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Old 11-17-2004, 05:17 PM   #1
killerbob
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Slack + Highpoint 372 RAID0/1


Welp... this may belong in the Linux Install section, so I won't be complaining if it gets moved.

Coles notes version: How do I install Slack 10 native on a HighPoint HPT372 ATA133 RAID?

After succeeding in getting Linux working perfectly on my laptop, I've decided to take the next step and give Windows the old bras d'honneur and install Linux on my desktop This may have something to do with two complete system crashes in as many weeks. The thing is, this isn't the first time I've tried to install Linux on the machine, and it's probably one of only a handful of instances where Linux is hosed because it's so good. (On the plus side, I am getting really good at installing Windows 2000, and have it down to 45 minutes from "Format C: /U" to desktop....)

Anybody who's tried it knows what I'm talking about. The Highpoint 372 installs itself as a virtual SCSI controller and handles the RAID at the hardware level with a BIOS. Absolutely no problem, get really good performance, stable, so long as your OS uses INT13 to access the hard drive (Windows 9X, for example). Linux doesn't. It completely ignores BIOS when it comes to HDD access. This is good when installing on ancient computers, because you don't need a drive overlay to get that 160GB HDD working on your '386. BUT, it's bad when you're trying to use a hardware ATA133 RAID controller, because instead of seeing a single drive (4*20gb, RAID0/1 configuration on my system), Linux sees 4 20GB Maxtor DiamondMAX ATA133 drives. Oh joy of joys.

So... anybody have any good suggestions for a doc that I can use to bone up on how to do it? I tried the Linux RAID howto, which basically says "Use Promise. If you have a Highpoint RAID controller, then you're screwed. Use RedHat, or stick with Windows." Useful, considering that RedHat doesn't really exist any more, and I really do not want to have to download 3 ISO's of Fedora just to be able to install it. Can you say "bloat"?

If you feel like writing a detailed howto, great. But really, I'm just looking for advice on where to go for one. If I have to figure it out for myself, I'll do that. My best thought, at the moment, would be to compile the driver on my laptop, but I still need to figure out how to install Slack loading a driver from diskette before it partitions the HDD.
 
Old 11-17-2004, 05:43 PM   #2
rotvogel
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Did you take a look at the Highpoint site ? There are drivers available for this type of controller. http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/bios_hpt372n.htm

In this opensource driver tarball you will find a readme file containing instructions how to compile and install the driver. I think you will need to boot using initrd to boot from the RAID array, I only see a module, not a kernel patch.

It looks like they provide technical support by email as well. Also in the readme.

I have a HPT370 which is supported by the 2.4 kernels but yours seems to be supported Non RAID only.

Good luck
 
Old 11-17-2004, 08:26 PM   #3
killerbob
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I've got that on my laptop, actually. The thing is, I need to install it on my desktop, not my laptop, and my desktop has no hard drives that aren't part of the RAID array. According to the instructions that come with the source, you compile it to the kernel you currently have installed on your system. Nothing at all about compiling a generic driver that should work cross-platform, let alone about using the driver to install a system directly to the RAID.

If I need to use an initrd with a chroot, so be it. But that still means that I need a bootdisk to be able to run Linux on my desktop, which is more than a little annoying. I have a few extra IDE hard drives lying around, and could resurrect a 3.6GB Fujitsu for the task, but my system is running so many peripherals that a 550W power supply is overtaxed as it is, let alone running a 5th hard drive.
 
Old 11-17-2004, 08:40 PM   #4
rotvogel
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The extra disc could be an easy solution. Make the files you need to boot (initrd) available on that disc, don't mount it automaticly and power down it in rc.local could be a solution. I never used initrd (did not need it) but have experience using an old disc just for booting and power down a disc and that will work .
 
Old 11-17-2004, 09:40 PM   #5
WMD
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Did you try booting the install CD with the raid.s kernel?
 
Old 11-18-2004, 07:10 PM   #6
killerbob
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Nope. But I thank you for telling me, because that seems to be working. Except that I have no idea what device to tell FDISK to read. (probably /dev/hde and /dev/hdh). It reads the RAID0 portions of the array no problem now, but not the RAID1 portion. (I've got two RAID0 arrays, running as a RAID1. Total of 4 hdd's.) It sees them as two drives instead of 4 now, though, so that's progress....

Oh well. No data that I need to save. Into the BIOS to reconfigure that into a single 80GB RAID0, and I'll use my old friend BootitNG to partition the drive. Thankee muchly

I'll just have to remember to tell it to install the raid.s kernel and hope it doesn't cack after the install....
 
  


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