MdContainer/device error during installation on Dell laptop

Platform: Dell Inspiron 15 5584 laptop
Processor: Intel Core i5-8265U
RAM: 12GB DDR4 2666MHz
Hard drive: 256GB Solid State m.2 / 16GB Intel Optane Memory
OS: MS Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
UEFI bios/secure boot enabled (can be disabled)

Install from USB drive (full and live)
ImageUSB used to create image (MD5 & sha1 checksums match; earlier successfully confirmed sha256 match).
EFI install

Just before the drive/storage configuration dialog when attempting both the off-line and live installs of Leap 15.1, I received the same warning, “Yast2 cannot delete MdContainer.” Summarizing the details, “error in system device – displayed information may not be accurate; installation may fail.” And proceeding further, the proposed disk allocation seems off (but I would need to revisit that to be certain). I found two posts in this forum, but I am not able to conclude anything from them (I’m not familiar with MdContainer; may be a Java function or component). See https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/536382-LEAP-15-1-Device-error-during-install-quot-cannot-delete-MDContainer-quot?highlight=can’t+delete+mdcontainer and https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/536297-Installation-on-new-laptop-with-quot-cannot-delete-mdContainer-quot-error?highlight=can’t+delete+mdcontainer.

Given the warning, I’m reluctant to go further. Any advice would be welcome.

The title of the thread has an error - the first word should read “MdContainer” - not “McContainer”

Perhaps an administrator can correct this.

I suspect it is related to RAID drive setup. Some Machine come with RAID turned on for some unknown reason.:stuck_out_tongue:

gogalthorp -

Thanks. RAID might well be the issue (see, e.g., https://www.dell.com/community/Inspiron/Can-t-boot-to-RAID-on-with-NVMe-M-2-SSD/td-p/7189699). It seems that this configuration is the default option and Linux is apparently not supported (but I’m no expert in this or any other area).

A few options I’m mulling over:

  1. different machine (this one is new and can be returned without penalty) - but any other recently-manufactured unit would likely present the same issues.

  2. create a separate partition on the m.2 drive for Linux - but the RAID setting in BIOS would likely prevent the loading of the Linux.

  3. insert an additional drive in the now-empty sata bay - may be subject to the same limitations as option no. 2.

  4. change the BIOS setting from RAID to AHCI, load Linux, leave Windows 10 in place in a relatively small partition; I don’t need Windows - I could install VirtualBox and run Windows there. This would likely forfeit the Optane function, but I’m not concerned about that (I believe that Optane may be another variant of software-based RAID). As an alternative, change the BIOS setting and install a drive in the sata bay - but that would wasteful - I don’t need the capacity, and I would lose the benefit of m.2 storage (on the PCI bus).

I’d turn RAID off if you don’t use it it is just something else to go wrong

gogalthorp -

Thanks. Based on the posts I’ve seen so far, turning off RAID, i.e., switching to AHCI, will prevent Windows from booting. Apparently, the OS depends on the BIOS setting when it was installed (please see the Dell community post above). But as I said in option no. 4, I willing to forego access to the Windows installation; I can always revert to RAID to reach the Windows installation.

So, yes, I won’t need RAID if I install Linux on the m.2 drive and I don’t care about not having the Optane function (assuming that all of my understandings are technically correct).

Use of Optane should be entirely independent of choice between RAID and AHCI.

I would make or obtain the restore media for that Inspiron, or even better, obtain pure Windows installation media (it is readily available for download from windows.com), then switch to AHCI and restore or install Windows, if I needed Windows right away. Otherwise I’d make the switch to AHCI, partition fully for both Windows and openSUSE, and install one of them. If Windows is to be rarely used, installing openSUSE on the SSD, then Windows in a VM would make great sense. As yet I’ve only ever installed Windows on hardware, and only in multiboot, and always after Linux.

In any event, wipe all RAID evidences unless you are planning to use RAID. Even if you plan to use RAID, never use BIOS RAID. If you use BIOS RAID and the hardware it lives on dies, so dies whatever was on the storage devices comprising the RAID.

gogalthorp -

You were correct - it was the RAID setting that prevented loading of the Linux OS. It may be due to lack of support by the chip (for Linux in a RAID configuration) or an unavailable driver (on the OS side). Nevertheless, the BIOS is set to AHCI for both Linux and Windows and the unit is functioning properly.

Thank you for bringing the RAID issue to my attention - I would not resolved the issue without your assistance.