Installation on ICH9 with RAID1

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Installation on ICH9 with RAID1

Postby Boo on Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:29 am

Alright I have bought a new system.
Spec:
GA-p35-ds4
4GB RAM
2x230GB disks
Nvidia 8800GTS 320MB

so i have setup the disks in RAID 1 (mirroring).

I have installed Vista for gaming and research bla bla bla... (no flames)

I have done a quick mint3 install but the RAID was not seen only the individual disks. so I installed to the first hoping the hardware raid would do the rest.
This does not seemed to have worked. more testing needed.

Does anyone have any clues to getting the raid to work (not software RAID)?

Do i have to disable ACPI or dma when booting the live CD?

:D
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Postby Husse on Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:16 am

Well I'm not sure about ICH9 but ICH4, 5 and 6 have this ugly software RAID pretending to be hardware. Also it is not possible to build a new RAID1 from one disk in them - building a RAID array, even RAID1, destroys all your data
(Workaround - if one disk goes down, buy two new to build an array and then copy the old one to the array - really awful. Unfortunately this goes for Nforce as well as far as I've been able to find out)
Hopeless to search for info on ICH in google.....
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Postby Boo on Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:38 pm

well i have found some answers.

ICHn is really not hardware RAID (and either is any SATA RAID ATM).
see:
http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html

So Linux can use the ICHn chipsets but it cant use the "hardware" RAID setup in the RAID BIOS.

so windows wins one. :(

Oh well back to the drawing board. SCSI next? :lol:

:D
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Postby Boo on Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:15 pm

My partial answer is dmraid.

it is not included in the ubuntu installer.
so I am going to have to add it, at least to my USB version.

some info:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FakeRaidHowto

http://www.ubuntu-in.org/wiki/SATA_RAID_Howto

http://people.redhat.com/~heinzm/sw/dmraid/

:D
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Postby Husse on Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:57 am

It's nothing short of scandalous behavior by Intel and nVidia to call software RAID hardware RAID - in the past I've had a few dissatisfied customers that thought they bought a hardware solution....
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Postby Boo on Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:49 pm

well some investigation and testing last night.

booted mint3 CD.
installed dmraid via synaptic.

dmraid -ay

used fdisk and parted to create partitions and make file systems. (gparted has no idea about raid still)

dmraid -ay

started mint installer.
manual partition selected.
this is the crazy part as it finds lots of raid partitions and disk partitions (about 16 are listed for 3 primary and 1 logical). you have to blank all the mount points, set only the raid mount points you need (/, swap, /home) and set them to format.

continue install.
for grub use advanced and set to /dev/mapper/ipw_hfciifae<raid name>
install

it all goes good till the end where grub is installed to mbr, it fails because it does not know about dmraid and what to do with raid.

My next step is to do a small install of Fedora since it has dmraid incorperated. then install mint and use fedoras grub to boot it.

:D
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Postby Boo on Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:41 pm

well mint had put something in the mbr of the raid but only enough to get the three letters "Gru" before rebooting.

I tried some other things from the fakeraid guide but to no avail.

so i did a small install of fedora 7.

And hay presto it was simple to install to the raid and it all worked like it should. I was very impressed.

next is to install mint and use fedora's grub as the boot loader.

:D
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Postby Boo on Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:32 pm

So i did a bigger install of Fedora7.
I tried to create a /home of 180GB... died at 12% format.
/home of 50GB... died at about 90% format.
/home of 40GB... success.

so either the dmraid driver cant handle partitions greater than 40G or there could be something wrong with one of my HD.

But this may lead me to not using RAID at all.

:D
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Postby Husse on Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:39 am

Yeah I had about the same problem (but in Windows) to get a decent RAID1 in nforce4 and I ended up without RAID but with frequent backups (several a day)
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