ICH5R, ICH7R or Promise PDC20378 RAID?

Tamouh H. hakmi at rogers.com
Tue Jun 20 18:27:02 UTC 2006

> 1) With the Promise controller, after simulating a disk 
> problem (shutdown - disk disconnection - reboot - shutdown - 
> disk reconnection - reboot), I wasn't able to rebuild the 
> array at all, either with "atacontrol rebuild ar0" or from 
> the bios. I suspect a spare disk is necessary for a complete rebuild.
> 2) With the ICH5R controller, installation went fine too. If 
> I disconnect a disk, the system still boots, but when I plug 
> the disk back (computer shut down), no boot is possible 
> anymore. At boot, a kernel panic says: 
> "softdep_setup_inomapdep". No array rebuild is possible from 
> the bios, so I'm stuck.
> I use freebsd 6.1 RELEASE, with the latest BIOS for the 
> motherboard, and
> 2 SATA 1.0 Western Digital 160GB disks. I'm trying to 
> configure RAID 1.
> I'm surprised I have so many problems. Am I doing anything 
> wrong? With INTEL hardware controllers for SCSI disks, I 
> never had any problems until now. Does anyone successfully 
> use another ASUS board, and is able to rebuild the array, 
> without rebooting?

Few things I noticed about the on-board Promise chipset on ASUS that it is very poorly designed. If you do the unplug/replug test, it most likely won't work, you need to use a spare drive or re-format the drive and then replug it.

It also goes out of sync very often, so you want to make sure you're running consistency checks at least once a month.

Sometimes when one of the RAID-1 drives develops bad sectors, the whole array won't boot until you unplug one of the drives, and plug a spare one.

My conclusion, if you need something stable, don't use the onboard raid, get a RAID card even the cheap ones will do better job!!


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