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Old 11-06-2002, 08:52 AM   #1
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Gigabyte GA-7VARXP/Promise PDC20276 onboard raid

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this board or raid controller and slack.

the current distro includes a raid.s bootdisk that will detect the array and allow me to partition it, however I get seg faults when I try to format the partitions during setup.

8.1 raid.s bootdisk (according to the readme) is supposed to have promise fastrak support but I doesn't look to me like it does on boot up (I see other raid drivers looking for my array but no promise one).

I'm wondering if maybe I should try compiling a 2.4.18 kernal with promise support? (I'll have to do a fresh install on a seperate drive before I can do that). I'm also wondering if maybe I should try to use one of the drivers that promise supplies for red hat/suse/turbo etc. since there is no direct support for slack?

Any ideas or direction would be useful at this point, I've got a couple ideas.. but anything to cut down on the time/experimentation would be much appreciated.

btw, I made a similar post on a thread in the hardware forum, but it's mainly a red hat discussion on the same promise chipset, thought someone here my have a bit more slackish insight.

hardware setup is:
Gigabyte GA-7VARXP motherboard
Promise PDC20276 ATA133 on board raid controller
AMD athlon XP 2000+
2 WD 60gb 7200 drives
Old 11-07-2002, 11:49 PM   #2
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If you are able to see the array to partition it then try to format it prior to running the setup program. I use the following for ext3:

mke2fs -m0 -j /dev/hdx

Substitute the "hdx" above for your partition name. In the setup program when prompted, select not to format the drive.

Perhaps it will help. But I am suspecting that it will not. Your post stated it was an ATA133 and that is a brand new spec. You might require the 2.4.19 kernel to support it properly. Slack 8.1 uses the 2.4.18 kernel. If you do not have another system available to download and build a kernel, then a simple install to build a kernel will probably be required. But you will have to do another build to get an operational kernel to load on the system with modules if you will be using modules. But you could at least use your custom kernel without modules to get it booted after the install. You could at least attempt using a kernel from the slackware-current tree. It is beta testing but it is based on the 2.4.19 kernel and it offers the raid.s kernel.

Good luck!

Also, the .s kernel series are usually SCSI drivers, so make sure about your Promise IDE RAID controller.

Last edited by Excalibur; 11-07-2002 at 11:55 PM.
Old 11-25-2002, 06:18 AM   #3
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ok.. I haven't had much time to play over the past week or two.. but I was just looking at promise's site this morning and it looks like it's changed a bit. I now see some additional information/drivers.

could someone with a bit more experience with getting down and dirty with drivers take a look here:

and tell me what these are?

it looks like a text file.. and without knowing any better.. a C source file? or is it a make file? hehe.. it looks like this might be one of the first steps to solving my problems.. but I'm not really sure what to do with it :/

the date looks a little older.. but I swear these weren't there 2 weeks ago.
Old 11-25-2002, 06:24 AM   #4
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I see this case:

+ p += sprintf(p, "MBFastTrak 133 Lite\n"); break;

burried in there.. and that's exactly what I see when I'm in the raid bios... 'mbfasttrak 133 lite' as well as being the proper chip...

so I'm hopeing if I can get a bit of instruction here that I might be able to get things to work.
Old 12-06-2002, 07:59 AM   #5
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patch files

They are patch files, see man patch.

You use them like this:

cd /usr/local/linux
patch -p0 < /tmp/name_of_the_file.patch

and then they change the kernel source code for you.
Old 12-12-2002, 11:07 PM   #6
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Talking Works great

I have this mobo working in Raid mode with SuSE 8.0 distro.

I used the drivers from the Promise site for their FastTrak TX2000 PCI card. It works great. The drivers have the install directions with them .... follow them to the letter.

I notice today that Gigabyte has drivers for this mobo and Linux now... I have not looked at them, so I have no idea what shape they are in.

Good luck, it is a great inexpensive Raid solution.



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