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Old 05-15-05, 04:31 PM   #1
radezz
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
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Angry nForce2 motherboards, SATA disks and SATA RAID under Linux

Hello,

Can someone point me to more information (if anyone had organized it in one place on the net) about these things: nForce2 mobos, SATA disks (I gave up on the mo-bo RAID on my GA7N400S-L and tried to set up the mdadm software RAID) and RAID under Linux.

Here is my experience, I hope it will help someone, but I am still looking for solution for my problems. I am not looking for exact answers here, but if someone knows more about it, feel free to let me know more about these things/problems:

- I tried installing the Debian "testing" (sarge) version (because it has newer packages and is almost ready to be released as the official stable one), and the first thing I learned was that the disk driver for SATA disks on the kernel included with sarge (2.6.8) is not good. You have to compile your own kernel because the "nv_sata" module was fixed in 2.6.9, or you can download a pre-compiled kernel and live with the fact that someone else decided which modules to be compiled in the kernel and which to be left as kernel modules.

- I compiled my own 2.6.11 kernel but that didn't help me fix the problems.

- the only way to make kernel see my SATA disks was to actually disable them in BIOS - yes to say that they weren't there, and then my kernel saw them, recognized them and started working with them (I can't remember if this was with 2.6.8 or 2.6.11)

- a good solution for the Linux RAID - moving the system to be booted from that technology is at http://psilocybe.update.uu.se/~jonas...x.pl/linuxraid - a gread howto, but after I finished with that, my configuration can only see the first RAID I created there (md0) but I partitioned the SATA disks into several partitions, and at some point I manually created md1 and md2, but I can't see them no longer.

- when I try fdisk -l, no matter what I tried with the boot parameters for the LILO (e.g. append="hda=noprobe..." etc. ) the system only sees the md0.

- another strange thing is that now I have /dev/sda, /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc, and b and c are the actual drives, and /dev/sda is a phantom drive with only 8 megabytes size; when I read the docs of my SEAGATE SATA disks I discovered they had 8mb cache on them - so it seems that I can see one cache as the sda disk...

- the performance of the md0 is not bad - hdparm -t shows excellent results, much better than the IDE disk I had connected as /dev/hda (while it was visible).

Anyway, here it is, all impressions/information piled up, if someone knows more about these things, please share it with me, and if someone wants to play with these things, you may experience these problems.

Best regards,
Rade
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