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Old 08-20-2005, 01:42 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2001
Location: New Jersey
Distribution: Red Hat, SuSE, CentOS and Ubuntu
Posts: 50

Rep: Reputation: 16
SuperMicro 5013 with Intel RAID for SATA

One of my customers was tired of the constant wine from the fans on the Proliant 6400R in his office. He asked me to find a cheap, new, quiet server to replace the 6400R. I pointed him to for the SuperMicro 5013 unit with dual 120GB SATA drives, 1GB RAM and 3Ghz Pentium 4 (with hyperthreading). The dual drives are controlled by an onboard Intel RAID for Serial ATA (v chipset. When the box arrived it was set to RAID0 to provide 200+ gigabytes of total storage. I needed mirroring so switched it to RAID1 which resulted in 111.8 GB for my Fedora Core 4 installation. The box's primary function is to run Raining Data's Pick application which requires a RAW partition. I installed FC4 telling it to use 100GB for itself leaving 11.8GB free for Pick. During the install though Fedora saw both drives individually available which should not be the case if the hardware is mirroring. When FC4 finished installing it prompted for a reboot. After POST the machine hung at Verifying DMI Pool Data ..........

After numerous installs I finally disabled RAID altogether leaving the two drives as individual devices. I figured when you screw with RAID settings you'll loose everything having to reinstall but much to my surprise after disabling RAID the machine booted from the SATA drive into FC4! The most install though I had used the entire 111.8 GB for Linux not leaving any free space for Pick.

I reinstalled, removing all existing partitions, using 100GB for Linux. Again this is without the benefit of RAID (which is an absolute requirement). Someone suggested using Linuxes software RAID but that will not mirror the Pick partition.

I've posted to Phoenix (bios), Intel (RAID), Visionman (server) and Fedora-Core mailing lists.

Long story short, how can I protect the data in the RAW parition since using RAID at the BIOS level prevents Linux from booting?
Old 08-20-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Kingsport, TN
Distribution: RHEL & FC
Posts: 267

Rep: Reputation: 30
I looked on SuperMicro's site and didn't see a 5013 model that supported SATA drives. Do you have a link?

A guess though would be that your "hardware RAID" is actually "fake" RAID with Windows drivers. I got bit by a Tyan box by the same issue. I use lots of SuperMicro boxes and ones using Adaptec zero-channel hardware RAID or ZCR SATA RAID cards are true hardware RAID. They also work well with Linux.


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