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Old 02-16-2005, 09:09 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2005
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Installing Linux on a RAID 1 array

Hi there,

I'm trying to install the Debian Sarge, using a RAID 1 array.
FWIW, i'm new to Linux, but as an IT consultant, can make heavy use of documentation and generelly makes my best to understand what (the hell) i'm doing.

Here is the hardware concerned by this thread :
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe (i.e. with SiI 3112A chip)
2x200 Go S-ATA Maxtor DiamondMax

Windows XP Pro is already installed on a 10 GB partition.

If possible, I'd like to take advantage of the SiI 3112A chip to install Linux on a RAID 1 array. I "Googled" a lot, but found nothing concerning my aim.

The Windows Drives Manager shows ONE 200 GB disk (which is the behaviour i waited for), although during installation the Debian partition program (partman) shows both disks. It seems that the RAID povided by SiI 3112A is not real hardware RAID (confirmed by the faq about sata). I'm pretty confused on what to do to to achieve this install. Any idea ?

This was the very main point for me. Now, for curiosity :

I'm guessing whether software RAID is the solution, since all i read on the subject insists on the fact that /boot should not be mirrored. So, what would happen if the disk where /boot is installed died ?

Since kernel 2.6 now supports SiI RAID chipsets, i'm afraid there could be some bad interactions between the chipset fakeraid and a software RAID. Am i wrong ?

Here is what i know and tried :
- Using "expert26" mode, i created 6 RAID partitions (1 GB swap, 1 GB /, 1 GB /var, 10 GB /usr, 20 GB /tmp, 157.7 GB /home) on both disks (so that partitions are paired on the disks), then used the RAID tool to make "logical" partitions from these physical ones (using ext3fs). The system hangs up after preparing the /home logical partition. After a Ctrl-Alt-Sup, it seems that the /home is ext2 and not ext3. What does it mean ?
- I tried an install with the help of the debianraid page... I completed it with a dd if=/dev/hde6 of=/linux base=512 count=1, then copied the file in Windows C: using a floppy, then modified the C:\boot.ini. After reboot and selecting Linux, all i saw was a flashing cursor... Damn !
- I now just installed Debian onto one disk (hde). It boots ok... Now, is it possible to make it use the SiI for a "transparent" RAID ? If yes, is it necessary to make an offline copy of /dev/hde onto /dev/hdg (using the SiI chipset BIOS) ?

I could ask a billion questions, but the mains are : If YOU installed Linux and successed to make it use the SiI 3112A to run a RAID 1 array, how did you do ?!

Thanks in advance !!
Old 05-03-2005, 12:51 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2005
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I also would like to find a solution to this.

Currently I'm trying to get things via software based RAID, as the SI 311 controller doesn't seem to be recognised by linux.

Has anyone else found a solution to this?

Old 05-03-2005, 04:43 PM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2002
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Look up dmraid.


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