General discussion


Hardware RAID in XP Pro

By dogx ·
Having returned from the Dime Store with a fresh bottle of Blonde hair dye...

I mostly support Win2kPro and Linux installations.

A client recently had to get a new "box" serving as both workstation and central storage, this came with Windows XP Pro. It has a hardware based Raid type 1 on a generic SATA RAID card.

Our goal is to achieve maximum "Fault Tolerance" such that no data loss AT ALL can occur should one of the 2 drives fail, RAID must past the test of "Hot Unplugging" the primary (drive 0) from the controller.

My questions are:

1. We cannot "See" the RAID configuration in XP - other than the SCSI device, which is the RAID controller itself. How does XP "percieve" the drive? Is it the Dynamic Disk thing?

2. This being hardware based (good thing) Type 1, how would XP report a problem, or failure, with one of the 2 drives? Is there a *.cpl that can be loaded in control panel that I'm missing? Or, having a generic controller there is no such thing?

3. The unit came with 2 *different* 250 GB drives on the generic SATA, one a Hitachi, one a Seagate. My concern is that for reliable mirroring, the drives should be identical (timing and drive geometry issues). So far, the hardware supplier hasn't given a definitive response to this question. -- Can 2 drives of the same size, with different timing/geometry be mirrored? If so, how does this work? (My experience has been that a 120G maxtor and 120G WD differ in size by a gig or so)

Thanks in advance for responses...



This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by AmberHaze In reply to Hardware RAID in XP Pro

I will start with stating the fact that I am still getting used to SATA myself, however I have used it in many instances lately.

Re. #1: Whith many hardware SATA raid boards, the actual raid is hidden from Windows XP. (Which mearly sees it as a single drive)

Re. #2: To date, I have not found a reliable answer to this.. (having induced failures on purpose to test and getting no report.) The only reliable report I have seen is in the firmware on boot when the SATA controler reports the error. (I have generally experimented with cheap generic SATA, I would hope Higher end boards / chipsets will be better in this regard.)

Re. #3: Now for the good news, In RAID 1, it has been my experience that the SATA controler will compensate by reporting as the size of the smallest drive. When replacing a "falty" drive, the new drive MUST be larger than the configured size of the RAID. (or it will give errors.) I have had no other difficulties with using drives with different timing / geometries.

I hope these help a little

- Adrian

Collapse -

by 3xp3rt In reply to Hardware RAID in XP Pro

The RAID configuration you can made only by the SCSI controller software. (Basicly the SCSI controller is standalone PC with RAM, CPU).
For your 2 question: XP report a Hardware problem, and at restart you can access the SCSI controller's software and here you can see what's happened.
The 3. question: For mirroring you need 2 identical HDD.
Good luck!

Collapse -

by dror In reply to Hardware RAID in XP Pro

1. xp not and should not percieve the drive raid at all. it does'nt its business. the only software monitoring and application of that specific raid must came with the raid controller that you buy from. and when you finish install it you will see the control software you want.
2. the same answer for this monitoring issue with xp. you could expect from xp things that concern about is "software " built in raid but not for other manufactor's.
about your "hot swap" thing you want.. i willy hope that your controller of the raid support it. dont trust anybody and try it by your self. god blase you. feel well
3. it's recommended to owned 2 disk from the same type and same model. if its not the case then the raid will worked on the speed of the lowest disk between the two. so try to make them equal.

Related Discussions

Related Forums