Bluetrait (Program)
                IBM N2200 8363

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 10:07 PM

Setting up Raid 1 on FreeBSD 5.4

Michael Dale
This post is following on from my entry about the servers hard drive dying and how I setup Raid 1. During an automatic weekly backup, my web server's hard drive failed. Luckily I run a database backup nightly and had last weeks full backup. I decided it was time to move to Raid. Raid 1 uses two hard drives to store your information. When one drive fails the other continues to operate allowing you to install a new drive and rebuild the array. Please note, Raid is NOT a backup solution. So I went and purchased two Seagate 80gb SATA hard drives. Since the motherboard doesn't have SATA support I also needed a SATA controller. I decided it was about time to move towards SATA and also the 80gb SATA drives come with an 8mb cache. The old hard drive in the server was the same model but in IDE form (and thus 2mb cache). So I got home (from the Hunter Valley) on Saturday afternoon with two drives in hand. Later that day I got a PCI SATA controller based on an ALi m5283 chipset. I plugged it in, setup the Raid 1 through the cards BIOS and loaded the FreeBSD 5.4 CD. I was greeted with the friendly message that no hard drives were detected, damn. I then did some googling and found that there really wasn't any support for this card outside of Windows. Great. Anyway I needed a solution quickly and it was late. I needed to get a SATA controller from somewhere on Sunday. The only shop open close to me was Adelong and they had one SATA controller based on the Silicon Image 3112 chipset. Another quick google and from the looks of it FreeBSD supported the card. So I got it home and plugged it in and setup another hardware raid (quasi hardware at least). Well FreeBSD loaded and showed me two hard drives. Interesting. With Raid 1 you should only see one. Looks like it supported the card, but not the raid function. Oh well I thought, software raid should do. So a bit of google searching and some failed attempts at software raid I found this quick howto. 1. Install FreeBSD on to ad4. 2. Reboot with the Install CD. 3. Enter Fixit mode. (For FreeBSD less than 5.4, use Install CD disc2 as the “live filesystem”) 4. # chroot /dist
 # mount_devfs devfs /dev
 # gmirror load
 # gmirror label -v -b round-robin gm0 /dev/ad4
 # gmirror insert gm0 /dev/ad6
 # mount /dev/mirror/gm0s1a /mnt
 # echo ‘geom_mirror_load=”YES”‘ >> /mnt/boot/loader.conf
# echo ’swapoff=”YES”‘ >> /mnt/etc/rc.conf 5. # sed “s%ad4%mirror/gm0%” /mnt/etc/fstab > /mnt/etc/
# mv /mnt/etc/ /mnt/etc/fstab 6. Reboot Right looked easy. So I setup my first software raid and the system booted! Great. I did a gmirror status gm0 and go this output: gmirror status Name Status Components mirror/gm0 DEGRADED ad4 ad6(6%) Gmirror was syncing up my second hard drive (ad6), so I decided to leave it for the night and headed to bed. The next morning (Monday) I awoke to the follow error: ad4:TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (2 retries left) The system was still online, but when ever there was any disc activity the system would lock for a few seconds before doing anything. I did some searching and it seemed that the ATA drivers had some issues with SATA chipsets. Great. Anyway there was a patch out for it, so I patched the system and recompiled the kernel. The system seemed to boot somewhat better. But I spoke too soon. As soon as I tried to copy over the backup image, gmirror reported that ad4 and ad6 were disconnected and the system locked up. Fantastic. Another google search and it simply looks like the SiliconImage 3112 (Sil3112) is a piece of crap hardware. Don't buy one. A quick call to Bryn and I had a lovely High Point RocketRaid 1520 card in my hands at about 5pm. Over three times more expensive than the first card I tried, and a much larger box, it was guaranteed to work! (also the fact that the card said FreeBSD support on the box :p). I loaded it up, setup the raid through the bios and freebsd detected it as a hardware raid! Sweet. Jul 19 21:21:48 metro kernel: ad4: 76319MB [155061/16/63] at ata2-master UDMA133 Jul 19 21:21:48 metro kernel: ad6: 76319MB [155061/16/63] at ata3-master UDMA133 Jul 19 21:21:48 metro kernel: ar0: 76319MB [9729/255/63] status: READY subdisks: Jul 19 21:21:48 metro kernel: disk0 READY on ad4 at ata2-master Jul 19 21:21:48 metro kernel: disk1 READY on ad6 at ata3-master and metro# atacontrol status ar0 ar0: ATA RAID1 subdisks: ad4 ad6 status: READY four and a half days, 3 SATA controllers and many hours later, that night the server was online. :)



On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 at 10:00 PM, bryn wrote Mmm, I'm trying to decide if I should use that Ali card I've got or get one of those Highpoint cards. If it stays a Win Server 2K3 box, I might use the Ali card... 1: Comment Link

On Fri, 06 Jan 2006 at 11:15 PM, DM wrote Yes.. sil 3112 sucks..
ad4: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (1 retry left) LBA=173320383 ad4: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (1 retry left) LBA=173320799 ad4: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (1 retry left) LBA=114642303
I've tried everything - it does'nt work on Freebsd x.x correctly.. I'm going to buy High Point RocketRaid 1520 today! 2: Comment Link

On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 at 10:22 AM, Russell wrote I use a MegaRAID SATA 150-4 from LSILogic on FreeBSD. Fully supported (including diagnotic software) and hasn't faulted. 3: Comment Link

On Wed, 10 May 2006 at 3:02 PM, scott wrote haha i bought that rocketraid, about to install, let's see how easy and painless it is :) 4: Comment Link

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 at 6:01 AM, Anonymous wrote My story is almost Identical. I have tried the Adaptec 1210SA card and the SiliconImage sil 3112. I even went as far as trying different baracuda drives. The drive changeed helped somewhat. The system stays up now, but /var/log/messages fills with the
ad4: TIMEOUT - WRITE_DMA retrying (1 retry left) LBA=173320383
error 5: Comment Link

On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 at 2:44 PM, Murray wrote Hi I have got a Sata 8ogb and an asus P5S800 motherboard that has sata conection which is reconnised when booting but when I try to instal XP Home it tells me there is no harddrive. Can you tell me what to do or where to go to get info on setting up a Sata harddrive. Thanks 6: Comment Link


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