RAID on HP ML110 G5

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at
Tue Mar 25 21:15:40 PDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Nejc Škoberne
> Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 1:30 AM
> To: Tom Munro Glass
> Cc: User Questions
> Subject: Re: RAID on HP ML110 G5
> Hey Tom,
> > I would like to run FreeBSD 7 on a HP ML110 G5. I understand
> from past posts
> > to this list that the ML110 series is FreeBSD friendly, but
> what about RAID 1
> > using the on-board SATA controller? Will this work and how do
> you set this
> > up?
> I have just configured a ML110G5 with FreeBSD 7 a few days ago.
> If you try to make
> a BIOS RAID (create an array in RAID controller BIOS), then
> FreeBSD won't recognize
> it as it does not understand the metadata format which controller
> BIOS uses to
> manage the arrays. What you have to do is (having RAID mode in
> BIOS still enabled)
> boot the server with FreeBSD 7 CD and then go to Fixit utility.
> There you can create
> "hardware" (see previous posts about this being hardware RAID)
> RAID with "atacontrol"
> utility. This way, FreeBSD will use its own metadata format for
> the array and will
> recognize such arrays as "arX" devices. Restarting the box you
> can then install
> FreeBSD easily on these arX devices like on normal adX or daX
> devices. So remember,
> this is not the "real" FreeBSD software RAID since it is not
> controlled by FreeBSD
> kernel but by the SATA/RAID controller. For example, I have 4
> drives and I created
> RAID-0 (stripes) with atacontrol and will merge them (in a few
> days) into a RAID-1
> gmirror.

I think if you set the BIOS control to RAID OFF it will work
the same way.

The RAID-specific stuff in the BIOS only is used for generating
the array and rebuilding it.  Once the system is up and running
the BIOS code isn't executed and it makes no difference what the
setting is.

In fact, in the HP DL 320 G5 you MUST set the SATA bios OFF or
FreeBSD won't even recognize the SATA controller at all.

I have also used this same trick with systems that had no RAID
in their BIOS at all but happened to have a RAID-compliant

For example a number of the older Promise UDMA controllers
do not have a BIOS on them but the ata driver will allow you
to create a pseudo-hardware RAID array anyway.

Naturally, you can only do mirroring or striping.


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