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Re: Re: "rock solid" motherboard


Thanks for the response. I don't have experience with
the Sil controller chip.

The VIA chips have absolutely no hardware raid functionality.

The VIA chips can be configured to combine individual disks
into an array with striping and/or mirroring or to not
combine the disks at all. They have no intelligence and so
don't cope effectively or efficiently.

As soon as you boot an operating system (windows or linux) that then talks to the hardware directly, so the bios setting
> has no effect.

I think Windows does use the BIOS configuration definitions
and interrupt handlers while Linux does not.

Install/setup the prober linux drivers (dmraid et al) and you will be able to access your "bios raid" partitions.

If dmraid uses the chip then I am wrong. I think the dmraid
might bypass the RAID mode and access their raid data
directly as individual disks similar to your md raid.
That isn't necessarily bad just duplicating the chip. The
dmraid does seem to be able to read and write to the raid
in some way, I don't know exactly if that is just software.

DOS doesn't count as an operating system here, it's just an overgrown bootloader.

Very funny. I have a DOS first partition on all of my disks
and all I use those for is bootloading. My favorite DOS
program is called 'loadlin linux' and is only 1.7Mb while
the support files run up to a couple of gigs.

DOS does not talk to the hardware, it only talks to the
> bios. That's also why you don't need any drivers.

So the RAID chips do work under DOS because the BIOS is
programmed that way by the designers. Linux doesn't use that
programming and so now the chips don't work under Linux.
That is why this is really a driver question not a hardware

This is my final answer:

1. The Promise controller chip on the AMD64 motherboards at
least, and maybe all RAID capable chips, does work with BIOS
RAID mode turned on or turned off. The chip works. I have
tested this and RAID works without any software support.

2. Linux does not support the chips with RAID mode turned
on for my motherboard. During my testing, I did find errors
in the disks after writing to the disks with Linux when the
RAID mode was enabled in the BIOS. That is why I have said
not to enable the RAID mode in the BIOS. The kernel modules
operate the controllers fine with chipset RAID mode turned
off. That is good enough for me.

3. The software programs turning the individual disk drives
into a RAID array are the only choice for Linux and a better
choice than the chips at this time if there was a choice.
The chips work independently, just slowly without coping.

I admit the RAID chips are cheap garbage. However, I have
tested the Promise RAID mode and that does indeed function
independently as a RAID controller. I think the VIA also
does actually function as a RAID controller without software
of any kind. They are just not supported in RAID mode by the
Linux kernel. Even if they were, they would still be
garbage. They are just not totally non-functional as RAID.

I have used the md raid before and recommend that software.


AMD Athlon64 @2.4Ghz Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL @480Mhz DDR ASUS A8V Deluxe ASUS Radeon A9250Ge/Td/256 Creative SB Live WD Raptor SATA Maxtor PATA IBM/Okidata Color PostScript3 Lexmark Mono PostScript2 Debian GNU/Linux debian-amd64/pure64 sid Kernel 2.6.11 XFree86 Xorg X11R6.8.2 1.5 Mb DSL

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