Prblm: software RAID boot, FreeBSD panic.

Ola Theander ola.theander at
Sun Feb 6 16:38:44 PST 2005

Dear subscribers

I'm trying to setup an old Dell Dimension computer as a simple file server 
in a small network. For this I've purchased two ATA-disks at 200 GB each. 
The idea is to use the software RAID features of FreeBSD to have some 
primitive redundancy. The computer doesn't have any RAID controller 
whatsoever so I'm stuck with just plain software RAID.

What I tried to do is to use "atacontroller create mirror ad0 ad1" to create

mirroring between the two disks. Then I installed FreeBSD 5.3 stable as 
usual on ad0. When the installation was finished I booted the OS and edited 
the /etc/fstab file, replacing all "ad0*" with "ar0*" and rebooted. I.e 
fstab is changed to this:

# Device Mountpoint FStype Options Dump Pass#
/dev/ar0s1b  none  swap sw  0 0
/dev/ar0s1a  /  ufs rw  1 1
/dev/ar0s1e  /tmp  ufs rw  2 2
/dev/ar0s1f  /usr  ufs rw  2 2
/dev/ar0s1d  /var  ufs rw  2 2
/dev/acd0 /cdrom cd9660 ro,noauto 0 0

 At the boot, after changing fstab, the kernel panics and says:

ar0: 194xxxxxxxx MB <ATA RAID 1 array> [24792/255/63] Status: READY 

disk0 READY on ad0 at ata0-master
disk1 READY on ad1 at ata0-slave

mounting root from ufs: /dev/ar0s1a
/: bad dir at ino 2 at offset 0: mangled entry
init: not found in path .
panic: no init

That's it. Any help with this matter would be greatly appreciated. From 
reading some posting I figure that I maybe must have a RAID controller, e.g.

a Promise, in order to use "atacontrol ." software RAID. In that case, that 
might be the problem.

Would this be the best way to configure software RAID. It seems like there 
are several different techniques for this e.g. vinum, atacontrol, geom, 
gmirror etc. Which one of these is the recommended one? Note that I would 
like to be able to boot the RAID1 array, i.e. I don't want a separate boot 
hd if it can be avoided.

Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, Ola Theander

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