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Old 08-19-2005, 09:42 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 69

Rep: Reputation: 15
Installing Slackware 10.1 on SATA Hardware(?) Raid 0, VIA VT8237

Just bought two new Hiatchi 250 GIG SataII drives. I've been using slackware for years now, and my main config up until now has been 1 80 gig IDE drive for the OS and games, and a 120 gig SataI drive for 'Documents'. I would just forget about custom kernels with the boot cd, (thereby using bare.i) and just doing up a custom 2.6.x-ck kernel (good stuff, with support for "VIA SATA", the new drive would then be under sda. Mount it and watch videos.

Now, I'm without that kind of 'old fasioned' solution. I am PRETTY sure I am with a 'hardware' (rather than software) raid setup here. I really don't know shit about raid other than what some of the 'levels' do and what raid stands for. The controller chip on the motherboard (Asus k8v Deluxe), brings up information at boot time, specially which of the two avaible ports are connected to hard drives. When plugging in the drives today, they both displayed there, and I "Hit Tab to Enter User Utility" and created a raid0 striped array, and rebooted; easy enough. Now they both display Array 0 after them, which seems about right.

I had to burn a new slackware disc 1 (I use dropline gnome and dont need the second), and booted from it. I new of both kernels, sata.i , and raid.s. Frankly this is where I got lost, which one do I use? Opting to try both and poke around I was able to boot from sata.i and see both discs there for sda, and sdb. Cool if I was going to install the OS on one and keep the other for space, but not what I was looking for. I booted the raid.s kernel, and I couldnt see either block device. I don't know if this is good or bad, as I recall the sata.i kernel had support for the various controls (including via) builtin, whereas the raid.s might have had them in modules.

The first step do an install of slackware is cfdisk/fdisk, but where do I point to? What block device? I was under the impression that hardware raid doesnt need me to fool with mdadm, or mkraid, or whatever those apps do...
Which kernel should I use?

Any pointers?

Thank you very much, god knows the slackware sub forum is the most bright and I feel confident I can get this to work with some help.

Thank you again.

Relevant links....
Old 08-19-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 69

Original Poster
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I'm trying it with the included promise controller and it doesnt seem to be any differant. I see two drives... Maybe these arent really hardware controllers....?
Old 08-20-2005, 12:09 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Slackware 10.2 (AMD64 Desktop, HP ZV5120US & IBM T20 Laptops) Suse 10.1 (IBM T23 Laptop)
Posts: 58

Rep: Reputation: 15
I'll be watching with interest...

Sorry I can't be of help,
I have the same motherboard, with RAID 0 ( two seagate 160Gb's ) but haven't gotten around to trying to do Slackware RAID.

I use 2.6.10 kernel, and have seen the same output each time I boot. I even partitioned the Array (using Partition Commander ) for linux, but couldn't get Slack to see it.
Mine always show up as separate drives, sda and sdb, but fdisk and cfdisk always complain about the partition exceeding the limits of the drive or something of that nature. ( Not around the machine or I would gladly post the output of the error. )

My web search left me with the impression that our motherboard isn't really hardware raid afterall, but rather a software version of raid.
As seen by the use of both the bios to create the array and thr windows drivers to load to see the array under windows

So, in short form...
If you want to set up windows support, go ahead.
If you want to set up linux raid... sure, no problem...

If you want an array to be used by both systems, you will have to wait a bit longer...

but maybe someone else out there already has this thing up and running...

Like I said, I'll be watching

Old 08-20-2005, 02:28 AM   #4
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 69

Original Poster
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Yeah I came to that EXACT same conclusion; it's hardware raid so much as you use windows drivers....fie and foo.. I'm pissed. I'm gonna just return the drives, pay the retocking fee and go for one 500 gig. When I upgrade my whole system (what with SLI and PCI express and what not) Ill go hradware raid and get another for a terabyte of space to hold x files espidoes.
Old 08-20-2005, 01:16 PM   #5
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Distribution: Slackware, Zenwalk
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: 15

I have to systems on the ASUS A8V Delux mobo. On oneam I running a quad boot system (WXP+Slack+Slamd64+Ubuntu) and on the other a dual boot (WXP+Ubuntu) system.

On the first system am I only using the first SATA chanel (no RAID) and all is working fine.

The second system is my workstation at work. On that one I have a PATA system disk on the fist IDE chanel (master (hda)) an additional PATA disk (slave (hdb)) with Ubuntu. And two 250G SATA disks in RAID 0 on the two first SATA chanels (VIA 6420 controller).

The RAID0 is working nicely in WXP and I'm trying to get it to work in linux as well.

Have you two tried the linux drivers from ?

I'll continue with the sytem setup on monday/tuesday and will post any progress.

Last edited by heltreko; 08-20-2005 at 01:17 PM.
Old 08-20-2005, 04:07 PM   #6
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: Slackware / Dropline GNOME
Posts: 378

Rep: Reputation: 30
I have a board with the same VIA SATA controller. I use it with two SATA drives, but I do not use the RAID features. To my knowledge, these are controllers that require special drivers. There is no dedicated chip on these boards that handles the RAID freatures (e.g. it's CPU controlled through standard commands that access the drives independently).

That doesn't mean that the standard kernel softraid drivers aren't sufficient. I've seen some benchmarks that indicate that the kernel's own softraid drivers actually perform better than vendor-supplied drivers (this was especially the case back when I was using a Highpoint PATA RAID-0 configuration).

In the end, for the sake of reiability... I decided to stop using RAID-0. I found it sufficient (and more reliable) to simply place the different drives/partitions at various mountpoints. I may experiment with redundant (S)ATA RAID configurations in the future though.

I've seen some 3Ware SATA RAID devices priced as low as $120. There are lost of hardware RAID solutions out there, but they often cost as much as an SATA drive by itself.
Old 08-22-2005, 06:04 AM   #7
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Distribution: Slackware, Zenwalk
Posts: 141

Rep: Reputation: 15

Did some more searching and found this forum thread.

I followed the howto
installed device mapper & dmraid (see above howto for links)
dmraid -ay -v
ls /dev/mapper
gparted to formatted my desired partition (second on my raid drive)
mounted the partition

Now happily running the same RAID 0 both in linux and WXP but still not sharing files between the partitions.

I agree with zborgerd regarding the reliability of the raid 0 configuration. Thats why I keep my system on a regular SATA drive and only use the stripe array for temporary work space.
Old 09-16-2005, 06:38 AM   #8
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: Latvia
Posts: 11

Rep: Reputation: 0
I have the same problem.. I have INTEL MATRIX RAID CONTROLLER. My HDD`s - SATAII 160Gb x2 (SAMSUNG). It doesn`t work as RAID, I setup hardware RAID to RAID1(mirroring) and it shows 1 raid disk, but slack 10.2 show me simple my 2 hard drives (and shows that they are scsi drives).
Sorry for my english.


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