The Belgain

Member
  • Content Count

    69
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by The Belgain

  1. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Well... I'm trying to use raidreconf to add an active device to a RAID5 array (i.e. make it go from a 3 drive array to a 4 drive array). I'm having some trouble though. The 3-drive array is running fine, on /dev/md0. Here is the detail of the array (using "mdadm --detail /dev/md0): root@fileserver:~/Desktop/raid# mdadm --detail /dev/md0 /dev/md0: Version : 00.90.00 Creation Time : Tue Jan 4 00:19:59 2005 Raid Level : raid5 Array Size : 1959680 (1913.75 MiB 2006.71 MB) Device Size : 979840 (956.88 MiB 1003.36 MB) Raid Devices : 3 Total Devices : 4 Preferred Minor : 0 Persistence : Superblock is persistent Update Time : Thu Jan 6 20:51:24 2005 State : dirty Active Devices : 3 Working Devices : 3 Failed Devices : 1 Spare Devices : 0 Layout : left-symmetric Chunk Size : 64K Number Major Minor RaidDevice State 0 8 1 0 active sync /dev/sda1 1 8 2 1 active sync /dev/sda2 2 8 17 2 active sync /dev/sdb1 UUID : 839e3147:c28e57ea:bce3b91c:106fa619 Events : 0.10 I've created the raidtab file for the current configuration of the array: root@fileserver:~/Desktop/raid# cat raidtab_old raiddev /dev/md0 raid-level 5 nr-raid-disks 3 nr-spare-disks 0 persistent-superblock 1 parity-algorithm left-symmetric chunk-size 64 device /dev/sda1 raid-disk 0 device /dev/sda2 raid-disk 1 device /dev/sdb1 raid-disk 2 and the raidtab file for what I want the new array to look like: root@fileserver:~/Desktop/raid# cat raidtab_new raiddev /dev/md0 raid-level 5 nr-raid-disks 4 nr-spare-disks 0 persistent-superblock 1 parity-algorithm left-symmetric chunk-size 64 device /dev/sda1 raid-disk 0 device /dev/sda2 raid-disk 1 device /dev/sdb1 raid-disk 2 device /dev/sdb2 raid-disk 3 I stop the array, and run the following command to reconfigure the array (in test mode here), and it can't seem to find the partitions that are supposed to be part of the array...: root@fileserver:~/Desktop/raid# raidreconf --test -o raidtab_old -n raidtab_new -m /dev/md0 test mode - plain files are used, no kernel RAID interaction Working with device /dev/md0 Parsing raidtab_old Parsing raidtab_new /dev/sda1: device too small (0kB) reconfiguration failed Those are the correct devices, and mdadm has no trouble seeing them... I'm not too sure what the problem is. Here's the partition table for /dev/sda: cfdisk 2.12a Disk Drive: /dev/sda Size: 163928604160 bytes, 163.9 GB Heads: 255 Sectors per Track: 63 Cylinders: 19929 Name Flags Part Type FS Type [Label] Size (MB) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- sda1 Primary Linux raid autodetect 1003.49 sda2 Primary Linux raid autodetect 1003.49 Pri/Log Free Space 161914.64 Hopefully someone can see what's going wrong here....?
  2. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Right... I'm thinking of using an old PC as a dedicated fileserver running a big RAID 5 stripe. I believe Linux is the way to go for this? I'd like to be able to have the array being accessible both by Windows and by Linux systems. What soft of hardware requirements should I be looking at for the box? I have an old PII-333 lying around, would that be sufficient? Bear in mind that I won't be needing stellar performace; it'll be used as a media server basically. I should have no trouble with read speeds, right? What can I expect write speeds to be like on a 4-drive RAID5 array on that machine? 10MB/s? 20MB/s? What distro should I be looking at putting on the fileserver box? Where can I find good resources on setting up software RAID5 on Linux? Also, does it support advanced RAID features like RAID migration, and array expansion? Is this a setup that a lot of people are using around here?
  3. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Well, I think I'll go ahead and risk using raidreconf then. I don't really see any other way to get this set up, other than buying another SATA controller, and an extra hard drive, which is not something I really want to do... I'll test it on a smaller array with no important data first, to see how it goes... I'm currently running with the 2.4.26 kernel. Is this going to be ok to do RAID stuff like this on? Another question (which has doubtless been asked many times before - sorry) is what filesystem should I use for this? It's going to be used just as a fileserver for video and music, so no particularly stressful read/write patterns etc... Number one concern is reliability. I want to be sure my data is safe, and I'm not hugely bothered about extra features. Also, I need to be able to grow a partition without losing the data on it. I gather this is safe with ext3, is that correct? What is a safe way of extending a partition? Thanks.
