ICH5R, ICH7R or Promise PDC20378 RAID?

Philippe Lang philippe.lang at attiksystem.ch
Wed Jun 21 09:32:50 UTC 2006

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

>>> On Mon, Jun 19, 2006 at 10:18:05AM +0200, Philippe Lang wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I've got two boxes that would be perfect for a small server. The
>>>> motherboards are: 
>>>> - ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe, with ICH5R and Promise PDC20378
>>>> - ASUS P5WD2, with ICH7R
>>>> I intend to install FreeBSD 6.1, and I wonder which chipset you
>>>> would recommend me for RAID 1? I need something rock-solid, of
>>>> course... 
>>> I'm running -STABLE on a P4C800-E.  I've never had a problem with
>>> the PDC20378.  Recently, I added two drives on the ICH5R with no
>>> issues. A little benchmarking shows the ICH5R to be a little faster.
>> Hi,
>> I wasn't as lucky as Doug with my ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe board, both
>> with the ICH5R and Promise RAID controller.
>> 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.
> You need to take the disk you unplugged to some other machine
> and wipe it, then make sure the one disk with the system left
> on it is in the 0 position, put the wiped disk in the 1
> position, then you should be able to boot.
> Your simulating a failure when you pull the one disk, but
> your not simulating a recovery when you insert that disk back in.
> Ted


I'm sure there are solutions to make things work, but personnaly, I
don't feel confortable with a RAID system that acts that way, and that
is supposed to make the whole system more robust and problem-free. I
used to play with hardware SCSI RAID controllers, and was never able to
trash the system. Arrays are being rebuilt in the background, that's
just great. I hope this is the kind of ease and quality I will get with
the 3WARE raid controller I have ordered... Apparently, everyone says
very good things about 3WARE.

Philippe Lang
Attik System

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