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Old 01-20-06, 11:59 AM   #1
seeker
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Default Multi-Booting

These questions cover several areas, so I wasn't certain where to place it, so I'm putting it where I think that the people best able to answer them will read.

I'm attempting to plan the partitioning of my harddrives to accomodate about 8 partitions...6 on the SATAs, which are set to a raid 0 array, and 2 on a single PATA. Currently, I have XP on C: on the SATAs. There is already 2 partitions on the PATA...the first is an old installation of XP, which I intend to do away with, and the second is unformatted. I attempted to format the unallocated second partition on the PATA with XP's Disk Management, but it appears to be designed to prevent that. I then used a Linux installer to view the partitions, and to attempt the formatting of the same partition, but that failed also, because it seemed to require an actual installation of the OS to proceed. The reason that I need to do this first, is because the old XP installation has some data that I need to archive, before formatting that partition, and I do not have enough room left on the current XP partition. Is there a way to accomplish this without buying another partitioning program?

The second question is, that since I'm not an expert in this, I'm a bit confused about the fashion that the BIOS, XP and Linux sees the SATA drives in raid. The 2 80GB drives are seen by the BIOS as a single drive, twice as large as either single drive. But XP shows the XP partition appropriately at the size that I had chosen (about 19GB) and the rest of the area as unallocated. Up to this point, I think that I generally understand, but in the Linux partitioning tool, it sees both of the drives separately, with XP partion only on the first SATA, with the rest of that drive and the 2nd SATA as being unallocated. Before I even setup the raid, I created a partition on the 2nd SATA to correlate with the one on the 1st, but Linux does not even see this. Since raid 0 is placing data on both SATAs at the same time, is it just using the 2nd drive any way that it pleases? If I install a Linux OS on the SATAs, is it going to do the same? I would prefer to have Linux on the SATAs, because the IDE controller has no raid function.

I have probably said more than I should have, but if anyone can sort through all of this and give me some help, I would certainly appreciate it.
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Old 01-20-06, 01:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

look in the forum on nVidia RAID (one member calls it "HARM" :-). It's basically software RAID, so you need to load drivers in Windows and Linux to get them to boot and see the multiple drives as one RAID drive. On Linux, the driver is named dmraid...
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Old 01-20-06, 09:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

Now, I'm more confused than ever. Perhaps I just misunderstood, but according to a conversation that you were involved in, was part of the reason that I changed mobos. Right now, I would like to skip over the aspect of whether the 2 drives are seen singley or as one. Even if the drives are seen as one, if the OS is installed in only a partition of the first drive, then how is the data organized on the second? Is the partition also mirrored, or does the raid utilize the entire drive anyway that it pleases? On a previous MSI board, with a VIA Raid Controller, it appeared that the raid function worked okay on Linux, but not on xP. However, I assumed that this was because I had chosen too small of a block size in the stripe array.

Another point of confusion, on the current board is that it has a VIA K8T800Pro chipset and a VT8237 chip which is supposed to control the raid function, but this is the only one that there is no manual available on the Asus website.

Yet, in on the driver CD, and the instructions in the manual, it only listed a VIA 6420 raid control driver. It would seem logical that the the driver number and the chip number would be the same. On their website they did have a manual listed for the VIA 6420, so maybe this is what I need...I really don't know.
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Old 01-22-06, 12:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

point us at the specs for that RAID chip. AFAIK, it's software RAID still. You're not going to get inexpensive onboard RAID was the point of the previous thread :-(
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Old 01-22-06, 12:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker
Now, I'm more confused than ever. Perhaps I just misunderstood, but according to a conversation that you were involved in, was part of the reason that I changed mobos. Right now, I would like to skip over the aspect of whether the 2 drives are seen singley or as one. Even if the drives are seen as one, if the OS is installed in only a partition of the first drive, then how is the data organized on the second? Is the partition also mirrored, or does the raid utilize the entire drive anyway that it pleases? On a previous MSI board, with a VIA Raid Controller, it appeared that the raid function worked okay on Linux, but not on xP. However, I assumed that this was because I had chosen too small of a block size in the stripe array.
Problem is that linux and windows handle software raid differently. Windows sees it as one single drive while linux handles it as seperate drives that are handled over dmraid driver. This little difference on software raid handling makes linux unable to understand software raid made in windows and windows wont understand linux raid. I'm not sure if any kind of support for windows-like raid handling is done or in planning, but afaik you can't have both linux and windows on same software raid stack.
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Old 01-22-06, 01:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee
point us at the specs for that RAID chip. AFAIK, it's software RAID still. You're not going to get inexpensive onboard RAID was the point of the previous thread :-(
I'm not sure about any specs, except that it is the VIA VT8237/VT6240. I had raid working on my MSI motherboard, with the VT8237, but it didn't say anything about VT6240. I'm not sure if that is part of the VT8237, or if it is just a driver for it. I imagine that it is a software raid, but I'm not positive. I may be wrong, but I think that it will work in Linux raid, if I know how to install it properly. That is why I was asking about the organization of data on the second raid drive. I believe that I can partition the first properly, but since nothing is shown on the second, I have no idea of how it is being dealt with.
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Old 01-22-06, 01:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Multi-Booting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluekkis
I'm not sure if any kind of support for windows-like raid handling is done or in planning, but afaik you can't have both linux and windows on same software raid stack.
Since my stroke, my memory isn't what it used to be, but I do know that I had both XP and Suse installed as raid on the MSI motherboard that I mentioned before. I can't remember how SuSe saw the drives and the partitions, but I do know that I only used the raid function of the motherboard, because I really didn't understand Linux raid at all. Linux worked as it should have, but XP was slow...I think because I set the block stripe too small.
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