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Old 06-12-2008, 10:13 PM   #1
emrecio
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Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Seattle, WA, US
Distribution: Fedora
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nVidia Nforce4 RAID-1 Boot Issues


I enabled the RAID feature in my nVidia NF4 BIOS.

When I booted Fedora 9, it located my RAID array and saw it as /dev/mapper/nvidia_ehedchbe

I created the partitions which were labeled as above but with ...p1 /boot, p2 swap, p3 /

The install went OK until I rebooted. Grub went to boot the kernel and there was a kernel panic. libnash crashed... reading around the net, I saw that people said go with linux software raid, because the nVidia nForce4 raid controller is half hardware, and half software so it's not 'real' raid. I also read that Linux's software raid was faster than the nVidia raid.

In any case, has anyone gotten linux to boot off of /dev/mapper/nvidia_***** with the sata_nv driver? Should I go with linux anyways in case of a mobo failure, I can easily swap the drives out into another mobo with linux immediately being able to resolve the issue (i.e.: I won't be stuck having to have to get another nVidia raid mobo)? And... Is it really "Software" RAID even though I configure the RAID array in the RAID bios?

The link below was what I was going to do three years ago and just now got around to it. This is what I have just done (for testing) and I'll find out if linux can boot off of /dev/md0 (with nodmraid kernel option):

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=178400
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:53 PM   #2
stefan_nicolau
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Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian Etch/Sid, Ubuntu
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Quote:
In any case, has anyone gotten linux to boot off of /dev/mapper/nvidia_***** with the sata_nv driver?
I can't answer that, but, since you were able to write to the device, I guess it would be possible to boot with a proper initrd.

Quote:
Should I go with linux anyways in case of a mobo failure, I can easily swap the drives out into another mobo with linux immediately being able to resolve the issue (i.e.: I won't be stuck having to have to get another nVidia raid mobo)?
That's what I did.

Quote:
I also read that Linux's software raid was faster than the nVidia raid.
That's very likely for these fake raid controllers. The controller is slower than your cpu at most things it does.

Quote:
Is it really "Software" RAID even though I configure the RAID array in the RAID bios?
raid is configured in the device bios, but it is provided by the linux driver. Therefore, there is little point to not using mdadm. It will probably also be faster and more reliable.

The only real reason I can think of to use these cheap raid controllers is that you will be able to use the raid partitions under both linux and windows if you dual-boot.
 
  


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mdadm, nforce4, nvidia, raid


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