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Suggestions for new hard drive partitions

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I agree with you John. Unless Ian knows something that I don't. I admit Ian is much more knowledgable on Linux than I am.

 

I used to have an ABIT motherboard with the Intel ICH7R chipset. This has the Intel Option ROM for RAID support. You can build the RAID without an OS installed.

 

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/cs-020663.htm

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Thanks David for your comment. I especially endorse the line...Quote :_ ."You can build the RAID without an OS installed."

 

That is the most important point so far as I am concerned.

 

Cheers. John.

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Ianw.

I am not a technical expert but I am not sure what you say is totally correct about Raid on Motherboards.

 

The earlier Asus A7V-600-x I had, had on board Raid that could be truly described as hardware raid because the entire Raid setup was done solely within the Bios settimg mode, namely BEFORE booting up, with the result that the OS just installed as per normal with NO adding of drivers and so on because it just saw the Raid as a single Hard drive, therefore no complications. Purely technically it may still be software Raid but I think that would be hair splitting and only confusing the issue. To argue a point about fakeraid doesn't help anyone.

 

I'm not being pedantic, but you will find that it is fakeraid. Real hardware raid costs a lot of money. Just because you can go into the BIOS and configure the RAID in there, doesn't necessarily mean it's hardware raid. It's software raid/fakeraid in a chip on the motherboard. I actually feel that arguing the point about it is valid and DOES help people. Where data is concerned and the security of it, I feel strongly about it - but if you are confident in it then OK. I have an Adaptec 1430SA which is fakeraid and I cannot use it or install anything because if RAID is configured, I still see more than one disk. Will explain why when I reply to your next comment.

 

When using Windows years ago I started with Promise Raid cards and used them for years, they were excellent and expensive. I learned a lot about raid in those days, even having to install drivers during the Windows install process before you could hope to successfully install the Windows OS. Then eventually the newer Promise Raid cards advanced that it was no longer necessary to install drivers during the OS installation. When I started using Linux the Raid aspect was a complete mess that I gave up using Raid until I started using the ASUS board I have mentioned and its predecessor. And never had a setup problem since until the present Gygabyte Board.

In a Raid1 setup if a drive failed then you replaced it and re-entered the Bios Raid setup and had it mirror from the still operable Hard drive and when it completed you continued the boot up routine as per normal. No dramas and couldn't be any easier. The same cannot be said for software Raid.

By the way, My drives were SATA on both Mainboards, and there was nothing slow about them in normal use in Raid1 mode using the ASUS board.. Replacing a drive and subsequent mirroring took a while but once done that was the end of it.

 

The present board that I have is a Gygabyte MA790X-D94 and while it claims to have Raid capability, it really is a con because it requires a floppy (or CD) insertion of the Windows driver first before installing the OS. The same applys with Linux. So yes this Mainboard Raid is software raid. In fact I have emailed Gygabyte on this matter and made it perfectly clear that had I known this point, I would never have bought their product not withstanding the excellent quality, long Warranty and reliability of their product.

 

Yes, you're right it's a con. They have a driver/module that you have to use before you can install the OS. The same with my Adaptec 1430SA card - I have to use RH or SUSE modules from Adaptec, nothing else is available. Therefore, I have a smaller choice of distros if RAID is configured because the driver is closed and no module exists in the kernel - unlike your previous motherboard which probably used Fusion MPT - although I won't comment for definite because I don't know but it would have either been that, or another more common module usually used and built into a kernel. I use my Adaptec solely for a disk controller, no RAID. I spent money for it when really I'd rather use the motherboard. My ASUS motherboard with disks attached is SLOW. Very SLOW. And much slower than if I use the Adaptec 1430 SA. If I wanted hardware raid I would have bought the LSI Logic SAS1068 which costs five times more than the Adaptec 1430 SA. Cost of hardware raid versus fakeraid is as you can see five times more. That's why I know 100% your motherboard unless it was five times more expensive than a normal one with fakeraid, is fakeraid and nothing else. So, your GigaByte was just the same, it had a controller that didn't exist as standard in Windows/Linux and therefore you couldn't install without providing this first. Chances are they only provided for some of the more popular distros, ruling out the majority of others.