  4. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    I've just had a quick look at the howtos for raidreconf, and it seems to be exactly what I need. A couple of questions though: Is it ok to create and manage my array using mdadm, and then use raidreconf on it? I'll need to create a raidtab file, but this should be possible using raidtools, correct? I don't really want to create it by hand, just in case (though it doesn't seem to hard to do so). How mature is raidreconf? How safe is it to run without backing up data first? I know backups should always be made, etc... but it just isn't really practical to back up 320GB of data. I have probably about three quaters of it backed up, so I'd be pretty miffed if I lost the rest of it. And how safe are Linux software-Raid arrays in general? Also, what does "dirty" mean in mdadm? The array is often in a "dirty" state (though everything seems fine, and the data is accessible)... Oh, and the reason I can't just create the array as a 4-drive array straight away is that I currently have 2 of the drives in a RAID0 array on the onbard SATA controller of my main PC, and I need to be able to copy all the data from them accross to the array (which will have only 2 drives) before I can add them.
  5. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Is the --grow option not a safe one to use then? I can't really just borrow an extra hard drive, and if I were to get another one, I wouldn't have enough SATA ports to be able to use it afterwards... Has anyone used to grow option before? I'd be testing it on an array which doesn't have important data first, to see if it's keeping the data safe or not...
  6. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Yes, but I want to start with a "3-drive" degraded array (i.e. 2 drives present, with the third parity disk missing) with a capacity of 2x160 = 320, then go to a 4-drive array (by expanding the array, then adding the parity disk and rebuilding, or vice-versa), giving me a capacity of 3x160 = 480. As I understand, this isn't currently possible with mdadm? The method I described (lazily) above should work though. The only thing I can't find info on is which kernel version I need to have in order to be able to do a --grow (the kind that changes the size of the active devices in the array)? It says in the mdadm docs that this requires a kernel which supports it. I'm currectly running on the default Slackware 10.0 kernel (which is 2.4.26). Do I need to be running a 2.6 kernel?
  7. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Well... after looking at the mdadm documentation, it seems that "grow" mode doesn't really do what I'd expect it to. It doesn't allow you to add extra devices to a raid5 array, it only allows you to increase the size of the array if drives are replaced by larger drives... This is a little bit of a pain for me really, as it means I won't have the ability to add more devices later on. What should work for the time being is to set up a "4-drive" array on 2 physical drives, but 4 partitions, copy data accross to that, then fail a partition and swap in bigger drive and rebuild, and so on. And finally grow the array. A bit of a pain though... Am I right in thinking it still isn't possible to add extra drives to a raid5 array with mdadm?
  8. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Right... I've got this all mostly up and running now. The one thing I want to check now is whether or not I should use LVM. I'll be initially creating an array from 2 drives (this will be a degraded raid5 array), copying all my data accross, then adding the missing drive so the array is no longer degraded, and finally adding a 4th drive, and growing the array. I'll then need to increase the size of the partition. Now is there any way for me to just increase the size of a parition without using LVM to concatenate 2 separate partitions? Will there be problems with reading the LVM partition from other Linux installs if I migrate to another distro/version/computer?
  9. The Belgain

