Posted on 2001-08-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have an ASUS A7V133 motherboard with a Promise PDC 20265 ATA100 RAID controller on it. Connected to it are 2 IBM IC35L040 Harddisks (40 GB each) in RAID0 Stripe Mode.

After some fiddling, everything works fine with Win98 and Win2k, even to boot from the RAID. But I also need to run Linux :). I've installed SuSE 7.2 and made my own kernel from the 2.4.8-ac4 sources, as my old one (2.4.4) oops'd at boot when it saw the Promise in RAID mode. The new kernel works fine, it finds the RAID controller, sees the two disks on it and I even figured out to use devices with block-major 114 to access the RAID.

Now to my probs:
If possible, I would like to only have these two disks in my system, but I can't get LILO to write a boot sector to the RAID. It just says "Don't know how to handle device 0x7202" (i. e. major 114/minor 2). Do you have any idea how to get LILO to write a boot sector to an ATA-RAID or maybe another boot manager that does the job instead of LILO?

OK, at the moment I have an additional harddisk as normal primary master IDE to boot from. If that's my fate it has to remain in the system.

The second wish I have is to set up the LVM on the RAID, but there are similar problems with that: `pvcreate /dev/ataraid/hda10` just says: 'pvcreate -- invalid physical volume name "/dev/ataraid/hda10"'. Does anyone know what to do here or is it just impossible what I want?
Question by:Asem
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Expert Comment

ID: 6412974
I don't think it's possible to have LILO write a bootsector to a RAID

You might have a chance with GRUB though. Please judge yourself:
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 6424216
It's perfectly possible to have LILO write to the boot sector on a real RAID controller (as far as I'm concerned the Promise is more of a winraid). I have no problems with my Adaptec, Mylex, or 3Ware RAID controllers (IDE & SCSI). All of my systems with those controllers have only RAID volumes and as far as Linux is concerned the volumes look just like an ordinary disk drive.

Author Comment

ID: 6424988
<i>jlevie:</i> if you use one of the mentioned controllers, do you access them with the normal '/dev/hd?' or '/dev/sd?' devices? As I mentioned above, I had to create special block devices with major 114 to access the RAID array. Additionally I see each single harddisk as '/dev/hde' and '/dev/hdg', but that isn't very useful as with the only supported mode of this controller (RAID 0; striping) data is spread across the two disks. Or will the bootsector just be read from the first disk, so I can simply write it to '/dev/hde1'?

<i>xberry:</i> I'll give GRUB a try...
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Expert Comment

ID: 6425281
On my SCSI RAID controllers the devices appear as sda, sdb, etc., just like they would if I had a SCSI disk. I know that the Adaptec EIDE controllers show the volumes as sda..., I can't remember for sure if the 3Ware does the same and can't get a system with one of those to look right now. Looking at one of my SCSI RAID systems I see:

plato> df
Filesystem           1k-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda8              2016016   1445676    467928  76% /
/dev/sda1                23302      7623     14476  35% /boot
/dev/sda9            131982660   6990456 118287880   6% /nfs0
/dev/sda5              4032092    209500   3617768   6% /opt
/dev/sda7              2016016     22016   1891588   2% /var

Oh yeah all of the RAID controllers that I've mentioned support at least RAID 0, 1, & 5 and some also support 10 & 50.

Expert Comment

ID: 6459713
I have the same problem , Promise support told me there will be a driver available soon. Let's see if its true.

Did you try to set the disk options in lilo.conf ?

Author Comment

ID: 6462396
yes, I tried this:


But I don't know if that does matter, as LILO doesn't say it can't determine the drive's geometry rather it pretends not being able to access the device at all. Or what do you think? What's the right BIOS code at all? The LILO doc mentions a DOS program "DPARAM.COM", but where to get it from?

But there currently *IS* a "driver" or better a module for the controller called "pdcraid" and for the RAID called "ataraid", so I am able to access it using block devices with major 114. Only LILO can't write its boot sector to it.

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ID: 9086714
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ID: 9668195
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