Sil 3114 RAID controller issues with FreeBSD 5.3 Release AMD-64

Olaf Greve o.greve at
Fri Jan 7 04:16:46 PST 2005


A client of mine asked me to install their AMD-64 machine as a MySQL 
database server. Totally against my strong suggestion to use a proper 
SCSI hardware RAID 10 solution (or at least a hardware SATA RAID 
solution), they insist on using the internal Sil 3114 software RAID 
controller in RAID 1 mode.

Now, this 'cost reduction' from them backfires, as FreeBSD 5.3 Release 
AMD-64 does not properly recognise this controller. First, it locks up 
when booting with ACPI enabled (easily fixable by either disabling ACPI 
in the BIOS, or by booting without ACPI), then the bootstrap loader 
first seemingly does recognise the RAID 1 array (at least it states 
something to the effect of "Drive C from BIOS...", but when the 
installation CD-ROM has booted, lo and behold! It does not see both 
drives as an array, but as separate drives!

I looked around a bit on the Internet, and seemingly this issue started 
to occur around mid june last year with FreeBSD 5.3 versions for these 
type of Silicon RAID controllers.

Now, of course I am still trying to get my client to do it properly and 
forget this el-cheapo RAID solution and simply buy a hardware RAID 
controller, but if I can't succeed in convincing them, I'd really like 
to enable the RAID array of this controller after all.

Does anyone know how this can be achieved? Is it possible to patch the 
device driver once FreeBSD is installed, and somehow get FreeBSD to 
build the RAID array?

Thanks in advance, and cheers!

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