    Problems with Highpoint Rocket 1540 SATA card

    Well... it seems I'm having more and more trouble with this card. On the PII machine, I've managed to install Fedora with that SATA card in the machine, but only if I have no hard drives connected to the card. If I connect a hard drive to the card, the machine will hang on bootup. Now, I decided to see if this was a duff card, by putting it in my main machine. Putting it in my main machine had the results that not only would the machine not boot up (even with no hard drives connected to the card, it would hang without the SATA card even posting), but even upon removing the card, my computer wouldn't boot. I reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults, and STILL it wouldn't boot! In the end, I figured this was some weird IRQ type issue, so I swapped my ADSL modem and PCI Wifi card into different slots, and finally it would boot (after buggering all my windows networking settings seemingly beyond repair....). Does anyone have any ideas at all about this? I have to admit I'm pretty baffled by it all, and really rather pissed off at this POS card which has now entirely failed to work in two different machines.... Has anyone got this card working correctly? Does this just sound like a duff card? I'm going to be sending this one back I think, so can anyone recommend any 4 or 8 port SATA cards which are good for compatibility (Linux compatibility essential)? Any replies would be much appreciated guys... I'm at a loss here...
  10. I've bought one of these to be able to set up a 4-drive linux software RAID5 array, and at the moment I'm just testing the card with one drive to make sure it works under Linux. And it doesn't.... I've got a single 160GB Maxtor DM10 hooked up SATA channel 1 on the card. When I boot up, the controller posts, and starts scanning for drives. It finds the drive, and lists it as Maxtor etc... Booting up in Knoppix, the bootup just hangs. If I try a fresh Fedora Core 3 install, it just hangs at the autodetection stage, just after detecting the card. It seems to detect two controllers, each with 2 channels, and both using IRQ 9. Exactly the same thing as in Fedora happens in Mandrake 10.1. Are there any motherboard settings I should be looking at? The motherboard is an intel p2 motherboard. I don't know if there's a problem with old motherboards and SATA support? I'm pretty puzzled by this; any help would be much appreciated.
  11. The Belgain

    Problems with Highpoint Rocket 1540 SATA card

    Does no-one have any ideas about this? Is there an issue with SATA controllers in old motherboards generally? Will the fact that the hard drive is bigger than the 127GB limit be relevant? The controller definitely supports bigger hard drives, but is it something the motherboard needs to support too?
  12. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Ok, thanks for that guys. As far as LVM is concerned, you're right that I won't be needing it at all, it's just that one of the replies to this thread mentioned it, and i came across it in a lot of the docs regarding raidtools. As for which distro to use, I realise that I can basically use pretty much whichever one I want, but is there one which you'd recommend more than others for this? I don't have anything installed on this machine at all yet, so I am free to choose. Ideally something not too hardware-demanding seeing as this is only a PII (can't remember how much RAM it has...). Obviously I'd want it to be as stable as posisble too, and ideally come with all the raid stuff installed as standard... Do any of the distros come with GUIs for raid configs (noobish, I know...)? The one thing which does slightly worry me is the amount of warnings about backing up data. I know these are pretty much standard disclaimers, but how much trust would you people put in enlarging an array without backing up the data on it first? I'd also like to know how safe resizing partitions is? I know I could just create a new partition for the empty space, but it would be nice to have everything as a single large partition really... Are some of the filesystems better than others for this? As far as gigabit is concerned, i'll probably end up putting a gigabit card in, because it'll speed up things like unraring large files quite a lot, and also 100MBit isn't quite fast enough for 8x DVD-burning, which I'd do quite often.
  13. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    @ nottuser: Are you sure about support for expanding RAID 5 arrays? I don't seem to be able to find any reference to this in the documentation for raidtools? What's the difference between LVM and raidtools? Which one would be better suited to this situation? Oh, another question is how big a power supply would I be needing? I'd imagine I wouldn't need anything too chunky, since the PII, and the ancient gfx card won't be using too much juice... I'll have 6 IDE hard drives in there in total. Would a no-name 300W PSU do the trick?
  14. The Belgain

