Accessing ATI raid from Linux

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X11
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Accessing ATI raid from Linux

Post by X11 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:40 pm

Now I have Linux working I hope I can find a way to access my RAID drives to use files that are under NTFS. Linux is installed on a SATA drive set by the BIOS to work as an IDE drive.

lspci output:

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00:11.0 RAID bus controller: ATI Technologies Inc SB700/SB800 SATA Controller [RAID5 mode]
	Subsystem: Giga-byte Technology Device b002
	Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 96, IRQ 22
	I/O ports at ff00 [size=8]
	I/O ports at fe00 [size=4]
	I/O ports at fd00 [size=8]
	I/O ports at fc00 [size=4]
	I/O ports at fb00 [size=16]
	Memory at fe02f000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
	Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 2
	Capabilities: [70] SATA HBA <?>
	Kernel driver in use: ahci
fdisk -l shows the two 500GB drives instead of one RAID array.

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Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xe019e7b6

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *           1      114735   921600000    7  HPFS/NTFS

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x185e46d5

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1               1       60802   488384504    6  FAT16
As you can see however sda1 has double the blocks of sdb1, which had me think it might be the array. However it won't mount...

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root@linuxmises:~# mount -t ntfs-3g -o ro /dev/sda1 /mnt/win64
NTFS signature is missing.
Failed to mount '/dev/sda1': Invalid argument
The device '/dev/sda1' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disk instead of a
partition (e.g. /dev/sda, not /dev/sda1)? Or the other way around?
Any ideas?

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Post by Void Main » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:12 am

I'm pretty sure you won't be able to mount them individually because they are part of a RAID set. I wouldn't count on the partition schemes even meaning anything. I'll have to do a little research today. It's interesting that the controller is reporting it is in RAID 5 mode. I don't know if that means anything at this point.

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Post by X11 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:13 am

Well here is something interesting. This the RAID BIOS's normal screen upon boot: http://img40.imageshack.us/i/image0067t.jpg/

However if I boot Ubuntu (by pressing F12 and selecting that disk from the list of drives to boot from), after using it and rebooting to get into Windows the RAID BIOS shows an error and the system cannot boot. http://img90.imageshack.us/i/image0070.jpg/

To get rid of the error I have to power down the computer and back on, in which everything works normally again. It doesn't need to be powered off for long.

If I reboot from Windows to Windows this does not happen.

When Linux is booted there is an error that goes something like "ATA2 soft reset failed" and "ATA3" soft reset failed" initally just after grub boots the kernel. However everything works fine. I can't quite remember what it says specifically and I've had no luck getting a photo.

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Post by Void Main » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:51 am

I think because it is not actually hardware RAID. The OS is responsible for configuring the RAID set on boot. Linux is not configured to manage it at the moment. I read a little about this yesterday but I still haven't had a chance to investigate it, pretty busy today so far.... Hopefully I can get to it soon. That is VERY interesting though.

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Post by Void Main » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:33 am

Here is a very interesting (and I believe very relevant) thread:

http://forums.amd.com/forum/messageview ... adid=96233

I think what you have is BIOS based RAID (not hardware based). It sounds like your best choice (according to that thread) would be to turn off the BIOS based RAID and access those drives individually in Linux and use the Linux MD software RAID to create your RAID set. That is a Linux only solution of course. For a Windows/Linux solution I think you might be able to turn off BIOS RAID, access the drives individually and create multiple partitions on both drives. I believe you could boot Windows and use a partition on each drive for a Windows based software RAID setup and when you boot Linux you could use the other partitions to create a Linux MD RAID set.

I don't think you would be able to access the Windows filesystem with that configuration though. If you didn't install Windows on any sort of RAID configuration you should be able to access the Windows filesystem from Linux. So if it were me (and I just had to have Windows) I would probably turn off BIOS based RAID and install Windows on a non-RAID partition on part of one (or both disks) and then use the rest of each disk for a Linux MD RAID setup.

I will do some more research though as I have time.

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