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Re: Mdadm not starting at boot [Comment And Solution]

On Friday 09 December 2005 10:28 pm, Andrew Cady wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 08, 2005 at 05:59:34AM -0600, hank@yerpso.net wrote:
> > you know I had/have the same problem ...
> >
> > I finally broke down and wrote my own init script that I run in
> > runlevels 2-5 that basically has
> >
> > mdadm -A -s
> This is supposed to be run in /etc/init.d/mdadm-raid.  Check that this
> script exists, that appropriate rcS.d symlinks exist, that the script
> has not been edited to disable mdadm and that /etc/default/mdadm has not
> been set to disable mdadm.

That's one reason I did NOT want to write my own scripts for this.  I have one 
system where a RAID 5 in an almost identical configuration that works 
perfectly.  I set it up with a one line command, created the file system on 
it, and from then on it's acted like a single drive for me.  I figured if 
that isn't happening on this system, there is a reason for it, and 
considering that part of the data I am storing on this drive is everything 
I've ever written since I started using a computer, if there is a reason 
mdadm isn't working correctly, I wanted to fix the problem and NOT the 
symptoms.  (Yes, I have backups of my writing, but I'm paranoid.  I don't 
treat any copy as dispensable -- that's why it's on a RAID.)

As for the solution: This system has a KT7A motherboard, with onboard RAID.  I 
did NOT use the onboard RAID setup (it only did RAID 0 and 1)!  I simply used 
it as JBOD, so I had four drives hooked up on the 2 IDE channels it provided.  
According to the info I had, I should have been able to use the drives as 
JBOD, and when I initialized and tested them, they behaved properly.  I 
noticed, though, once I backed up the RAID and disassembled it, I had 
problems with the drives when I tested them.  I wiped all four disks, used 
parted and fdisk to create a partition on each drive.  When I rebooted, the 
partitions were gone.  I finally got 1 ext3 partition established on each 
drive, and when I rebooted, the motherboard didn't like the drive formats.  I 
have no idea why, but since this is a server, I decided to swap the 
motherboard with one not as powerful (it records sound from the radio at 
times, but otherwise, basically serves files and print jobs).

I replaced it, added an IDE card to the mobo, re-partitioned the drives, and 
set up mdadm like it should be set up.  Once I did that, I ran through 
something like 5 reboot tests, and each time it worked just fine -- the new 
RAID 5 came up like a regular drive, ready for use.

So it turned out that the extra 2 IDE channels on the mobo were funky, seemed 
to mess with the format of non-Windows drives, and, in at least one case, got 
nasty when I used drives with ext3 formatting.


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