    Linux software RAID 5

    Excellent... thanks very much for that. I think I'll definitely go down the software RAID 5 on Linux route then. Just a couple of questions about RAID migration type things: at the moment, I have 2 160GB drives in a RAID0 stripe on my main machine. I want to use these, as well 2 new 160GB drives, in the RAID 5 stripe. Will it be possible for me to set up a 2 drive software RAID 0 array on the fileserver box, then copy the data from my current RAID 0 stripe onto those, and then add the two other drives one at a time to get a RAID 5 stripe? Or is this too optimistic? If this isn't possible, I don't mind just doing a 5-drive RAID 5, which means I can create a 3-drive RAID 5 array, copy accross, and then expand that (which will work fine, right?... As far as the OS, I was going to install that to a separate hard drive, yes. I realise it's possible not to, but I'll just save myself the hassle by installing to an IDE drive. What happens if my Linux install fails for some reason (IDE fails for example)? Can I just reinstall Linux, and get it to autodetect my RAID 5 stripe without losing any of that data? Am I completely safe doing this? As far as network is concerned, my main compter has Gigabit LAN onboard, and the PII currently doesn't. My plan is to initially just use a 100MBit connection, and if I find that the fileserver can do much faster than this (which hopefully it will, at least for reads?), then I'll put a cheap Gigabit card in it. As far as controller cards are concerned, are there any cheap one which you would recommend? I'm looking at maybe the Supermicro 8-port SATA (SATA-MV8) card at the moment (assuming I need a 5 drive stripe). If I'm going for a 4-port card, then maybe a Highpoint card (the 1540)?
  15. Right, well I've been looking at setting up a RAID5 array for a while now. At the moment I have a Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe with 2-channel onbard SATA RAID, and two IDE channels. I have 2 160GB Maxtor SATA drives in hardware RAID0 on the onboard SATA controller, and two IDE drives (60GB and 40GB) on the IDE channels, as well as two DVD drives. Now what I'm thinking of doing is getting a 4-channel SATA controller which does hardware RAID5, and two extra 160GB Maxtor SATA drives, and creating a hardware RAID5 stripe out of those. I don't want to be spending big bucks on this though, so I was looking at the Highpoint Rocket Raid 1640 controller. I know it doesn't do XOR calculations, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem, right? I have a 3200+ CPU at the moment. If I get this controller, is there any way for me to do the migration without losing the data on my RAID0 stripe? The other thing is that in looking into all of this, I've come to the conclusion that the best solution for me would be to go for a software RAID5 solution in a dedicated server box. I'd could do it using Linux, and RAID drives across different controllers, which would mean that I could use more drives (eg. 4 on the new controller, and 2 on the onboard SATA), which would be nice. The only problem is that at the moment, I don't have a dedicated computer I can use for this, except for some really old hardware which would probably be too slow for software RAID5 (an old 333MHz PII? - I could maybe scab a 600MHz PIII...). How fast a CPU would I need for a 4 drive software RAID5 stripe? How good is software RAID5 for expanding arrays? Do I run unto any trouble if my OS disc dies (I would be running Linux on a separate disc)? Can I just reinstall, and get the software to redetect the array? Also, doing software RAID5 would mean I could go for a cheaper controller... Basically, I'd much rather go for software RAID5, for the flexibility, but at the moment I can't because I don't have a fast 2nd machine to run it on (unless the PII is sufficient?). If I go for a 4-drive hardware RAID5 now, will it be able to migrate it to a bigger software RAID5 array later without losing the data? One last thing... would a 340W Enermax PSU be sufficient to run 6 drives? Thanks for your advice guys...
  16. The Belgain

    Options for RAID5

    I'd also be interested in setting up a software RAID5 stripe in a dedicated server machine in the future. The machine is a XP3200+ on an Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe: it has 2 SATA ports, and 2 IDE channels. Would it be feasible to run a 4 disc RAID5 stripe with 2x 160GB SATA drives, and 2x 160GB IDE drives on different channels? Would it be ok to add more IDE drives than this, but having two drives on the same channel, or would this really degrade performace? I'd be planning on having a separate (small) OS drive on which to put Linux (or W2k server) on an IDE channel. Would this degrade preformance seeing as it would be on the same channel as one of the IDE drives in the stripe? Also, how important is it to have identical drives in the array? I guess I probably would get identical ones anyway (I have 2x 160GB Maxtor DiamondMax+9 at the moment). The computer will be connected through gigabit ethernet, so a fast array would be nice, though not really essential.
  17. The Belgain

