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Old 08-11-05, 06:05 AM   #2
jlehtone
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4
Default Re: Linspire NF4 raid? or sata?

Of Linspire I can say nothing, but:

[Edit]Oops, should see the sig but cannot while replying. Bad thing.
4 Raptors on RAID0 and three individual Maxtors? Drool.
Silicon Image RAID, and Maxtors on NF4 SATAII connectors, I presume?
Most of below seems to still be valid.
[/Edit]

NF4 has SATA support. NF4 can have RAID support.
That RAID support 'on-chip' is not true hardware RAID,
but requires drivers from NVidia for both Windows and Linux.
For Windows that is the only (practical) way to do RAID.
For Linux one can ignore the whole thing and use Linux mdadm instead,
a software RAID. Naturally, a dual boot installation does
make one choose one or the other (or a very complicated mix).
Fedora Linux Core 3 did support NF4 SATA 'out-of-the-box'.

RAID0 - 'striping' - shows the involved disks as a single continuous
volume. If any disk breaks, all data is lost. While it works, I/O is fast
and it is a very large disk. With 4 300GB HD in the RAID0 the system
appears to have only one 1,2TB disk. And to see that, the OS must have
the nvraid/siliconimage drivers. Without the RAID enabled there should be
7 SATA disks. The OS needs anyway the nvsata drivers for that.

Now the question is, what does the Linspire have 'out-of-the-box'. Apparently
you can run it from the CD and the HD installation is just an option. The trick
is to get the sata (and maybe the raid) drivers from Linux kernel/NVidia site
and install then into the system running from CD. If that requires something
from the kernel (apart from compiling and adding a module) then it does not work.
Otherwise maybe.

"1 HD formatted for Linux", ahem who was the lucky OS that did such deed?
That OS must see the disks, right? A disk volume is either a single disk or a RAID
array or something similar. Disk volume is partitioned into partitions. One or more
partitions can make a logical volume. A filesystem can be written (formatted) on
logical volume. Linux can and does use several different filesystems. Windows
can not create any of the common Linux file systems (ext2, ext3, reiserfs, xfs).
My nomenclature may be off on several points above, but I hope at least part of the
general picture gets right.

Now if I would install Linux on such system I would disable NF RAID, use Linux
software RAID, put all the important file systems ( /, /boot, swap ) on RAID1
(mirrored) volumes and make a RAID5 array of the rest of the disks. Furthermore,
I would leave unused (mirrored) volume for another/next Linux version root partition.
If that means that I loose up to 600GB to redundancy, so'll be it. Peace of mind
is money. But that is just me. Did I say leave one partition from each disk for
the entertainment OS (one for system and other three you probably can stripe in
the Disk Administrator as one volume)?
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