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Old 11-07-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
balsam
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Promise RAID card as IDE adapter in dual-boot?


My motherboard has one IDE channel, and two SATA channels. I currently have an IDE hdd with Ubuntu 9.04 in the master position, and an IDE CD drive as slave. Windows XP is on a SATA hdd. Grub is on the Ubuntu drive.

I want to install a Promise FastTrak 100 TX2 ATA/RAID card and run the IDE hdd through it. The reason is logistics (cable length), and because the hdd will have better performance on its own channel.

I'm remounting the drives due to poor airflow, so I thought this would be a good time to do this. I don't want to do any kind of RAID array. I just want to use the card as a plain IDE adapter for the single IDE hdd.

So I need to know how to install drivers, and in what order to do things. I am also wondering whether any Windows drivers for the card need to be installed on the Windows hdd. I don't write anything to the Ubuntu drive while running Windows XP.

The motherboard has an intel 915 chipset. I can provide other info if necessary.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
Quakeboy02
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Unless you have a custom kernel, you shouldn't have to do anything, as far as drivers are concerned. But, the TX2 that I have almost insists that any connected drive has an array on it. If you run into that, then just set the single drive as RAID 1.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
thorkelljarl
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Just plug it in...

I think that as you have your operative systems installed, you would have no problems in just installing the controller card. You don't need a driver for linux, the kernel will load a module at boot. The Promise card has its own BIOS for the controller chips.

You can look in your BIOS, on the first page, and see that the IDE devices are listed above the SATA, thereby being searched first for an operative system to boot.

You might look at any BIOS settings that have to do with "First Boot Device", "Second Boot Device", etc. to see if there is any option for choosing between HDDs, and choose the first HDD.

Attaching devices to be used by Windows to the Promise card requires a Windows driver, but as you have described your setup, this is not the case. You might install a driver anyway so that Windows doesn't find anything to complain about.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-07-2009 at 03:31 PM.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
balsam
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Thanks for the info Quakeboy02 and thorkelljarl.

I'm in the middle of relocating the drives and I saw that the cheap Dell psu only has two 4-pin molex connectors and they're two inches apart. (I'm glad they saved that $0.02 on each unit)

My only other 24pin psu has a severed red 12v wire going to half of the drive power connectors. Can I strip the ends, twist them and heat-shrink wrap it? I don't want inadequate 12v going to the hdd's.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
thorkelljarl
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Almost sure...

A little solder would be better after you twist them, but if that can't be, make a good mechanical connection and bind it tight with electrical tape or a shrink-wrap.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-07-2009 at 06:44 PM.
 
Old 11-07-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
Quakeboy02
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You really need to solder them together. Twisting them generally won't carry enough current. Having said that, there is a connector that will probably be fine. I use the yellow one to provide 20 amps to one of my ham radios. You will probably want the blue one, but the red one might work. I think I got mine at the local Autozone auto parts store, but I can't swear to it.

http://www.posi-lock.com/posilock.html

Disclaimer: I have no connection to this company, financial or otherwise.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 08:58 AM   #7
balsam
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I remounted the drives with the assistance of several foam strips, superglue, an old drive cage, two modified drive rails, and some rubber feet off an old printer. I'm so glad Dell decided to go with proprietary drive mounting hardware. -which was absent when I recieved this computer second hand. If Dell is going to use these things they should put little chains on them like pens at a bank.

I stripped, twisted, and soldered the severed wire on the psu, but after installing the thing I found out it was faulty.

Doing some research, I learned that psu's with a 20-pin connector can be plugged in to a 24-pin motherboard power connector. Since my system is pretty sparse the 20-pin should be adequate. Couldn't find any actual numbers on my mobo's power usage.

~ ~

After taking care of all that, I turned on the system and it just boots to the SATA drive with Windows XP. I never see the grub screen with the OS selections list. I checked the BIOS and 'IDE drives' is listed before SATA in the boot order. I also set up a single drive array in the BIOS for the RAID card. I don't know if it is setup correctly or not. Grub is on the IDE hdd, so I need the computer to boot grub from that drive via the RAID card.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #8
thorkelljarl
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Try...

Can you boot a live-cd, try KNOPPIX, and will it see the IDE HDD on the Promise card?

The fact that the BIOS will boot an IDE before SATA may apply only to those HDDs connected to the motherboard controllers.

