dmraid and ICH7 / LSI embedded RAID controller on an Asus RS120-E3 (PA4)
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dmraid and ICH7 / LSI embedded RAID controller on an Asus RS120-E3 (PA4)
We just got an Asus RS120-E3 (PA4) server with the Intel ICH7R chipset,
and we cannot get RAID to work using dmraid or the
LSI MegaRAID driver.
Does anyone knows if dmraid should recognize these devices
as "fakeraid" devices ?
We have 4 SATA disks installed.
We have previously configured and initialized in the BIOS
tool the last 2 disks (wich will map into /dev/sdc and /dev/sdd)
to be in mirror (RAID1).
(/dev/sda and /dev/sdb were used as regular disk drives).
BIOS was configured to use RAID, not AHCI.
Unfortunately dmraid does not recognizes any RAID devices.
(uname -a, dmraid, dmesg and lspci for FC5 output below).
We have also tryed to boot from CD using
and selecting the LSI megaraid_mbox or megaraid drivers
but installation could not proceed at it detected no storage devices at all.
We have also tryed the proprietary drivers from ASUS CD or
trying to mount from a USB pen (as the server has no floppy drive),
and booting from CD with
but with no sucess on FC5 or CentOS 4.3 on loading the driver.
We can browse and select the file with the
floppy image in the USB pen filesystem,
but then it says it cannot mount it. (?)
This is a pity as from the manual, it appears that Linux (RedHat or Suse) would be supported. :-(
We haven't actually figured out if LSI MegaRAID driver is
for our hardware, or not (ie. only for LSI SATA RAID boards).
Does anyone know if this hardware should work, what are we doing wrong ?
Linux localhost.localdomain 2.6.16-1.2122_FC5smp #1 SMP Sun May 21 15:18:32 EDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
If you are using dmraid, it will come up as some device node under /dev/mapper. Probably the drive exist but the installer utilities is not looking in /dev/mapper.
Try using Gentoo. I think Gentoo has all SCSI storage controllers as built-in and device mapper is also included. It should show up. Setting up Gentoo for a server is several times quicker than setting it up as a desktop.
I'm have a similar problem and just spoke to a friend about it. He suggest turning of the RAID funciton in the BIOS and just setting up the Software RAID in the OS.
This seems to make sense as the so called "fakeraid" just seems to be another type of software raid.
I'm using the latest Debian Etch. Installation was no problem and the system runs OK what I set the RAID in the BIOS and use software raid in Debian. However when I simulate a HD failure the system will boot but not mount the remaining good HD.
I'm going to try the software raid only setup, disabling raid in the BIOS, and see what happens.
You should avoid any fakeraid setups, because it's specific to the controller. A software level raid is more compatible. You could also try various BIOS versions (which you can upload via RS232) if RAID seems to hang.
I really need some help from all of you who have ASUS RS120 servers.
Can you instal an smp kernel?
When I try to instal centos 4.3 with smp kernel, the network interfaces doesn't work.
The system says networkis up but they can't even get IP from DHCP ou use any private IP.
I can only start the network with non smp kernel which is no good because I need to use dual core processors.
My systems work fine with centos 3.7 smp kernel but not with Centos 4.x.
I've tried to compile nem drivers but the problem persists.
I'm sure that it's possible to run SMP in a stable fashion. I'm not sure about the CentOS/RHEL 3 or 4 kernels or their differences, but at least on a 'vanilla' kernel these RS120s work fine. So at least it is good to know that there are several working setups. Perhaps it's possible to use a 'plain vanilla' kernel in CentOS?
Thanks for the reply.
After your post I went to check more information and found out the problem!
I had ACPI deactivated in BIOS.
After I've activated it the network start working fine.
I never thought it could interfere.
O now have a Centos 4.4 with 2.6.9 kernel working fine.
Just found one more problem. The CENTOS install didn't recognize the SATA disks when in IDE mode. I had to go to bios and changed to AHCI for it to work. Somehow, a windowze install detected the disks fine.
I think this is related to the 1004 bios because we have some identical servers with older bios and never had this problem on centos install.
By the way, our linux servers use Software RAID and not hardware raid.
We had to deactivate motherboard "hardware" RAID in windowze machines because we were having many problems with it. The servers stop booting, hard drives not recognized, etc..
Did anyone experienced the same?
Maybe this interests anyone... Sorry to bother those
We gave up on hardware RAID and tryed software RAID (mdadm).
After a few months running Fedora 5, we had problems about every 15 days
whith software logging ATA timeouts on a paricular disk device
(but different disks every 15 days), which "hanged" the whole IO.
After a reboot all was Ok.
(Ok, we should use CentOS, not Fedora for a server - I know
After many calls,
the supplier that sold us the machine admited that these Maxtor disks
may have problems with this LSI controller (even in windows).
So, sometime during the next week, we will try to exchange the
Maxtor disks for Hitachi,
or even buy a hardware RAID controller.
The point is, that buying hardware for Linux is a complete
adventure in the dark, which may be full of hassles.
Maybe the next time we will aprove the extra budget for an HP server
Since everybody seems to know Asus RS120, I have an offtopic question. Using RHEL update 4, how do you know if one of the drives fail under RHEL? There seems to be no beep whatsoever from the RS120 hardware to inform admin of defective or degraded partition, is there any utility under RHEL to do so? And in case you do spot the problem via ESP and replace the degraded hard drive while inside OS (RHEL), how would you know the status of rebuilding?
If you do reboot, you will see that it's rebuilding, but in case disk0 is the one that's being rebuilt, how will you go back into operating system?
If in case disk1 is the one that's being rebuilt, will you be able to go back into OS? From what we experienced, this is not the case. It reports of swap partition problem, or swap file problem, and doesn't go in. I thought it was supposed to be Raid 1 mirroring (hardware), how come with Disk0 alone, we can't boot into RHEL?
I've got the same problem of yours on a MAXDATA server. I tried to install several linuxes: ubuntu, fedora 5, debian 4, slackware 11 but ...nothing!
The os couldn't find the raid controller: I looked up in the latest kernel release but there isn't any support to lsi megaide raid.
The only chance to make a raid seems to be a software raid or buy an external raid controller supported by Linux.
Since it has been a little while between post I thought I would come back talk about the steps I have taken with my RS120
Software RAID was not an option for me as I need all the CPU I can get some days. So I had to use the LSI built-in to the RS120, but after looking into it I found that this device was also using the CPU (maybe not as much).
They came with limited CentOS support and also had hot swap for SATA.
I was very happy. The server has been up for about 200 days now with not one problem, Network, Hard Disks all running at great speeds.
I did a fresh install when I got the new RAID card and the OS was installed with 5mins. WOW what and install (Yes it was only Server version of CentOS 4)
High Point Production was Rocket RAID 2300 for $217 AUD from www.auspcmarket.com.au (Thanks Guys) same place I bought the RS120