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Old 03-25-2005, 01:56 PM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian 3.1
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Software Raid Setup How To... Help

HELP, I have read everything that I could to better understand where I am going wrong with configuring a Software Raid 1. I have research this subject extensively but I am still uncertain of what is going wrong. I have read the following articles which proved to be worthless as they did not go into great enough detail for me:

Debian Installation Guide
Software RAID how to
Managing RAID on Linux

I am build a SAMBA File Server which I built with the following:
AMD 64 2800
2- 80 GB SATA drives
512 MB RAM
Promise 20378 "which I cant use /w Linux, no drivers"
400 Watt PS

Listed below is the partitioning scheme that I setup on 2 80 GB SATA drives
1 primary / = 279.6 MB
5 logical /usr = 5.0 GB
6 logical /var = 3.0 GB
7 logical Swap = 1.5 GB
8 logical /tmp = 403. MB
9 logical /home = 69.8 GB

1 primary 279.6 MB RAID
5 logical 5.0 GB RAID
6 logical 3.0 GB RAID
7 logical Swap 1.5 GB
8 logical 403. MB RAID
9 logical 69.8 GB RAID

After partitions were setup, I selected SW RAID 1
All drives were formatted
selected, Create MD device
chose RAID 1
# of drives in RAID 1 array = 2
# of spares = 0

Now select exactly 2 devices that will be active. (this is were I am having the problem, I am not sure of which 2 should be active, or do I make them all active?)

I selected them all, after i selected finish, all I saw on the partition screen was partition 1, 5, 8. Even though I selected them all. after wards I selected finish partition drives and the installer proceeded with installing base kernel and application software.

I really need to know which devices should be active and WHY..PLEASE HELP I HAVE BEEN UP ALL NIGHT AND DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE.....

Last edited by globaltekit; 03-25-2005 at 01:59 PM.
Old 03-26-2005, 11:02 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2003
Location: /var/log/cabin
Distribution: All
Posts: 1,167

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hda1 and hdb1.

"Promise 20378 "which I cant use /w Linux, no drivers""- Bingo

Short and best answer:

Pardon the cheap shot pimp, but get the 3ware 8006-2LP.

You won't have to worry about any of this stuff that you are doing now. It's GPL and kernel native on top of being hardware RAID. You will also be guarenteed to boot if a drive fails, because it isn't software aka kernel userland dependent.

And I almost forgot, good luck. The first partition is active(bootable), like so:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 13 104391 fd Linux raid autodetect
/dev/hda2 14 14913 119684250 fd Linux raid autodetect
/dev/hda3 14914 14946 265072+ fd Linux raid autodetect

Last edited by Thoreau; 03-26-2005 at 11:04 PM.
Old 06-05-2005, 01:40 AM   #3
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Panama City
Distribution: Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux
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Lightbulb How-to Article from Dell Power Solution

There is a very detailed article on February 2005 issue of Dell Power Solutions magazine.

Configuring and Managing Software RAID with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3

If for some reason the above link doesn't work anymore just go to and navigate to Feb issue.

If the system is on a production environment, I have to agree with Thoreau, simply go for a tried and true hardware RAID controller. Don't take me wrong, I think Linux software RAID is a mature solution, robust, and very easy on the budget. But it actually depends on what would be more expensive in your case.

Here is the why... Downtime cost money, and unless you have a full-time admin on-site software RAID means paying extra hours for someone to rebuild the array after replacing the defective hardware.

I myself am seriously considering a 3ware Escalade 7006-2 (PATA), which has the same controller and drivers as the 8006-2 (SATA), for my home file server. It is not that managing software based RAID is difficult, not at all... But less than US$200 (even less than $150 on-line) for a hardware-based solution is money well spend.

If you decide to go for a 3ware controller keep in mind that Escalade 8006-2 needs a full-length PCI or PCI-X slot, usually available only on enterprise class hardware, while the 7006-2 will fit on a regular PCI slot. In either case I recommend you go to and compare vendor's rating and price.

Last edited by ahues; 06-11-2005 at 07:54 AM.


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