How to fix “disk contains BIOS metadata error”

Posted by on Monday, 22 June, 2015

Recently I’ve tried to use an old ssd disk on a refurbished laptop. The disk used to be part of a RAID. When installing Oracle Linux 6, I got this message:

“Disk contains BIOS metadata, but is not part of any recognized BIOS RAID sets. Ignoring disk sda”

Since there was no other drive, this would not allow me to install the system. After searching the web I’ve found a site that had the solution. As mentioned in the article, the dmraid -r -E /dev/sda did not work for me either.

The solution seems to be to wipeout the first and the last disk sectors.

This post summarizes what I did to fix this particular system:

STEP 1: Boot from the original install media (USB, DVD) and choose the “Rescue installed system” option (ignore the fact that you do not have a system installed!)

STEP 2: When you get to the last screen (ignore the error message) choose “shell Start shell”

STEP 3: Assuming the drive to wipeout is sda (make sure to check) type the following at the prompt line (replace XXX with the device in your case, example: sda) :

D=XXX; dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/$D bs=1k count=1; dd if=/dev/zero of=dev/$D bs=1k seek=$((`fdisk -s /dev/$D` - 2))

STEP 4: To confirm that the RAID information is cleared, type the following command:

dmraid -r /dev/sda

You should see:
no raid disks and with names: "/dev/sda"

STEP 5: reboot

That should fix it. Of course, one could choose just to simply wipeout all the disk, but that is not as cool as this.