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Old 02-15-2004, 10:30 AM   #1
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PDC 20276 - Promise Fasttrack 133 found but still not found..

Hello all,

I'm trying to get a Promise Fasttrack 133 controller running on slackware 9.1.
When I insmod the driver(pdcraid.o) I get a 'No Such Device' error despite
the controller is listed in /proc/pci(it is clearly there). Anyone has the slightest idea where
the problem lies?
The controller has two channels, each with one disc attached running a RAID1 configuration.


Old 02-15-2004, 01:11 PM   #2
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Are you using the driver from Promise? I've got the same card working (MSI KT3 Ultra2 Motherboard) using the Linux support for the Promise card, and it's been working OK for a few days -- although I have just today run into a small problem with creating partitions! Let me know -- perhaps we can swap experience.

Although be warned: I am intending to ditch the ATA RAID nonsense in favour of Linux software RAID soon, so I won't be much help on ATA stuff if that's what you're into doing.


Old 02-15-2004, 01:49 PM   #3
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I'm using the one in the plain linux kernel, on discs via plain old IDE/ribbon cable.

The problem is I need to boot from the controller, which makes it a hazzle with closed source drivers. Or do you boot via your drives?

BTW, what is your partition problems? Perhaps I can help.


Old 02-16-2004, 07:44 AM   #4
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More on RAID


OK, a bit of background.

I originally had one 30GB disk, with the usual mix of Linux (ext2) and Windows (FAT, NTFS) partitions on them. After buying a second 30GB disk, I wanted to see what I could with RAID. I also had a spare 10GB, which I initially installed Linux onto, just to see if I could get Debian+KDE more or less setup. Result: no problems at all (big thanks to Nvidia as well for making a fantastic module installer for their card...).

I also decided to make the move to Linux permanently, since I was tired of trying to persuade Windows to boot from another partition without re-installing.

The setup was thus:


RAID: HDE + HDG (each 30GB)

I experimented with the setup until I got the following working:

Boot from /dev/hda, using everything else on /dev/ataraid/d0, including root. This is not ideal, since I would actually like to boot from /dev/ataraid/d0, but I have not yet managed this. My lilo.conf thus has:

boot = /dev/hda

with a 'main' linux version of:

root = /dev/ataraid/d0p7

whilst a backup linux is available on HDA itself under

root = /dev/hda7

When installing a new kernel, I merely need to install the kernel and lilo to /dev/hda, so it's not too much of a problem (lilo can chroot). But it's not ideal, esp. since I want the 10GB disk to be a 'real' emergency disk, and not necessary to boot the system every day. I have kept a working Windows on the 10GB disk as well, in case of .. well, not much really -- games, I guess *G.

Anyway, I have been using the RAID as it is very intensively. After I set it up under the BIOS using the Promise tools, I had four partitions on it originally: 3 Primary and 1 Extended. The 3 Primarys were FAT32, NTFS and NTFS, whilst all the Linux stuff was in the Extended, under about 5 logical partitions (four system parts plus swap). I have been slowly copying files from one partition to another, intending to reduce the partitions down to a manageable size -- and of course intending to get rid of the NTFS and FAT32 stuff.

What I have found out -- which is *very* interesting -- is that with the NTFS partitions, when one deletes them, they are somehow "remembered" by the system, which is what I meant with my 'problem'.

Following example:

I had /dev/ataraid/d0p7, which is 5GB in size, and NTFS. I have just copied it to /dev/ataraid/d0p2, which is already formatted as ext2. After verifying the files as best I can, I can now delete /dev/ataraid/d0p7. I also have some free space on the RAID, so I now do the following:

Run cfdisk /dev/ataraid/d0. Remove d0p7, and set up a new partition with a bigger size, using the remaining free space on the drive, say 10GB.


Use mke2fs to create a new filesystem on /dev/ataraid/d0p7.

Mount filesyystem (read-write) under /mnt to test it.

And now what happens is weird. One of two things happens: either the partition is mounted with the old information, which means the size and all the files seem to have magically survived the partition being deleted and recreated, OR I cannot mount the partition at all. In the first case, I also cannot write anything to the partition, because it has been mounted read-only (just like NTFS must be!!).

I finally solved this by in the first case running a double check on the partition (mke2fs -cc), which seems to have 'reset' the information about the partition. And in the second case I simply forced Linux to see the drive as ext2 by specifying this in the mount:

mount -t ext2 /dev/ataraid/d0p7 /mnt

which also works. But it's a bit shaky, to say the least.

And I'm still not happy with the setup, it's less than ideal to not boot from the RAID, and I think I will also need to use LVM, since at the moment I often need to re-size partitions, when addressing the disks as LVM would make a lot more sense (just the one partition on each disk, but split up using RAID and LVM).

So, my plan is as follows:

Get rid of ATA RAID, and use Linux native (md)

Re-structure the disk into four primary partitions:

/dev/hde1 - boot (RAID 1)
/dev/hde2 - swap (RAID 1)
/dev/hde3 - root (RAID 1)
/dev/hde4 - RAID 1 partition -> Goes into LVM

/dev/hdg same as /dev/hde

This way, I get the security of RAID on the essential three Linux partitions together with the flexibility of LVM for the other partitions which I need (for home, user, etc., etc.). All partitions will be formatted as reiserfs.

The only thing I am not sure about is how to 'switch off' ATA RAID, for which I need someone to answer my other thread in this forum!!

What would also be interesting, is if one can use *four* disks on the Promise controller -- there shouldn't be any reason why not...

Sorry for the long post!




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