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About Joe_Adams

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  1. Joe_Adams

    DVD RW Format Wars - Which one's winning?

    Hi Guys Thanks for the large number of interesting posts to this question. The one thing which strikes me most after reading through all of replies, is that the large majority of people are interested in recordable DVDs because they want to burn movies and watch them in a set top box. For this DVD-R is to me the number one logical choice for all the reasons mentioned above (cheapness of media, more compatibility, etc). However, I am surely not the only person to see the great potential for using DVDs for backup purposes in small companies. This is why I purchased my DVD+RW drive, and I have no plans to even think about using it to burn movies for the foreseeable future. Therefore, what I am looking for is the utmost in reliability and data integrity above anything else. Every article of information I have read indicates that DVD+RW is the better format for data storage, which is why I went out and bought a DVD+RW drive and a stack of high quality media to go with it. Compared to tape drives and cassettes, providing your storage requirements are met by 4.5 GB limit, DVD+RW is great choice for backing up and archiving data. I use Aheads InCD to drag and drop backup files over to disk. This has worked faultlessly on my machine for many weeks. So long as DVD+RW media is readily available, I'm happy. I don't care one bit if it costs a few pounds more than DVD-RW, being as I am saving a fortune not having to use tape backups. Maybe no one format will win the war... Maybe it will be the norm that all future DVD drives support DVD-R/W for burning movies and the "technically superior" DVD+RW for data. Surely, as a knowledgeable technical community, we should all be supporting DVD+RW as the best choice for data storage? Personally I don't feel I would be happy backing up my companies data onto DVD-RW, a format which sounds to me like it was rushed out the door a long time ago before much thought was given to reliability, random access, background formatting, loss-linking, Mt Rainer support, etc. Joe
  2. Hi After doing lots of research on the DVD+RW and DVD-RW formats a few months ago, I decided to purchase a Sony DRU-120A DVD+RW drive. I chose DVD+RW because I would be using the drive exclusively for Data rather than Movie Making. So far I have been delighted with the drive and have made many fast, faultless, backups onto several DVD+RW and DVD+R disks. I am wanting to purchase Sony's latest DVD+RW drive for another PC, but I was wondering, before I invest in even more DVD+RW disks, which format is currently winning the format wars. I must be honest, from what I have read, and my own very positive experiences storing data using the Sony drive and media, I hope its DVD+RW Joe
  3. Joe_Adams

    Crucial RAM reliability.