    RAID0 on onboard SATA

    Well, I've posted this over on another forum, but I just want a second opinion, to be absolutely sure... My motherboard's just failed. It's an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe. It seems I've been incredibly lucky as it's on a one year warrantee at the place i bought it, and I bought it last year, on September 10th! Anyway, I have a RAID0 stripe on the onboard SATA controller (it's a Silicon Image chip), and about 300GB of data on it, which I really don't want to lose. Now if the motherboard gets replaced, and the drives both get plugged in to the onbard SATA, will the stripe automatically be detected, along with all the data on it? If not, is there anything I can do about it? The onboard SATA chip is an SIL 3112A if that helps. The new motherboard will have the same onboard chip (it's the same motherboard, but with Gigabit LAN).
  18. The Belgain

    PCI Express SATA Raid Controllers

    Yeah, PCI-E SATA RAID cards would be nice. Are they likely to be 4x rather than 1x interface? 1x bandwidth for PCI-E is about 200 MB/s isn't it? So 4x would allow speeds of upto 800 MB/s full duplex, which should really be pretty future-proof (you'd need about a dozen raptors in a RAID config to start hitting that speed...). Sweet. Any sort of info on pricing yet?
  19. I have a simple, but important question regarding RAID0 stripes. I have an Asus A7N8X Deluxe board, which has an onboard Silicon Imag 3112 SATA RAID controller. I have two Maxtor SATA drives in RAID0 configuration on it, which works fine. I also have a single IDE hard drive on the IDE channel. Now if I were to unplug both the SATA drives (this is to avoid Linux getting confused while installing it - and to make sure I don't accidentally format them doing so), and then plug them in at a later time, would this cause any problems? I.e. would the RAID0 stripe still be picked up correctly? Or would the card forget about it completely (because it boots up and thinks "no more RAID stripe - forget about it then")?
  20. The Belgain

    Onboard Sata Raid0 Question

    Okay, so what's the verdict then? Safe or not safe? Anyone else?
  21. The Belgain

    External 5.25" Enclosures

    So do Hard drives fit nicely in that enclosure as well as CD/DVD drives? Is there a bracket to mount the hard drives? Seeing as no enclosures seem to power from Firewire, at least this one doesn't have an external transformer, which is a good compromise. Is there any chance we'll see ones which power from the computer once Firewire800 becomes more widespread? Does it provide more power than the older Firewire spec? Are there any improvements planned for USB any time soon by the way?
  22. The Belgain

    External 5.25" Enclosures

    I'm thinking of getting one of these, but would like one that takes both hard drives and CD/DVD drives, has both IDE and SATA interface, and has both USB2 and Firewire800 interface to the computer. I haven't been able to find any. Are there any such external drive thingys? Also, do they all power off the USB/Firewire connections to the PC, or do they need to be powered? Thanks for any pointers.
  23. The Belgain

    External 5.25" Enclosures

    Yeah, I thought it may be hard to find. I don't mind too much the lack of Firewire, though USB2 is a must. I definitely want to have both IDE and SATA though, for futureproofing. Also, it's a little cumbersome to have to have them being externally powered, but never mind. I thought the advantage of Firewire, was that it could deliver up to 30W or so of power, which means that external hard drives and CD/DVD drives could be powered through it. So are there any enclosures that do both IDE and SATA, as well as at least USB2 (or possibly USB1.1 + Firewire)?
  24. The Belgain

    mp3s 128kpbs versus 192kbps

    To those of you who think that mp3 sounds crap, why not try Musepack? It is generally accepted to be the best sounding codec at mid/high bitrates by far. Using the standard preset should give files about 160-170 and should sound transparent (ie undistinguishable from the original) for the overwhelming majority of users (including those who can pick out 320 kbit mp3s from the original). If not, try the extreme preset (about 200 kbit). Here's the latest encoder: http://www.saunalahti.fi/cse/mpc/encoders/...indows-1.14.zip
  25. I'm new to Linux, and am about to instaqll Mandrake 9. What Filesystem should I format my Linux partition as? Basically what are the advantages/disadvantages of each one of the differenct Unix filesystems?