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Old 07-24-2005, 09:43 PM   #1
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Disks in h/w RAID not recognized by multiple Linux installers

Hello, all,

Google was no help on this, so I'm hoping someone here has an answer for my issue. I have a home-built PC that, until recently, was running Windows XP quite nicely. But I built a new PC, so the older one is going to run Linux.

I have the following setup (these are just the germane pieces of hardware):

Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro 2 motherboard
Pioneer DVD-RW drive on IDE2
WD (small) HDD on IDE1
**WD (large) HDD on IDE3 master
**Samsung HDD on IDE3 slave

(for those not familiar, this mobo has two additional IDE onboard ports that can either be used as extra buses or for RAID purposes, as I'd like to do)

The starred items are giving me problems. When I boot, the GigaRAID BIOS sees the drives and lists them correctly. And when I hit control-G to enter the RAID menu, they are listed just fine -- they're set up as a striped array. So, if I'm not mistaken, any Linux installer should see these drives presented as one big drive.

But neither Anaconda (Fedora Core 3 or 4) nor YaST (SuSE 9.3) see those drives, only the smaller, lone drive on IDE1. And I just know it's going to be simpler to get this right at install-time rather than later on.

For giggles, I tried going into BIOS and changing the function of IDE3 from "RAID" to "IDE," making it just another IDE controller. Even that doesn't work: the installers still see only my lone drive.

I should think that drivers wouldn't be necessary, as the hardware is taking care of the disk presentation... but I could be wrong...

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I work with UNIX servers for a living, so I'm not a complete , but getting devices to be recognized under Linux has always been my Achilles' Heel...

Thanks in advance!!

-- Jeff P.
Old 07-25-2005, 10:44 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2004
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Try disabling the giga bios so that the only bios running is the machine bios .

Old 07-25-2005, 11:10 AM   #3
Registered: May 2004
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try installing slackware, but first look which kernel the slack install cd has to boot up

slack has excelent support for raid-systems but its a bit harder then suse to install
Old 07-25-2005, 12:29 PM   #4
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If I disable the GigaRaid BIOS, those 2 IDE ports will be dead, so I cannot try that. Thanks, though!


I appreciate the suggestion, but I would really prefer to be able to use the distribution of my choice. I don't see why this problem can't be solved using Fedora or SuSE.

A co-worker suggested installing without the drives recognized, then installing a Linux driver (which I don't think exists), or using the built-in update for my distro of choice to get the system to realize the disks are there. This seems risky to me, but I have nothing to lose, so I will try this tack and report results.

Any other ideas as to how to get the installer to recognize the disks?

Old 07-25-2005, 04:32 PM   #5
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Knoppix has an excellent reputation for hardware recognition & no installation is required.

If you use it & don't care about seeing the GUI, try
knoppix 2
at the splash screen.
Old 07-25-2005, 05:44 PM   #6
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I do not know what Gigabyte used for their IDE controller. Probably, GigaRAID relates to the nForce2 extra PATA controller. Also any storage controller that is on the motherboard that saids it does RAID is software RAID.

If you want people to help you better, print out what /sbin/lspci. Please explain in more detail where each drive is connected.

If you want to use software RAID that is run by the BIOS, you have to use dmraid because Linux will see two or more drives that were connected into a RAID array. Not a lot of Linux distributions comes with dmraid on the CD, so you have to download it somewhere else. I suggest you use the Linux software RAID because dmraid may not work well for your hardware.

If it does not work, buy a Highpoint controller. They work well in all my systems.
Old 07-25-2005, 06:16 PM   #7
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IT8212 Driver

You do need a driver for the IT8212 chip. There is one available in the -ac patch to kernel 2.6.11, at I am using this driver, and am very happy with it, but using it entails downloading kernel 2.6.11 & the -ac7 patchset, patching, configuring, compiling & installing the kernel, which implies an installed system. I have exactly the same hardware you do, except I have three 80G WD HDDs,one on HDA & one each on HDE3 master & HDE4 master, set as RAID1. I do have my OS (Slackware-current) on the RAID array, but I did not install it there, i copied it there. There is a thread on, in the 2.6 kernel, ac patch forum, which gives good instructions on installing the driver. One caveat, when I started using the array, it errored quickly, telling me it had lost the journal (ext3 fs) and sometimes locking up the machine. I put the command 'hdparm -d 1 /dev/hde' at the beginning of my startup script, well before any extensive data handling, especially the fsck.
Old 07-27-2005, 07:35 AM   #8
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If you want people to help you better, print out what /sbin/lspci. Please explain in more detail where each drive is connected.
I thought I had... As I said earlier, I did not yet even have Linux installed, so there was no /sbin/lspci to check. This is moot, however.

Apparently, Fedora Core 3 & SuSE's installers could not recognize the on-board controller, but Core 4 could. So just re-downloading the ISOs and clean installing did the trick.

Thank you all for your suggestions! I will be sure to archive them for future reference, as problems never seem to pop up just once...


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