Intel Matrixraid on amd64

Gót András andrej at
Fri Dec 25 17:33:19 UTC 2009


I strongly advise against any of these "raid solutions". I got a very
rough weekend beacuse of the nvidia raid. Here's the short story.

I got our new webserver with S939 Opteron and the matched nvidia chipset.
That time FreeBSD 6.1 was the actual, so that was installed. When
installing I noticed that the motherboard raid works with FreeBSD so I
went with it. It turned out that it's completely transparent so I was
happy thinking that a simple solution is not likely to go wrong.

On a weekend I went for the planned maintenance to the coloc facility.
When the reboot came the motherboard nvidia raid told me that I have a
failed Raid1 with one disk. The problem was that after this it refused to
boot anymore. Later it turned out that somewhy 2 weeks ago! the nvidia
raid dropped one disk and that left in that state (it was mountable,
readable quite well etc.) and the other had the actual data.

Both disk was replaced then beacause I told myself that at least I'd like
to gain something out this huge downtime. Since then gmirror was used and
tried what it would do if I take out one this. Gmirror handled it quite
well, I got a message in the log about the disk failure and everything
went on. With the software raid the nvidia controller or the disk
backplane lost one disk after half a year of uptime but a reboot corrected
it. (There was a small thread about this that time on a FreeBSD maillist.)

On Pén, December 25, 2009 12:14 pm, Benny Goemans wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm running 8.0-release (i386) on a Asus P5WDG2 motherboard with
> integrated Intel Matrixraid (software raid) controller. Everything runs
> fine in this one.
> Since I've noticed 64 bit support for the Nvidia driver I've been trying
> to install the AMD64 8.0 version. During install dmesg shows my hard
> drives and raid drives (ar0, ar1)  perfectly, just as it does in the i386
> version. But when I enter sysinstall it can't locate my drive(s). It just
> doesn't find a single drive, no arN but also no hdaN (which do show up in
> dmesg).
> Has anyone seen this behaviour before and is there some kind of solution?
>  Maybe some parameters to sysinstall, extra kernel modules to load that
> are on the install disk or something?
> Kind regards,
> Benny Goemans
> ps. I'm currently redownloading the iso file for the cd and will check
> its checksum to make sure I don't have some bizarre bad download
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