When provisioning a Linux server (Dell rack), an administrator may install previously-used hard drives that were formally part of a RAID configuration. Such drives cannot boot into Linux until the RAID metadata partition is cleared, even if zeroing out the bits using the dd utility. To properly clear the RAID metadata, do the following:


  1. Install an alternate bootable hard drive with a Linux operating system on the same server with the RAID metadata partition (typically in the primary or "A" drive slot).
  2. Boot into the alternate drive, go into the Linux terminal and check that the RAID drive can be seen using fdisk:

    # fdisk -l

  3. Run the dmraid command to remove the RAID metadata from the drive.

    For example, if primary partition is mounted on /dev/sda, and RAID partition is mounted to /dev/sdb:

    # dmraid -r -E /dev/sdb

  4. Power down the server, remove the non-RAIDed drive and move the RAID drive (which should now be clear of RAID metadata) to the primary slot, and perform a PXE boot to install a fresh Linux OS.
  5. Once the OS has been installed, restart the server to confirm that the drive is now bootable.