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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 12-06-2005, 07:10 AM   #1
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Is it possible to convert from using hardware RAID to software RAID?


I've been using a hardware RAID controller built into my motherboard for two IDE drives setup as raid 0. Unfortunately my CPU died so now, since the system is a little old, I'm thinking of buying a new motherboard and cpu. However, the new motherboards I'm looking at don't have the same raid controller as the one I had (ITE 8212F). So, I now have a couple of questions.

* Firstly, if I plug the drives into a different raid controller will I still be able to read them? ie are all raid controllers compatible? I know that block size etc may differ but other than that if the block sizes are the same should I be able to just use them like before? I'm not really sure if the raid controllers put information at the beggining of the disks or something like that.

* Secondly, I heard that the ITE 8212F isn't really a hardware controller anyway and really just uses a software driver to implement the raid. SWo if this is the case is there a way to read the raid in linux without the the use of the raid controller? ie using linux software raid.

At the moment I don't have a working system to try anything out on but I wanted to ask this before committing myself to buying a motherboard. I could always buy a pci raid card using the ITE chip but if I don't need to then I'd rather do it another way.

Thanks in advace, any help would be great.
Old 12-06-2005, 10:11 PM   #2
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Hmm.... no one know the answer? Well I guess the main thing I want to know is just whether by knowing the block size that was used for the striping whether I can use any method, either another hardware raid controller or software raid, and read the disks without loding data.
Old 12-19-2005, 09:13 AM   #3
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Sorry, it's highly unlikely that you will be able to read anything. All vendors implement RAID differently. It may be worth a shot but I'd be prepared to lose everything. Of course that's the risk you run with RAID 0; it improves read throughput but increases your risk.

If your old controller isn't actual hardware RAID then chances are it wouldn't work in Linux, unless the vendor actually released Linux drivers. The modern Linux "mdadm" software-RAID utilities are pretty nice (much better than the old mdtools), so I'd recommend using those if you're doing it in software anyway.


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