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Raid 5 Configuration


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#1
hellooperator

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Hello there!

I have a Precision T3400 with a Core 2 Duo, 1 GB of RAM and 3 Hard Drives (All SATA). Two hard drives I believe are identical and are 80GB and one is a different brand at 120GB. I'm trying to set up RAID5 and I know it is supported on this computer.

The user manual does have instructions to do so without any special hardware controllers, and when I enter in the BIOS and follow the steps, I see it allows me to do RAID 0, RAID 1 just fine. I can create a volume name, select either 0 or 1 and then select which of the two disks I'd like to either stripe or mirror and I can also set the size.

For RAID 5 though however, I can enter in a name, choose the option for RAID 5, however the menu to select the three disks I want is grayed out (maybe because it knows it needs all three?) but in the instructions it says that I should have the option to "Press the up- and down-arrow keys and spacebar to select the three or four drives you want to use to make up your volume, and then press <Enter>."

It just moves me straight to select a strip size (default it says is 64KB) and the other weird part is that it asks me for a capacity and has a default selected of 149GB, but none of the drives are that large, it should default to the smallest size of 80 GB.

Am I doing something wrong here? There is Red Hat installed on one of the drives, but I imagine that it shouldn't be a problem to be able to select the option for RAID and then have it ask me to re-install the operating system?

Please help!!
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#2
Kemasa

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I am not familiar with that system, but the 149Gb would be around the size available when done. Basically the 40Gb on the larger drive is not usable and with the RAID, with 3 drives, 1/3 is used for parity.

I suspect that you can't select anything because all three need to be used.

One question would be why do you want to use RAID5?
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#3
hellooperator

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So it perhaps is actually done correctly? The notion that it doesn't allow me to select a drive is because it has to use all three and that after it is done, the size is correct?

Is there anyway to test that? If I install an OS on there after, such as CentOS or Fedora, should it read a total drive size of 149GB?

Thank you for your help!
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#4
Kemasa

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Yes, I would guess that it is correct and that is why you can't select anything.

When you go to install the OS, the total size of the disk should be around 149Gb, max would be 160Gb, but due to overhead and how they do the math (advertising) it ends up smaller. When you go to partition the disk, you should see that as the total size. Once install, there will be several partitions, so you would not see the total size unless you look at the partition table using something like fdisk or qtparted.
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#5
hellooperator

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Looks like it worked at least from the BIOS standpoint (shows that the drives are grouped together) - but the OS will be the icing on the cake.

Best!
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#6
Troy

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There should be a RAID management tool that you can open to view the status of the RAID and the individual drives. I have just looked up the Dell support website but it doesn't list CentOS or Fedora as supported operating systems. They might work but you could be limited in what you get to work.
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