I'll install my Promise Ultra133 TX2, look, think, and post back.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-10-2009 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #9
Quakeboy02
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Are there any other options in the BIOS? Maybe RAID or even SCSI? I can't remember what my TX2 card said, and I don't have it installed anymore.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 12:39 PM   #10
thorkelljarl
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With my Promise Ultra133 TX2...

With the Promise controller card installed, I see my first POST screen with the two IDE disk drives and the one SATA HDD I have connected to the motherboard controllers.

Then, a second screen appears showing information about the the Promise card and listing the the IDE HDD or other devices attached to it. If there are no valid devices found, the Promise card shows that information.

I have jumped the IDE HDD as Master.

Thereafter, POST proceeds to the usual second screen, looks at the two IDE disk drives, then to the SATA HDD, finds GRUB and boots.

After booting, the IDE HDD is shown in openSUSE as a storage device and is listed in the partition table,

If I edited GRUB, I should be able to have it boot an OS on the IDE HDD on The Promise card.

Can't you arrange for your Windows bootloader to do the same and chainload the linux OS on the IDE HDD?

http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 11-10-2009 at 02:44 PM.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 01:25 PM   #11
mostlyharmless
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For what it's worth, my mobo has a selector for boot device, with an option RAID/SCSI which selects my Promise RAID card as primary, or HDD, which selects the on board controller (which also has an on-board RAID, disabled), or floppy or CD etc.... So, probably just a BIOS selection, as pointed out above..
 
Old 11-10-2009, 01:35 PM   #12
thorkelljarl
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Also...

If you have a floppy drive, or if your system can boot from a USB flash, you could try booting with GRUB from either. Use this as a proof of concept for booting the IDE HDD or perhaps as a last resort.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #13
balsam
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[SOLVED]

In the motherboard's BIOS section for drives it only showed the mobo-controlled drives. SATA0 (hdd), SATA1 (none), PATA0 (CD),PATA1 (none). This is just like thorkelljarl excepted.

Quote:
The fact that the BIOS will boot an IDE before SATA may apply only to those HDDs connected to the motherboard controllers.
So I checked the boot order list again. There was no entry with "RAID" "SCSI" or"Promise" in the name. It was called "FT Ary X". I'm guessing this stands for Fast Trak Array X.

Quote:
Are there any other options in the BIOS? Maybe RAID or even SCSI? I can't remember what my TX2 card said, and I don't have it installed anymore.
So Quakeboy02, you asked the right question, and its no wonder you didn't remember "FT Ary X". Who would memorize that?

Actually maybe its just my Dell BIOS that lists it as "FT Ary X". Apparently other BIOS's list it as RAID or something else.

Anyway for the record my boot order was: (before switching 5&6)

1. Onboard or USB floppy drive (not present)
2. Onboard or USB CD-ROM drive
3. USB Device (not present)
4. Onboard IDE Hard Drive (not present)
5. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
6. FT Ary X

~

My only question now is am I going to have to press F1 every time I turn the system on? After the Promise BIOS scans and recognizes the drive, it says:

Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility

~

Also, the array is listed as:

ID: 1*
MODE: 1+0 Stripe
SIZE: 79999M
TRACK-MAPPING: 9726/255/63
STATUS: Functional

It looks good to me, and the drive booted, but does this look ok to you guys?
 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balsam View Post
[SOLVED]My only question now is am I going to have to press F1 every time I turn the system on? After the Promise BIOS scans and recognizes the drive, it says:

Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility
IIRC, if it doesn't have an array it waits a looooong time before it boots, but if it does have an array it's like 10 or 20 seconds. Yeah, still long, but short enough that you don't always feel like "adjusting" it with a hammer. LOL

Quote:
Also, the array is listed as:

ID: 1*
MODE: 1+0 Stripe
SIZE: 79999M
TRACK-MAPPING: 9726/255/63
STATUS: Functional

It looks good to me, and the drive booted, but does this look ok to you guys?
"1+0" looks strange, but if it boots, it's probably OK.
 
Old 11-10-2009, 02:35 PM   #15
balsam
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Thanks so much to everyone who helped.

~

Quote:
"1+0" looks strange, but if it boots, it's probably OK.
Yeah, I think the FastTrak has an ego problem. It says "Hmm. Only one drive. What impressive stuff can I do with this? Hmm, nothing. I guess I'll just list it as a "1+0 Striped" array so everyone will know what cool stuff I'm capable of."

I want to slap it in the face and say "There's only one drive. You're being used as a common IDE adapter. There's no array. Get over yourself."

Last edited by balsam; 11-10-2009 at 02:36 PM.
 
  


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