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WHS Install issues --RAID5 related? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

     

    I'm attempting to install WHS RC1 on the following system:

     

    AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (Venice core)

    Foxconn 6150BK8MC-KRSHN2 mainboard (it's an mATX Socket 939 board, nForce 6150 chipset)

    1GB (2 x 512MB) Kingston ValueRAM, PC3200 DDR

    3 x Seagate 7200.7 160GB SATA hard disks (RAID 5, in hardware)

    Geforce 7300LE graphics card

    D-Link DWL-G520 PCI Wifi card

    LiteOn 167T and NEC 3500A ATA optical drives (DVD-ROM and DVD writer, respectively)

     

    I have used nVidia's XP-32 drivers for RAID to install Windows Home Server since I couldn't locate any drivers listed specifically for Windows 2003 server or SBS.  I installed both the nVidia RAID driver and the nVidia Storage Controller driver and the OS accepted these drivers (twice actually, first in the early GUI setup, second during the blue-screen comand-line style setup via F6) and fully installed the OS.  However, upon final reboot, the system goes into an endless reboot cycle.  It appears to restart almost immediately after trying to boot the operating system; I never see an OS startup splash screen.  I suspect the RAID5 setup, as the system by itself isn't anything unusual.

     

    I am unsure as to how to proceed from here.  I have currently disabled RAID on the system board and am starting the process of a conventional install to see if it succeeds, but having RAID5 is important to me for basic data integrity.  Are there drivers that might solve the issue I am experiencing, or has anyone else experienced this issue and worked around it?  Any help would be appreciated.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:29 PM

All replies

  • Most likely it is a drivers problem.  We have seen a lot of issues with storage drivers that do not support Windows Server 2003.  Where are you using this RAID5?  Seems pretty hefty for the OS partition and I don't understand why you would use it for Drive Extender.  It would only be seen as 1 drive.
    Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:37 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm using RAID5 across the entire three-drive array; I set up that way in the controller BIOS.  I understand that Drive Extender would make all of my drives a single volume --that wasn't my issue.  I wanted RAID5 chiefly for data redundancy, so that if one drive went bad for any reason, I would lose no data.  While I understand (though am not well versed in it so I don't know the specifics) that Windows Home Server may have some of these abilities itself, having worked with Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 in the past, doing it in hardware always appealed to me as the most reliable method, and the one with the best performance (not that high performance requirements are an issue here), so I attacked it as someone who works with servers at work, but wanted to play with a reliable, but simpler solution from home.

     

    Once the drivers were loaded, WHS did find the entire RAID5 array, and used it throughout the install process.  I'm just unsure as to why once installation was complete, things no longer work properly (though I'd agree with you that it is likely a driver issue).

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:49 PM
  • During the install part, do you mean both the WinPE Graphical install and the Win2003 Text mode install?

    Drive Extender does have duplication.  If that is enabled and a drive dies, you can replace the drive with a new drive without losing data.

    Thursday, June 28, 2007 5:55 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, both the graphical mode and text mode install, and then close to the end of the (second? it happens after the text install) graphical install, the system reboots, and keeps on rebooting.  At that point, the install says it is finalizing settings, and the progress bar looks to be more than 3/4 of the way through.  I am assuming that at this point, Windows is rebooting itself, though I have no way of knowing if it isn't an actual crash causing the reboot.

    I tried installing Windows Home Server without the RAID5 setup, and the machine installs and runs it just fine.  So it does appear to be a RAID issue.  I have installed other Windows XP level drivers (nVidia Gig Ethernet, Geforce 7300LE, D-Link Wifi card) and while they aren't listed as certified, these drivers all function properly.
    Friday, June 29, 2007 7:50 PM
  • There is another user using a Promise Card where the default drive install from the txtsetup.oem was installing the WinXP drivers and not the Win2003 drivers.  We found with editing the txtsetup.oem file to install the Win2003 drivers and not the WinXP drivers, the Promise card worked correctly.
    Friday, June 29, 2007 7:59 PM
    Moderator
  • I think RAID5 on the primary is a good idea too, it would save on re-install/reconfigure should a drive fail. Now that you have it setup without RAID, can you now image the single drive (Ghost, etc) rebuild the array and and then restore the image?

     

     

    Friday, June 29, 2007 8:02 PM
  •  LoneWolf15 wrote:

    I'm using RAID5 across the entire three-drive array; I set up that way in the controller BIOS. I understand that Drive Extender would make all of my drives a single volume --that wasn't my issue. I wanted RAID5 chiefly for data redundancy, so that if one drive went bad for any reason, I would lose no data. While I understand (though am not well versed in it so I don't know the specifics) that Windows Home Server may have some of these abilities itself, having worked with Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 in the past, doing it in hardware always appealed to me as the most reliable method, and the one with the best performance (not that high performance requirements are an issue here), so I attacked it as someone who works with servers at work, but wanted to play with a reliable, but simpler solution from home.

    Once the drivers were loaded, WHS did find the entire RAID5 array, and used it throughout the install process. I'm just unsure as to why once installation was complete, things no longer work properly (though I'd agree with you that it is likely a driver issue).



    If I may add some thing in the RAID issue, as you know, losing 2 drives in raid5 and the array will be lost (riad 6 need 3), and losing 2 drives at once, I see it happened a lots.

    WHS use another way to protect data, I have suggestion tho, leave the raid out the pool of the WHS, since it already protected with the RAID5.

    I am planning to use one controller Areca 16 ports later on to test this, and use the card (pass-throw) as normal hard disk out of the array for prime WHS use.

    I know this post will not help you much, it mainly suggestion for the RAID5 usage issue.

    My best.
    Friday, June 29, 2007 9:48 PM
  • The big problems I've seen and work with is the actual RAID breaking and not being able to rebuild it.  I've had 2 major RAID problems and both times I could not rebuild the arrays.  Backup tapes saved my day... hugely.
    Friday, June 29, 2007 10:09 PM
    Moderator
  •  Joel Burt wrote:
    The big problems I've seen and work with is the actual RAID breaking and not being able to rebuild it.  I've had 2 major RAID problems and both times I could not rebuild the arrays.  Backup tapes saved my day... hugely.

     

    I've only had that problem with 4 drive (or more) arrays once, when a controller fried but, as you know, one should not depend on RAID alone for data security. I gave up on tape years ago, I just use hot swappable hard drives. They're faster and cheaper per gig. I'm considering using an abit ab9-pro for WHS because it'll do a 4 drive RAID5 array and still have ports for 5 more drives, internally. I'd want to make it a HTPC too though to better use the hardware.

    Friday, June 29, 2007 10:29 PM