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Old 05-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
sailor420
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Software RAID 5--Possible to move to different distro?


I'm considering building an Ubuntu file server that would be running software RAID5. While I think I have most of it figured out, I'm still a bit fuzzy about this: what happens if I trash or otherwise have to re-install my OS (because I decide to upgrade to a newer version, switch distros, or whatever)? Would the new OS be able to "see" that there was a RAID5 array on the disks and make use of it? Or would I for sure lose all of the data on the array?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 
Old 05-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
mostlyharmless
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It would probably be like any other trashed or otherwise have to reinstall situation: you could mount the RAID 5 array (assuming it wasn't damaged in the "trashing") and pull any data you want off of it. If the array is the boot device, reinstalling to it would be slightly distro dependent, but again is similar to reinstalling on any other filesystem: you want to overwrite most of the files on your reinstall except your personal data, which you're better off backing up anyway. Certainly if the array is not the boot device, reinstalling on another device should be able to mount and use the array without a problem.

Hope that helps.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
sailor420
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So then another OS should be able to "see" the RAID array, even though it was created in software from a different OS installation, and reconstruct the array without data loss? Just want to confirm--it seems a fairly straightforward question for hardware RAID, but less so for software RAID, which is what I'd be using.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 04:25 PM   #4
mostlyharmless
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It should be no problem as long as they're both Linux and have mdadm, which they all do, or can be easily installed. BSD I don't know about but bet dollars to donuts it'd read the RAID also. Windows, well, Linux will read/write Windows RAID, but probably not the other way around without installing some Linux tools.

Last edited by mostlyharmless; 05-03-2010 at 04:27 PM.
 
Old 05-03-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
sailor420
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Great, thanks for the help!
 
  


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