RAID partitions

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RAID partitions

Postby Lolo Uila on Sun May 20, 2007 7:39 pm

I have a large tower system that has a motherboard with 4 drive controllers (2xIDE & 2xSATA) with RIAD capability on either SATA or the 2nd IDE controller. It currently has 8 IDE drives in ATA mode (all separate drives) and 2 SATA drives in RAID-0 mode (BIOS was used to set up the 2 drives as a single striped RAID volume).

As you can imagine, this system can be a PITA to set up with all the extra drives and controllers to configure. So out of curiosity I booted my Bianca live CD on it, and it actually found all 8 of the hard drives installed across 3 different controllers. Impressive! However, it sees my RAID volume as 2 single drives...

When I boot a Windows install CD it sees the RAID drives as a single large volume that I can partition, but the Mint live CD sees them as separate drives.

I assume there is some kind of RAID driver that needs to be loaded. I tried searching here for RAID and SATA RAID and found nothing. There is some info on Intel's site and at sourceforge, but it's not too noob friendly. Is there a nice guide somewhere about installing Linux on a RAID-0 volume that's more noob friendly?

I could just install it on one of the non RAID drives, but heck, where's the fun in that? :shock:

Thanks. Oh, and the SATA controller in question is the Intel ICH5R.

Aloha, Tim
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Postby Husse on Mon May 21, 2007 8:24 am

I'll give at least a partial answer - ICH5R is crap!
Maybe all RAID on newer motherboards are. I tried to set up RAID1 on an nforce4, on ICH5R and on other Intel cipsets like ICH5R - and it turns out not to be possible in a decent manner. If one of the disks fail, you have to buy two new disks because it is not possible to build a RAID1 array without destroying the data!!!!
ICH5R is also a software solution, like the rest of them. They simply need drivers to work and I don't think there are any Linux drivers - I only have time for a limited study :)
(All team members do this on their spare time)
But there is a pure software RAID in linux I think
And lastly - I strongly advice against RAID0 as the risk for data loss is large - if one disk goes down you loose everything.
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Postby Lolo Uila on Mon May 21, 2007 10:02 am

Thanks. I know the risks of RAID-0. I'm just experimenting now. There is nothing important on the system, so if something gets hosed I've only lost time.

I know this system is a royal pain to get Windows running on, so I was just curious how hard it would be in Linux. The fact that Linux found all the drives without having to plug in a floppy and hit F6 and swap floppy disks several times while booting is pretty impressive.

There are Linux drivers for th ICH5R on Intel's site and at sourceforge, but the docs were not too noob friendly, so I was hoping someone had a guide or could give me some more basic instructions.
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Postby Husse on Tue May 22, 2007 5:04 am

Yes it's hard to get anything running on these RAID controllers if you want RAID - I've cried over it. My little business sold a bunch of these and had to take them back because of the RAID problems. It did cost me but luckily I managed to make a successful claim for guarantee on some faulty sound on the boards - but I'd never would have got it for the useless RAID.
I also saw drivers, but they did not seem to be for RAID, and I saw lots of postings in different Linux forums with problems.....
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Postby Lolo Uila on Tue May 22, 2007 6:54 am

Oh well... maybe I won't waste any time on it then.

I put an extra drive in a mobile rack and popped it into one of the bays in the tower to try Mint on. Installed Cassandra beta 014 and it found all the drives but created TWO icons for each mount point. Which as you can imagine on this system made for a whole lot of icons. About half the desk was drive icons. :shock:

There is definitely a problem with Cassandra and systems with more than 1 hard drive. It either creates too many icons, or none at all (in a different system it thought the extra hard drives were removable media drives with no media installed). Guess I'll give Bianca a try next...

Still, though the fact Cassandra found all the drives across 3 controllers is pretty impressive (2 different IDE controllers and SATA). Winblows won't do that without loading extra drivers off floppies at boot time (it actually even sees my RAID volume, but it can't open it).

Hopefully it won't take too long to get this mount/icon trouble sorted out because I'd really like to start using Cassandra.

Aloha, Tim
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