 

So Xboxboy, I suggest you look for a Mainboard that has Raid along the lines of the Asus one and avoid the ones of the Gygabyte type. It means not making assumptions that all claimed Mainboard Raids are equal. That is how I got caught. I am led to believe that a lot of the Mainboard brands have the Ausis style of Raid so check them carefully first.

The most important reason being that the ASUS type are not favouring of any OS whereas the Gygabyte favours the Windows OSs with supplied drivers, even though Linux can be installed with some effort using Linux Raid applications.

 

Machines with excess of 512Mbs do NOT need anymore than 1Gb of Swap, regardless. In fact there is hardly any need for more than the 512Mb.

 

Cheers all. John.

 

I'm not saying not to buy it, I'm pointing out what it actually is based on my experience. I wouldn't rely on it. When I can get the same performance using software raid in Linux, and the portability fact that I can move my disks to ANY system and still gain access to my data, it's much more of a bonus for me. Try doing that with your disks, you won't stand a chance! Your motherboard fails, you've lost your data. With me, if mine fails, I can take my disks out and put them in a completely different system. I've already done it, when moving from my old system to my new one. Using software raid in Linux!

 

I better state, my post is for informational purposes only - please feel free to make your mind up and do what you want with your system. John says my advice doesn't help anyone arguing the point about fakeraid. I feel it does, and that's why I make my comments. If you don't think it helps, ignore it and do how you please ;)

 

I'm very rarely not totally correct, apart from when I thought I had seagate disks and I really had western digital :D

 

At the end of the day it's your personal preference. If I'm using software raid, as this clearly is - I'll do it in Linux where I have the flexibility, and not in the BIOS or with my Adaptec 1430SA fakeraid card. You can google a lot of results on this, been many an argument! :)

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Thanks David for your comment. I especially endorse the line...Quote :_ ."You can build the RAID without an OS installed."

 

That is the most important point so far as I am concerned.

 

Cheers. John.

 

Can do that with software raid in Linux too ;) just get a live CD. Oh, or even pull the disks out, go to your mates house, put your disks in, and boot the Live CD too ;)

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Now I'm a bit confused :(

 

What I want is a raid1 set up that is run independant of the operating systems, as I'll be using both windows and linux.

 

I think the point being made is that most motherboard raid setups are infact run through the os, where the raid on the motherboard needs a driver used in the os....??? I think this is what is being explained. So if this is the case then these motherboard raid setups will be no good for a dual boot system???

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If you want it independant and for Windows, then you need either the BIOS to do it or a hardware raid controller. It can be the cheaper fakeraid type, or full blown hardware raid that costs a lot of cash.

 

Motherboard raid setups will be fine for Windows and Linux, providing of course that the kernel has the module in the kernel by default. You'll have to check what it is in terms of it's chipset, so we can see if it's supported by default or not. AussieJohn recommended his board which says it does the job so will save you hunting around to find one.

 

Whichever way you want to do it, the choice is yours. We can only recommend. Go with AussieJohn's reply to save you time. Usually anything Intel based is OK, but not always.

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Thanks for all your input guys, very helpful.

 

This seems to be a bit of a tricky topic.

 

I'm considering the ASUS p5q pro. I'm fairly certain it will do what I want. ie produce a raid1 array with out the OS's needing drivers.

 

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboard...-p5q-pro_2.html

 

Am I correct?? Does this mean if I have a hardware problem I can simply plug one of the drives into another pc and read it??

 

Thanks once again

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If a drive fails while in raid one, Your system will still be complete in every single detail because in Raid 1 they are Mirrored to one another.

There will be no need to pull out the good drive and put it in another Machine to read it. If a drive fails then close down and remove the faulty one. Go into the bios and disable the raid setup (this will not interfere with the data on the good disc). Close out of the bios and reboot.

Your OS will boot up normally as if nothing had happened.