    Hi I have had problems to with Crucial and Abit boards. I had a faulty stick which died about 3 months after purchase (running 24/7). Linux kept rebooting every few hours and I couldn't figure out why. It took ages to track down, because it was the last thing I expected it to be! The board is a Abit KG7 and the RAM is Crucial 2100 DDR. Joe
  4. Thanks Frank. That's excellent news. I really like the Promise cards and have used them extensively with Windows, but having them work well with Linux is a real bonus. I have spent the day testing how well the FastTrak card works under Linux by faking drive failures and forcing it to do rebuilds. So far so good! You may be interested to know, if you don't already, that if drive failure occurs the Linux drivers will instruct the Promise card to automatically rebuild the array in the background, once a replacement disk has been installed - i.e. no need to do it under the BIOS. This obviously slows the server down a little, and there is no fault-tolerance during this period, but I can see it reducing my stress level a lot if the server goes down! One other thing - have your upgraded the kernel on the webservers? Does the RAID support still work? Thanks again for the much valued real-world input. Joe
  5. Thanks for the link Frank. I will give that a go tomorrow. From your experience running RedHat 7.2 with the Promise card, have you found it to be stable? If any disk has ever failed, has the array rebuild gone ok etc? Thanks for the help, Joe
  6. Hi I have (almost) successfully installed the drivers for the Promise FastTrak 100 TX2 onto my RedHat 7.2 system but I have a few questions I can't seem to find answers to on the net: 1. Once installed my IDE CD-ROM Drive (plugged into the normal M/B ports) can no longer be found. I expect this is because of the ide3=0 ide4=0 etc I have to pass to the kernel when booting to get the Promise card to work at all. Is there anyway to get both working together? 2. Can I upgrade the kernel which comes with RedHat 7.2 to something newer (as supplied by RedHat at without breaking the Promise driver? On the plus side, when I do a "hdparm -t /dev/sda3" on the Promise RAID 1 array I get 41.03 MB/sec compared with "hdparm -t /dev/hda3" on a single drive* (plugged into the ATA 100 interface on the Abit KG-7 motherboard) which only gives 12.03MB /sec. I expect this is due to RedHat playing it safe with the IDE interface, rather than optimizing it for performance. If anyone has any tips and tricks, etc, from using the Promise controller in RedHat linux I would love hear them, as I am not entirely sure how stable it is going to be. Thanks in advance for any help, Joe * Both HDDs are Western Digital WD1000
  7. Thanks for the reply dress. I did take a look at the 3ware cards, but being in the UK I couldn't find a mainstream suppliers that sells them - plus I have had past experience with the Promise cards (with windows) and found them to be very good and great value for money. I am getting a little confused over the whole Software RAID thing... As far as I have understood it, software RAID is performed by the OS and doesn't involve any additional hardware. So why is the Promise card also described as software RAID and how does this differ from the 3ware? Thanks, Joe
  8. Hi Frank I have gone and bought 2 Promise 100 RAID controllers today in the hope that this will provide a more permanent fix to the problem of disk failure. I am really not too bothered about hot swapping. Whilst this is nice, I don't expect to swap them out all that often anyway I notice that you use LILO, even though RH 7.2 defaults to GRUB. Have you found this to be better for getting the RAID controller to work? You mention that one of your disks has failed in the past. When this happened, did the Promise card keep your server up and running as planned? Also, did the controller automatically rebuild the replacement drive ok without any problems? The RAID 1 setup with cheap IDE drives sounds the perfect solution to me for web hosting. It could even be considered better than one SCSI drive I feel, as I am not looking for the best possible performance. If you or anyone else has tips in getting the Promise card to work with RH 7.2 I would really appreciate hearing them. As I previously mentioned, last time I tried this (and followed the instructions to the letter) I didn't work out for me. Many thanks, Joe
  9. I have just finished doing an extended check on the WD disk (using the software from their website) and it looks like it is ok after all - no error messages reported. So I am now fscking it to see if it can fix the corrupted ext3 partition. After my bad experiences in the past with the IBM click of death etc, I had such high hopes for the new WD drives, so I really hope it is a software error rather than hardware. russofris, your RAID 1 setup sounds ideal for my situation. Can you tell me what version of Linux you are running and the model of your RAID controller (or is it software RAID?). Many thanks to all that have replied. Joe
  10. After trying hard drives from most major manufacturers over the last 2 years, I have finally decided that IDE drives, of whatever make and model, simply can not be trusted to run 24/7 in servers for more than 6 - 18 months without failing or causing data corruption. Recently I have gone through 1 Maxtor IDE (old model which I can't remember) 2 IBM 75GXP Deskstars (say no more!), 1 Quantum Fireball and now, yesterday, my 3 month old Western Digital WD1000 bit the dust after causing data loss to the linux ext3 partition which now fails to mount. Thankfully I learned a long time ago to take backups of everything, so data loss was not a huge problem. So I REALLY want to know what to try now? I know what a lot of you are going to say - SCSI disks for servers. I really want to do this, but my knowledge of SCSI with Linux is not great, so I would appreciate some advice. I would like to purchase a Seagate Cheetah 36ES 36.9GB U160 and an Adaptec 29160 controller, but I have seen several postings saying this card is incompatible with Red Hat Linux 7.2 (without a lot of kernel patching etc which I don't really want to do). Can anyone recommend a SCSI controller which works faultlessly with Red Hat Linux 7.2, and the Cheetah drive, right out of the box. Performance is important, but my main concern is reliability. The other alternative is IDE RAID which I have been using on Windows Servers for a while. However, the Promise controller is not fully supported by Red Hat Linux 7.2. When I tried it a couple of months ago, my two IDE disks in the array were recognised individually by the Red Hat install program, as if it was not a RAID controller at all. What I really want is an IDE hard disk built with the reliability of a SCSI drive (with the matching price tag if necessary). Why does no manufacturer offer such a product? Thanks in advance for any advice. Joe