Xserve MegaRAID – How to stop automatic consistency check on boot

If on reboot the server does a consistency check of the RAID, this process can take a very long time. It may take upwards of 8 or more hours. There isn’t really any indication an Xserve is doing a consistency check on reboot. What happens is the Xserve boots to a gray screen or if you try to hold down the option key the screen will just sit there like it is searching for bootable partitions. Every once in a while you will see the drive activity lights blink but other than that there is no real indication the consistency check is running.

If you want to abort the consistency check and prevent it from automatically running on the next reboot of the server you can boot from a Tiger/Leopard installation CD/DVD and then launch the terminal app from that. Then you need to manually start and then stop a consistency check. After you stop the consistency check, this resets whatever flag the Xserve reads which tells it to automatically run the consistency check on reboot. So now when you reboot the Xserve it should not try to run the consistency check and instead proceed with booting the server normally. Here are the commands to manually start and stop the consistency check:

megaraid -chkcon ld -start
megaraid -chkcon ld -stop

In the commands above, replace “ld” with the logical drive number of the RAID you want to check. You can get the logical drive number by running the command: megaraid -showconfig

10.5 Leopard – How to Enable the Root User

Open the Directory Utility application which is located in the Applications | Utilities folder. You may have to unlock the Directory Utility application to make changes. Once it’s unlocked, go to Edit | Enable Root User, and then type in a password for your root user. You can now use the root user, and the ‘Other Users’ option now shows up on the login window.

10.5 Leopard – “Disk error” After Installing Windows Using Boot Camp Assistant

Problem: After running Boot Camp Assistant and doing an initial install of Windows, you get the error message “Press any key to boot from CD. Disk Error. Press any key to restart.” when initially booting into the Windows partition after Windows setup completes. This problem is described in this apple support document: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=306504

Solution: You need to actually reformat the Windows partition that Boot Camp created. It will be the parition named “BOOTCAMP”. IMPORTANT: Do not use the option named “Leave the current file system intact (no changes)”. Choose to either format the BOOTCAMP partition as either NTFS or FAT format. If you format the partition in NTFS format, you will not be able to write to the drive while booted into OS X. You will have read-only access to it. However if you choose to format the drive as FAT then you will be able to both read and write to the Windows drive while booted into OS X. The advantage of NTFS is that it gives you finer grain control on file access and there is also a performance improvement.