 

When you get the new drive then close down again, install the drive, restart and go back into the Raid part of the bios and recreate the Raid1 to recommence the Mirroring. When it is completed then reboot up into your OS again.

 

Regarding your Mainboard choice, I will gogle it and see what I can find out.

 

Cheers. John.

 

Have a look at the snapshot. It says you can setup Raid without the OS installed so you should be good to go.

Edited by AussieJohn

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Have a look at the snapshot. It says you can setup Raid without the OS installed so you should be good to go.

 

Thanks John. I reckon this board should suit my needs.

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Ok guys, I have purchased my new baby, ASUS p5q pro. Reading through all the manuals for all my stuff. I wanna do this build once, and make it right. My last couple of years I've been messing around with my build, but I want to set and forget this one.....If I can resist that is.

 

The motherboard manual shows how to create a raid array with out any os installed. But you have to make a raid driver disk. The raid controller is a ICH10R, and install the raid controller driver during the windows install. I've checked out the ASUS website, no documentation, but ~9mb of linux drivers. I am assuming this driver wont be installed by default using the Mandy install (Probably 2008 or 2008.1 thats what I have), and I will have to install a similar linux driver as well?

 

If this is the case, am I right in thinking the OS's see the RAID controller as a device only. Where one of the hard drives can be removed and fitted to another system and read with no changes?

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If you boot the machine when RAID is configured and you then see two disks to install to, then Mandriva or whatever distro is not seeing the RAID controller correctly. Then, in this instance is when you need a kernel module that you can use when installing the operating system to ensure that it only sees one disk.

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So basically suck it and see??? I did some googling and couldn't find any drivers as such.

Thanks Ian

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Basically yes, then use the output from lspci to determine what raid controller chipset it is to go from there.

 

Unless you know this information before purchasing so it can be checked.

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Woah. Setting up this raid appears easy, but is not, or my execution of it sucks. :(

 

I think I have my drives hooked up correctly...I have 8 sata connectors.

 

2 Connectors are SATA silicon image, these are for hard drives only, ATAPI device is not supported. Has what I understand to be purely software raid capability.

6 connectors are Sata ICH10R (intel matrix), these are for the onboard raid controller, which requires drivers to be installed.

 

The two silicon image connectors are called SATA_E1 and _E2.

The 6 ICH10R connectors are SATA1 through SATA6.

 

I have connected a hard disk to each SATA1 and SATA2. I set the storage config to Raid in the bios as asked in the manual. I was able to create a raid volume in the Intel matrix set up option during the bios post.

I assume that the DVD drive (is a SATA unit) is a ATAPI device and have connected that to SATA3.

 

When installing windows (I wanted to get xp installed before I think of getting Linux running) during install I used the F6 method to install the driver for the ICH10R device. Windows appeared to install correctly (XP service pack 3), upon reboot, as windows does during an install, it got to the Windows XP splash screen and then goes back to reboot. I've tried various things but can not get past this.

 

I popped back into BIOS turned off RAID storage, and away she boots to XP, but with out raid.

 

Can anyone see any issues?? If not what further information will be of help?

 

I was a little worried last night as I had extremely high CPU temps in the bios section (like 80 degrees c!) but today I fiddled with the cooler, and the temps now stay at about 35. I don't think that bit of light running at high temps should have hurt it. Whilst not ideal, I have seen around the place people over clocking these poor E2200 to rediculous speeds and temperatures.

 

I just need to get windows to boot correctly.

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Overclocking to ridiculous speeds means they require higher ventilation so they wouldn't be using the standard fan to cool their CPU ;)

 

Windows could have crashed because of the high temperature. Suggest checking the raid again to see if the problem returns. However, what I'm not understanding is that you wrote that two ports have software raid, and the others require Intel Matrix drivers - and yet you installed the Intel Matrix driver anyway to get Windows up and running? So that makes me think that all six ports are Intel Matrix not a mix of two different controllers? You board should only have one controller not two - well two will be SATA and IDE types, but not two raid controllers.

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