CentOS / RHEL Unsupported RAID/SATA/SCSI Controllers

So, I've got a Promise SuperTrak RAID controller. It uses the stex kernel module, which was supposedly added to CentOS 4.4. Well, when I went to install CentOS 4.4, and later CentOS 5 beta, the installer wouldn't load the driver, and so the array was not usable. Very frustrating. The vendor only has driver binaries for certain versions of certain OSes. It's a chicken-egg situation, if you don't want to first install to an IDE disk and then RSync it over.

The good news is, yes, the module (stex) is included in the RPM on the install CD, and you can load that module before the installer detects available disks.

To manually load the module, go in the installer to the screen just before you are presented with available disks and partitioning options. Then, press Ctrl-alt-f2, I think, to bring up a sh# prompt. Look at your mounted filesystems ("mount"). One of them points to the current running environment (I forget what it's called), and one of them points to the install media. Go to the install media, and find the kernel-*.rpm. install it with rpm -ivh --nodeps kernel-*.rpm (you may have to do the --root= option and specify the root of the running environment.). Then, cd to the lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/scsi directory, and either insmod stex.ko or modprobe stex.ko (or whatever module you're trying to use) . Voila, the module is loaded and your raid array/controller should have been detected now. Press Ctrl-Alt-F6 to get back to the (graphical) installation, and press "next" to detect available disks/partitions.
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