Ubuntu 9.10 and Windows 7 dualboot with a Fakeraid Controller

I recently tried to install Ubuntu Server 9.10 and Windows 7 in a dual boot configuration on a Promise FastTrak TX2300 SATA RAID1 array and unexpectedly ran into some problems.
It seems that the FastTrak TX2300 SATA RAID controller doesn’t have fully featured RAID options (see Fakeraid: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FakeRaidHowto) an therefore needs a bit a different approach to make it do what you want.

Here I provide a manual on how I got my stuff working.

Installation of Ubuntu

  • Boot from the Ubuntu 9.10 Server install CD and start the setup
  • In order to use fakeraid arrays, we need the dmraid package; Ubuntu 9.10 already has it included.
  • Partition as usual (e.g. root filesystem with ext4, empty partition (for later Windows 7 installation), swap at end of harddrive)
  • GRUB installation will skip because it can’t write to the MBR, therefore pick “Continue without bootloader” from the installer menue

At this point, the system is not ready to boot. We will handle this later.
First, we continue with Windows 7.

Installation of Windows 7

  • Make your way through the installation and select your Windows 7 partition as installation target.
  • In case the created partition for Windows 7 should not be accepted as valid installation target, you can press Shift-F10 and use the “diskpart” utility to delete and recreate the Windows 7 partition (diskpart, list disk, select disk x, list partition, delete partition x, create partition)

After installing Windows 7, the system is usable (at least 50% of it), allowing you to boot into Windows 7. To be able to select between Ubuntu and Windows, we need to install GRUB, which we skipped in Step 1 and configure it accordingly.

Setting up GRUB

  • Boot from the Ubuntu 9.10 Server CD and enter the “Rescue a broken system” mode. As soon as you get to the Rescue mode switch to another console (e.g. Alt-F2)

mount /dev/mapper/pdc_bfihaijgha1 /mnt (replace with the name of your mapped Ubuntu root partition)
mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev/
mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc/
mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys/
chroot /mnt /bin/bash

In my case, I had to enable the CD-ROM as apt package source because I didn’t have a network connection on that computer:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

and uncomment the line beginning with

"#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 9.10...."

Now you can install GRUB from the CD-ROM and set it up

apt-get install grub
cp /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc/* /boot/grub/

grub> device (hd0) /dev/mapper/pdc_bfihaijgha (replace with the name of your mapped RAID volume)
grub> find /boot/grub/stage1
grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
grub> quit

update-grub (the menu.lst gets created for you)

Add the Windows 7 entry to menu.lst:

nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

and add the following lines to the bottom of the file

title Windows 7
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
chainloader +1

here you can also adjust the bootmenue to show up without first pressing “Esc” (comment hidemenue) and change timers. After you have changed everything to your needs, you can restart the system and check if the bootmenue displays everything correctly and if all entries are working.

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