[CentOS] Installing on Abit BE7-RAID -- more FRAID (100% software)

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Fri Sep 9 05:58:48 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-09-08 at 19:26 -0700, Todd Cary wrote:
> I have RH 8 running on a Abit BE7-RAID motherboard.  My task is 
> installing Centos 4.1 with limited knowledge on installing with hardware 

It is _not_ hardware RAID, but FRAID (i.e., 100% software).

> The arrays are still in place for the two pairs of drives.

Understand by "array" you are talking about "regular looking ATA drives"
that have a specific disk organization the FRAID (100% software) driver
can understand.

You either need to load an equivalent software driver under Linux (which
may or may not be possible), or use the newer kernel 2.6 LVM2-DM (Device
Mapper) which now has some FRAID meta-data support.  I've found both to
be largely _broken_ and untrustworthy in general, but I'm hopeful for
the latter in the future.

> HighPoint only shows drivers up through RH 9.

Correct, because the vendor has produced 100% proprietary, binary-only
modules for _specific_ kernel versions.  There is no GPL driver, there
is _no_ general, linkable driver (AFAICT).  FRAID has always suffered,
and will always suffer, from the fact that 100% of the RAID logic is in
the software, and that software is almost always licensed from a 3rd
party and proprietary.

The Device Mapper approach is interesting though.  Instead of relying on
the vendor's proprietary driver/logic, it can read the meta-data and use
the generic software RAID built in the Linux kernel -- by-passing any
need for the proprietary FRAID software/logic.

> Is there anyone who can take me through the steps?  Remove the existing 
> arrays?  Will the drivers work with Centos 4.1? 

The drivers won't even work on Fedora Core and even some newer Red Hat
Linux kernel updates.

> Since I used Windows to download the HighPoint tar file for RH 9,
> I am not what I should do with it.

Can you send me a link?  I'd be interested in knowing what they offer.

Bryan J. Smith     b.j.smith at ieee.org     http://thebs413.blogspot.com
The best things in life are NOT free - which is why life is easiest if
you save all the bills until you can share them with the perfect woman

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