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Old 08-25-2004, 03:21 PM   #1
bcrain
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Registered: Aug 2004
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Installing Linux on new Dell pc with RAID configuration


I'm new to Linux; haven't yet gotten a distribution, but am considering RedHat prof WS. I just bought a new pc, a Dell Dimension 8400. I want to dual boot, to WinXP and Linux. Reading a bit about installation in Chuck Easttom's book "Moving from Windows to Linux", it seemed the best way would be to get 2 hard drives, one for Win, one for Linux. So I ordered 2 hard drives in my new pc. Then, when I set it up, a hard drive appeared to be missing: Windows would only recognize one. After some research/inquiry, I discovered that both hard drives are there, but new Dell pc's come with software called "RAID", which configures the hard drives in a particular way. There are 2 options: RAID level 0 or level 1. Apparently mine was configured, by Dell, to be level 1, which, among other things, makes it impossible for Windows to recognize the 2 hard drives: they are there, and will be used, but I can't see or access them independently. This is not what I want, and it annoys me that Dell configured it as they did, without asking what I wanted and explaining the options. I've spent hours and hours with Dell technical help, to no avail (so far): apparently RAID is new and the help desk people know little about it. And the Dell user's manual is no good on this: it contains a lot of stuff on how to set up RAID from the outset, or configure it when adding a new hard drive, but nothing on how to change a RAID configuration already set for two factory-installed hard drives. I sense, however, that to move from RAID 1 to 0 I'm going to have to trash everything on both drives, re-install Windows and all the applications. Thanks, Dell!

That is my problem with Dell. My question about Linux: I wanted 2 hard drives to make it easy to install Linux. But I wonder if it's going to be easy if the hard drives are under a RAID configuation. The literatuve I've read about installing Linux discusses creating partitions, etc. But can that be done when the hard drives are configured by RAID, at either level? Should I try to disable the RAID configuration altogether (the Dell help technicians didn't even know if that would be possible, or how to do it). If I simply follow the install instructions that will come with, say, RedHat prof WS, will they work, when the hard drives are under some RAID configuration, or will I need special guidance?

I'm very reluctant to try an installation -- or even buy RedHat -- until I understand whether or not RAID will interfere, and, if so, what to do about it.

Thanks, Ben Crain
 
Old 08-25-2004, 03:40 PM   #2
ky-lab_rat
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Your correct when you move from RAID 1 to RAID 0 you will lose your data on your drives. To me it sounds like you are using a hardware RAID. If that is the case just check the RedHat HCL http://hardware.redhat.com/hcl/ for your raid controller. If you were using software raid then you would definitely have to trash your drives. From everything I read RedHat cannot use a Volume created with windows software raid. (someone else might know of a trick for this) You can get Fedora for free plus a ton of other Linux distributions from linuxiso.org. Personally I would setup with RAID 0 you will loose the data if one drive goes bad (this is what RAID 0 prevents in a nut shell) but you will have the capacity of both drives as one big drive. This will also improve your speed in some circumstances.

I cannot speak for the configuration of your Dell, but thatís why servers use RAID configurations for either higher throughput or redundancy.


Hope that helps out some just my 2 cents.
 
Old 08-25-2004, 03:45 PM   #3
arno
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Registered: Jul 2004
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Distribution: fedora core 8, suse 10.3, ubuntu 7.10, kamikaze 7.09
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What you can do is download Linux Rescue CD and burn this on a cd.
Boot the rescue ccd and have a look with run_qtparted.
The raid controllers I know create a logical disk and linux recognize that disk.

You could use the qtparted to resize your ntfs partition and create new linux partitions (swap equal to size internal memory) the rest for the root partition

http://www.sysresccd.org/download.en.php
 
  


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