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About onlinespending

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  1. onlinespending

    can't boot off of RAID array

    interestingly, when I connect a "legacy" disk (non-RAID) to it, it can boot just fine. So the system BIOS can certainly boot from this card it would seem. Seems to be an issue with booting from RAID arrays.
  2. onlinespending

    can't boot off of RAID array

    I have successfully created a RAID1 array on my HighPoint 2310 and am able to load the necessary drivers and install Windows XP to the array. However, once it's done with the initial install process and reboots, the array cannot be booted. I've followed all suggestions in the HighPoint online FAQ to no avail. I have tried two motherboards, and both systems correctly show the HighPoint card as a bootable SCSI/STA device with it having the first boot priority. I have flashed the HighPoint BIOS enabling and disabling various settings (such as disabling "Relocate EBDA" and disabling "Single BCV Entry"). I have always kept "INT13 Support" enabled since it seems that it is necessary to be able to boot from a RAID array on the 2310. I have also set my RAID1 as bootable with "Set Boot Mark" in the BIOS utility. I am out of ideas, and would appreciate any help in getting my system to properly boot my RAID1 array. Thanks!
  3. OK, here's the partition information I'm getting when using Vista to create the partition. But I want to install WinXP to this partition, so hopefully no issues there.
  4. Well I downloaded 2k3 SP2 and extracted the files and expanded diskpart.ex_ Problem is, it doesn't like to run on XP. "This version of diskpart is not supported on this platform." Wonder if there's a way to hexedit the file to have it run on XP. There's also a program called "diskpar.exe" (par, not part) that can do the same thing, but was included in a Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit, and I have not been able to find it to download.
  5. Well I downloaded 2k3 SP2 and extracted the files and expanded diskpart.ex_ Problem is, it doesn't like to run on XP. "This version of diskpart is not supported on this platform." Wonder if there's a way to hexedit the file to have it run on XP.
  6. Or actually, is there a nice convenient tool to create partitions at arbitrary sector offsets? The DISKPART tool would appear to do so with the 'align' option, but as it's not allowing me to do so on my WinXP box. I believe I'd need the version of DISKPART that comes with 2k3 Server.
  7. Thanks. Can someone post the disk information for the Vista partition? I'm curious to know all of the correct values if I were to do this by hand using a tool such as PTEDIT32.
  8. perhaps this is a stupid question, but is the partition that's created on the stripe aligned boundary done before or after the raid array is created? most raid controllers will wipe out any partitions that are created before hand when you wish to create an array, so the partition would have to be created afterwards. but when you set the sector for the partition alignment, you're setting it on the "virtual drive" created by the array. now it may be safe to assume to if you set the sector to align your partition on the single "virtual drive" that each drive would have its data aligned on the same sector, but I'm not so sure of that. Can anyone put to rest my concern? thanks.
  9. onlinespending

    Windows Server 2008 software RAID

    OK, I need to understand why I was not only able to not access the array, but after the rebuilding all data was lost. Essentially it treated the RAID array as being RAW unformatted data.
  10. onlinespending

    Windows Server 2008 software RAID

    It makes more sense that it would allow you to do so for RAID1, but I have my doubts that Windows will allow you to access the array while it's synchronizing the array after a system failure for RAID5.
  11. onlinespending

    Windows Server 2008 software RAID

    Are you able to access the RAID array while Windows is verifying the integrity of the data after a crash? Thanks.
  12. onlinespending

