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Old 03-09-07, 11:27 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 15
Default SUSE10.2 debian3.1r4 FedoraCore6 SiI3114 NVRAID nForce SATA RAID

previous posts are dated ('04, '05, '06) so am starting a new one +
i haven't seen this problem resolved in any prior posts.

the reason that the concept of 'bios raid' is so elusive is because:

1) the 'hardware'
SiI3114 and
NVIDIA nForce4 Serial ATA RAID Controller
appear on windows device manager. from my personal experience, i have never seen anything other than 'hardware' listed in the device manager.

2) these pseudo raid controllers do not appear in 'add and remove software'. as a matter of fact, since windows was installed on top of an nvidia striped array, i would say that these controllers do not qualify as 'software' in the traditional sense.

3) the option to enable or disable sata raid, or the silicon image 3114 appear in the bios, the same as the sound and network controller. i haven't ever worked with devices in the bios that could be enabled or disabled (as sound, network, ide, i/o ports, etc) that was not physically present on the motherboard.

4) why isn't bios raid offered in all the latest bios upgrades, if it's only a question of programming ?

despite all these counterexamples to the contrary, i am willing to accept the fact that my nvidia raid is not 'real'.

i am ok with using dmraid or disk druid. i can accept the following:

Does NVIDIA provide NVRAID support for Linux?
NVIDIA does not ship a retail Linux RAID driver. We support an open source RAID effort called, "dmraid". dmraid allows Linux to support multi-vendor BIOS RAID solutions. This means that you can create a RAID set using the NVRAID BIOS and then use it within Linux via the dmraid software. dmraid is currently not shipping in any distributions other than Fedora. For more information on dmraid see

dmraid uses libdevmapper and the device-mapper kernel runtime to create
devices with respective mappings for the ATARAID sets discovered.

The following ATARAID types are supported:

Adaptec HostRAID ASR
Highpoint HPT37X
Highpoint HPT45X
Intel Software RAID
JMicron JMB36x
LSI Logic MegaRAID
NVidia NForce
Promise FastTrack
Silicon Image Medley
VIA Software RAID

!!!!! there it is - nvidia nForce. !!!!!

what do they say ? the devil is in the details ? this is the hundered thousand dollar question: am i going to be able to install linux on top of my nvidia stripe without losing the data that is already there on my windows partition ?

starting with:
1) the nvidia striped array partitioned with ntfs that we want to keep
2) a Fedora Core 6 or openSUSE 10.2 or debian 3.1 r4 dvd
3) unallocated space on the stripe to install linux

is there anyone out there with the DETAILS necessary to install linux on this system without destroying the existing array and destroying my data ??? i would want to multi-boot this system.

once the installation process begins, and access to how-to docs becomes unavailable, is there anything i'm going to wish i had printed or put on cd (besides a backup of my data, which i don't want to do, but which i might if if will fit on a dvd or two) for your curiosity, my system contains these components:
m.b.: msi K8N Neo4 Platinum (socket 939)
processor: 4400+ (AMD Athlon? 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor)
memory: mushkin 991357 (2 x )(DDR Xtreme Performance 512MB 400MHz DDR 2-2-2)
video: msi NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (nvidia GeForce 7 series)
hdd: (2 x ) SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series HD160JJ 160GB
cd/dvd rw: PLEXTOR Beige IDE DVD Burner Model PX-716A/SW
enclosure: antec p150
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