbin/lilo or /sbin/fdisk has not been updated for use with the Compaq Array Controller. This generally pertains to RedHat 5.2 (where there was no support) and Mandrake 6.0 (where they were beginning support for the array controllers).

In RedHat 5.2, there was no support; therefore you had to download the cpqarray driver, a new /sbin/fdisk, and a new /sbin/lilo.

In Mandrake 6.0, they began support for the Compaq Array Controllers; however, for some reason, the /sbin/lilo wasn't patched to work with the Compaq Array Controllers. Here too, you needed to download a fresh copy of /sbin/lilo.

This same scenario could potentially occur in other distributions and revisions. It is becoming less likely these days that this will occur to you.

Because of this fact about RedHat 5.2 there is documentation circuling stating that you cannot install Linux directly to a Compaq Array Controller. This information is a good guideline for RedHat 5.2; however, it does not apply to RedHat 6.0 and beyond.

Notice: Installation of RedHat Linux directly to a Compaq Array Controller: Any documentation (whether here, or on RedHat's Site, or on Compaq's site, or on Chris Frantz's site) that states that you must first install to a hard drive attached to the embedded SCSI controller, then copy it to the array controller is definitely OLD and refers to a method that was to be used with RedHat 5.2. The Linux kernel, since version 2.2.5-??, has had support for the Compaq Array controller built in. This means that any distribution based on the current Linux kernel (including but not limited to RedHat 6.0 and newer) has support for directly installing to drives attached to the Compaq Array controller. The component pieces to make this happen is the cpqarray.o driver, an updated version of /sbin/fdisk, and an updated version of /sbin/lilo. These component pieces have since been added into the current kernel source and distributions.

Below are versions of /sbin/lilo, /sbin/fdisk, and cpqarray.o from RedHat 6.1. If you have a problem with your version of any of these files , compare the dates of yours with the ones here. If your file(s) is/are older then you may want to download and use one of these:

$ ls -l /sbin/lilo --full-time
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 70864 Wed Sep 22 12:50:58 1999 /sbin/lilo

Even though you have "LILO version 21" this is not good enough to make sure it has been patched. You must check the time and date of the file. The /sbin/lilo listed here is from RedHat 6.1.

$ ls -l /sbin/fdisk --full-time
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 84124 Thu Sep 09 00:01:03 1999 /sbin/fdisk

$ ls -l /lib/modules/2.2.12-20/block/cpqarray.o --full-time
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 24324 Mon Sep 27 09:45:03 1999 /lib/modules/ 2.2.12-20/block/cpqarray.o

Change Log:
Last updated 03-24-2000 lilofdisk.html - Created new page to display parameters about lilo, fdisk, and the cpqarray driver. Added downloads for /sbin/lilo, /sbin/fdisk, and /lib/modules/2.2.12-20/block/cpqarray.o. Document created and released on