    Windows Server 2008 software RAID

    Regarding Win2k3's software RAID "bug", the rebuild is a side effect of the filesystem not being flagged as "properly" shut down, and is most likely intended behavior. I don't see how you could actually design software RAID in the OS to work any differently and still guarantee data integrity, which is one of the major points of RAID to begin with. It would be different if you were using a dedicated hardware controller, because then you could have an onboard controller running microcode to manage the data cache and make sure that everything was flushed properly, even if the OS crashed. I understand its intended behavior, but it's poorly implemented to say the least. I also understand that system failure at the time of a write could result in a loss of data integrity. But this shouldn't make my RAID array unaccessible upon restart. And it most certainly shouldn't result in a loss of all data on that array. At the very worst it should simply automate a "synchronization" upon restart, making sure that all data matches parity, while allowing me to still access the array as it does its synchronization. What's the point of destroying all data in the name of data integrity? Have others experienced this same thing? When Windows issues a raid rebuild after system failure, does this result in a loss of data as I experienced? But even if synchronization comes back as OK, that doesn't mean that our file that we were writing at the time of failure finished properly. It could have written correctly a portion of a file in that all data that was written matches the parity, it's just that not all of the data was written of the file. This would be no different than a non-raid scenario, and would require that we be aware of which file or files were being written at the time of failure to ensure that they were completely written. Given that I'd have to be cognizant of at least this possibility, I don't see a whole lot of benefit to rebuilding the array simply to flag to me that a file that was being written during system failure is out of sync. It would be nice to do a registry hack to always trick Windows into thinking that the filesystem was properly shutdown. One way that I can see a software RAID getting around this problem, at some expense of writing performance, would be to have a portion of one of the drives in the array used to store file I/O information before a write. You can store the most basic necessary information needed to specify which sectors would be written to. If system failure occurs while this information is being written, then no big deal, as the true data was never even attempted to be written. But if a system failure occurs after this I/O information was written, then upon system restart it can check if there are any I/O data in this area and synchronize just those sections of the array.
  13. Windows Server 2003 has an awful "bug" or "defect" that requires a full RAID rebuild or regeneration after a system failure (system freeze or loss of power). Given that this results in loss of data, this is an unacceptable shortcoming of Server 2003 software RAID. And there is no way to prevent this. It will automatically rebuild, even if there was no write to the RAID array at the time of the system failure. Even if there were, at worst the data that was being written would be corrupted and this would require a synchronization to ensure that the parity and data matched. But this shouldn't result in a loss of other data. I'm curious if anyone has used Server 2008 software RAID (raid 0 or 5) and can speak to its resilience in the even of a system failure. If it still requires a full RAID rebuild and loss of data, then this is clearly inexcusable. Thanks for the help.
  14. I just purchased three 750GB Western Digital GreenPower drives that I plan on building a RAID-5 server with. Originally I opted to go with a Windows software RAID because portability was a big priority of mine. I feel more comfortable migrating my RAID array to other hardware with the OS kept constant, or at least within the Windows family. However, just building the RAID-5 array took 16 HOURS!!! That's absurd. But I'm OK with that given that this should be a rare occasion that I would need to regenerate or rebuild the array, right? Wrong. Just as a test, I pulled the power to my system while it was idle. It wasn't even accessing the RAID-5 array, but when I restarted Windows it required another regeneration of the array (which would have taken another 16 hours). And in the process I lost all of my data (luckily I was just testing it out and didn't really have anything on there that wasn't backed up). Clearly this is an unacceptable solution, given that I could lose power due to a storm or the system could freeze at any moment. So that leads me to needing the advice of others. I'd love to go with a Linux software based RAID-5 array, but I intend on running Windows only software on the server. Unless I could run some sort of Windows emulator on top of Linux reliably and use the Linux RAID with this setup. Is it somehow possible to run Windows on a Linux software RAID? Another solution would be to use the NVidia RAID solution that's part of my motherboard's chipset. Originally I was against this solution given that migration would be troublesome if I were to change the motherboard. But it would allow me to continue using Windows, and from what I have read it at least doesn't suffer from the same brownout problems that the Windows software RAID does. However, I have also read that the Nvidia RAID is not without its own set of issues. A third option would be to use Windows Server 2008 and hope they've fixed this debilitating "defect" with their software RAID solution. I'll be obtaining a free copy of the software in a few weeks at a Microsoft convention. The last option I can think of would be to go with a hardware based RAID card. Ideally I'd like one that is PCI-e based. At least this way I can migrate the card with the RAID array when I upgrade my system. However, power consumption is of importance to me given that this system would be on all of the time. I'm not sure how much power these RAID PCI-e cards normally take, but ideally it would add no more than 5 Watts to the system. Perhaps this is unreasonable. I'd be grateful if anyone that has a Kill-A-Watt type meter if they could measure the power of their system with and without the RAID card plugged into their system (obviously they'd have to make sure this is the only change; hard drives would need to be unplugged or plugged in for both measurements) to find the contribution by the card itself. I'm more interested in idle contribution. Thank you for offering any advice along these 4 options that I am faced with!