Bug 728951 - grub will not boot from non-primary virtio disk
Summary: grub will not boot from non-primary virtio disk
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
Classification: Red Hat
Component: grub
Version: 5.7
Hardware: Unspecified
OS: Unspecified
Target Milestone: rc
: 5.4
Assignee: Václav Pavlín
QA Contact: Release Test Team
Depends On: 728947 728953
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2011-08-08 13:18 UTC by Matthew Booth
Modified: 2013-03-18 09:50 UTC (History)
0 users

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of: 728947
Last Closed: 2013-03-18 09:50:27 UTC
Target Upstream Version:

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Description Matthew Booth 2011-08-08 13:18:19 UTC
+++ This bug was initially created as a clone of Bug #728947 +++

Description of problem:
A guest has 2 virtio disks: vda and vdb. /boot resides on /dev/vdb1. Grub is installed on /dev/vda, which is also where the guest is configured to boot from.

Firstly, a fresh installation in the above configuration will cause the boot to fail with 'Hard Disk Error' (screenshot rhel6-grub-hd_error)[1].

If you attempt to fix the problem by manually running 'grub-install /dev/vda' from the rescue environment you  get Error 21 trying to load stage 1.5 (screenshot rhel6-error_21).

The above configuration works fine if the disks are IDE. It also works fine if the drives are swapped so that /dev/vdb1 becomes /dev/vda1 and grub is manually installed on the new /dev/vda. The problem seems to be specific to attempting to read /boot from a drive other than the first one.

I have replicated this problem on RHEL 4.8, RHEL 5.4 and RHEL 6.0, all of which support VirtIO. I have also replicated the problem on a RHEL 5 KVM host, which uses Bochs BIOS, and an F14 host, which uses SeaBIOS. The behaviour is the same in all cases, although the error messages from RHEL 4 and RHEL 5 grub are slightly more verbose.

[1] I'd expect the behaviour to be identical immediately after installation to behaviour after running 'grub-install /dev/vda', so could this indicate a secondary problem in anaconda?

Comment 1 Václav Pavlín 2013-03-18 09:50:27 UTC
Due to lack of response in original report bz #728947 closing as insufficient_data.

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