3ware Hell

I wiped the file server and tried to install the latest CentOS and even though the 3ware website posts drivers for their 9650SE-2LP card they don’t work. It took hours of googling but I finally figured it out. I had to download the specified driver and the source. Then I had to take a stock CentOS 5.0 x86_64 install and compile the source into a new driver file and replace it in the files from 3ware. Here is essentially what I did:

  • dowloaded 3ware driver (3w-95xx_9650-rhws5u0-kernel2.6.18-8.EL5-9.4.1.1.zip)
  • install the kernel-devel package for 2.6.18-8.1.8.el5 and gcc (yum install kernel-devel gcc)
  • downloaded the 2.6 kernel source for the 9650se (3w-9xxx_for2.6.18kernel_9.4.1.1.tgz)
  • created a symlink for /usr/src/linux -> /usr/src/kernels/2.6.18-8.1.8.el5-i686
  • untar 3w-9xxx_for2.6.18kernel_9.4.1.1.tgz
  • entered the driver folder and ran ‘make’
  • created a new folder and copied the 3ware driver file modules.cgz (The other files do not change)
  • unpacked the modules.cgz file from 3ware (zcat modules.cgz | cpio -i -d)
  • replaced the 3w-9xxx.ko file with the newly compiled one
  • repacked the modules.cgz file (find . -type f | cpio -H crc -o | gzip -9 > /tmp/modules.cgz)
  • Transfered the new modules.cgz and the rest of the driver files to a floppy and used for the ‘linux dd’ install

There have been posts on the CentOS forums about this problem but it was still pretty hard to find. Hopefully this post will help others as the few that I found helped me. I could also submit it to 3ware I guess…:)

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