Moving RHEL6.2 HDD from one machine to another.

Latest response

Hi All.

 

I am in an environment where I need to set up one master RHEL hdd on a workstation, and clone the hdd to use on multiple other workstations. (we are arranging the licenses to cover all active workstations).  There appears to be an issue that the hdd will only work in the workstation that it was built in.  If I attempt to plug it into another machine, it is not recognised as a valid boot device.  We have verified that BIOS settings are exactly the same.  The difference is that the original workstation recognises the drive as "Redhat Enterprise Linux", and the other workstations don't (however if I boot up Clonezilla I can verifiy that the HDD is physically there).

 

Can anyone advise one way or another?

 

Thanks in advance.
Owen.

Responses

Hi Owen,

 

 

What is the hardware configuration you are using?

 

Like the workstation brand and do you use a raid controller in your workstations. I guess so for you wish to use hardware cloning it seems.

You may even be in luck that the disk controller did not see your disk, for some controller sync it's own disk to the installed disk. So it whipes the installed disk.

Happened to us a couple of times in the past.

 

The way I use to clone Linux servers, should work on workstations too:

 

1) create a ftp server or use an existing one with about the same free space as the disk you want to clone.

 

2) download g4l (ghost for linux) or another Linux aware ghost imaging software, and burn the image to disk.

 

3) a) boot the source workstation

    b) create a ghost image of the bootdisk.

 

4) a) boot the destination workstation

    b) deploy the ghost image.

 

5) boot the destination workstation to single user mode and change the network settings and hostname if needed.

 

6) reboot and test.

 

7) repeat 4) - 6) until all workstation are done.

 

 

Kind regards,

 

 

ir Jan Gerrit Kootstra

Hi Jan.

 

Thanks for the reply.  We are using newly procured workstations based on DFI SB630 motherboard.  The SATA mode is AHCI, rather than RAID.  We are using jsut single disk drives for our system.

 

Yes, we will be cloning the drives so as to use the same master image in up to 20 physicaly workstations.

 

We're heading down the track of it being an issue with EFI in the BIOS.  Our BIOS doesn't allow us to chose a legacy boot device, so we're doing a new installation on a PC that doesn't have EFI support, and hoping to port that across to the new PC.

 

Will update with progress soon.

 

Thanks,

Owen.

What are you using to clone?  I found an article regarding Ghost which references issues specific to GPT.  I will continue to look into this and please update the group if you come across what is causing the issue.  I am unsure if you are chasing down a BIOS/UEFI issue, or a GPT issue.  (I know my IBM x-series server creates a boot menu item for "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" - but I don't know if something creates that in the UEFI, or if the UEFI dynamically scans and finds that entry.

 

Are you cloning the /boot/EFI partition (which I believe is fat32) along with the other partitions?

 

I believe a fairly standard GPT layout would be

/boot/EFI -- fat32

/boot  -- ext[34]

<remainder> LVM

 

Here is an interesting article about the EFI files that are created:

https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/docs/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/Installation_Guide/s2-grub-whatis-booting-uefi.html

Here is an article regarding having issues with the boot flag:

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=746895

 

Here is an article specific to Ghost:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH111106

 

DISCLAIMER:  I know very little about the nuances of GPT and UEFI - I just found this post interesting.

I am curious to know if you have successfully completed this, please keep update us.

Hi all.

 

Well given the impending deadline on this project, we have found a work-around.

 

The issues were definitely related to EFI.  We had RHEL installed on one machine with an EFI compatible BIOS.  We even went in to the efibootmgr application and added a couple of test entries.  The BIOS picked up these test entries, so James it appears that a dynamic scan is what is happening.  Now when we put this HDD into another workstation (not even cloning it to another HDD yet) this dynamic scan is not even happening.  I'm not seeing "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" or the 2 Test entries that I created.

 

We couldn't find a legacy BIOS option to disable EFI, nor could we find a way to stop RHEL wanting to install the EFI method... so we simply installed RHEL6 on a machine that was not EFI compatible.  Now it has the standard boot method, and we can interchange between different machines.

 

I'm sorry I don't have the time to delve much further into this.

 

Thanks for the info and ready responses though, I really appreciate it.

 

Also, James, when we do clone we use Clonezilla.  It seems to be the most robust software that I could find, though I am open to other suggestions.

 

Regards,

Owen.

Thanks for the follow-up, Owen.