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Old 06-07-2006, 07:36 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2005
Posts: 20

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SIlicon Image 3114 Raid support under linux (any distro)

Hello Everyone,

First let me start by saying that say any and all responses to the post are greatly appreciated, Thanx ALOT!

I have a DFI LAN PARTY SLI-DR mobo with onboard Silicon Image 3114 raid chipset (4 devices ) AND a onboard NVIDIA raid controller ( 4 more devices ). I installed 4 drives into this system, 1x120 gig drive as a boot drive and 3x250 gig Hitachi/IBM SATA 2.0 drives configuered in a raid 5 stripe. The motherboard maunal says that the Silicon Image raid controller supports 0,1,5 and JBOD. My plan was to install a dual boot Linux / Windows system on the 120 gig boot drive and store all data on the Hitachi raid 5 stripe. I figured since it is HARDWARE raid Linux would pick up the raid stripe and my data would be available in both LINUX and WINDOWS.

Reading thru the forums I have seen many other having problems with the Sil 3114 chipset but everyone seems to be trying to actually BOOT from the raid stripe. Anticipating that problem I have a seperate hard drive that I boot from and NOT from the raid stripe.

Here is the issue I am having / trying to address. I want to have access to my raid stripe in both Windows and Linux. Currently I have SUSE 10 installed on my Linux Partition and it sees the three raid drives as three individual drives and NOT as 1x500 gig raid 5 stripe. I cannot really experiment to much as there is active data on the raid stripe that I DONT want to loose. Looking in YAST I see that the sil3114_sata driver is loaded (at least for SUSE) but the raid stripe is NOT being seen. I guess, as others have said ,this is not a real hardware raid configuration, it is clearly depending on some software that windwos has and Linux does not (for the time being). Basically is what I am trying to do possible? Does it make sense that a raid stripe should be picked up by both windows and linux without any additional tweaking? SHOULD my raid stripe be seen by Linux? Or is it just NOT possible? If I used the NVIDIA raid instead of the sil 3114 raid would it make ANY difference?

I have so far tried SUSE 10, Redhat Fedora Core(4) and RedHat Enterprise(4) and none of them will acknowledge the raid stripe. It figures a windows only solution would gain popularity with the hardware vendors, what a surprise!

PS I am posting this at work when I get home I will paste the output of DMESG command. This is a truly annoying issue for me as I need to have access to the same data from both Windows and Linux. All other hardware is working like a champ under either OS.
Old 06-07-2006, 08:39 PM   #2
LQ Sage
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Saint Amant, Acadiana
Distribution: Gentoo ~amd64
Posts: 7,676

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The cost of a hardware RAID is around $300. No wonder none of your controllers is listed as RAID in SATA Linux status report. Linux can handle your software RAID in Windows compatible way, using dmraid.


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