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I've been running FreeNAS for a while now. Hardware is 1.8 GHz Celeron, RAM 1 GB. SATA card is Via - I am not sure about the model. It's 2 ports and I have 6 x 1.5 TB hard drives.

All ran OK while running on 1.5 TB, no RAID. I'm now trying to create a RAID 5 with my 6 hard drives. Software RAID. Is it normal for it to take roughly up to 2 weeks just to build the RAID? Sorry, I'm very new to implementing RAID and googling doesn't tell much other than it takes a long time.

Also the RAID building process seems to fail many times. Going to degraded. I suspect it's because 4 of my hard drives are connected to my motherboard and the other 2 are connected to my SATA card. What's your take?

I'm considering 2 options now. Either get a 8 port SATA card and attach all the hard drives to it. Or get a RAID controller 8 portcard which is probably going to be more pricey. Also how do you access hardware RAID through FreeNAS?

I like how FreeNAS emails you should your harddrive fails. Can this be done as well with hardware RAID?

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1.5TB is far too big to be safe and reliable in RAID 5. With six of these drives, you should seriously consider RAID 10 (1+0 not 0+1). –  Skyhawk Apr 3 '12 at 6:42
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1 Answer

  1. You have a very weak machine to process 6x1.5 TB of data
  2. Processing so much data should and will take a very long time. Rebuilding my fakeRAID RAID 5 (4x 300 GB SATA) takes about 12 hours.
  3. If you had a RAID controller, which can offload the calculation from the main CPU, things would be much faster, although the drives are still large and slow. That means a real RAID controller, not a fakeRAID card, which is no better than software RAID, usually even worse.
  4. Proper server hardware will allow you to configure alerts via emails or SNMP, but this here is a low-end home PC we're discussing.
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I see, I intentionally bought this machine as I wanted 1 that uses low power consumption since it runs 24/7. Unknown socket option IPTOS_LOWDELAY lib/util_sock.c:set_socket_options(237) I'm getting this error so I'm guessing it can't talk to the sata card? You say I'm using a weak machine, just to get an idea... what are you using to get 12 hours on roughly 900GB usable space and what should I be using for a Raid 5 with that amount of space? Sorry for the ignorance ha ha, first time dealing with raid, also say I just wait it out, would it be powerful enough then to run properly? Thanks :) –  Benjy23 Mar 1 '10 at 21:16
Well, if you run on low end home hardware, don't expect real server performance. <br> The kernel message seems to be coming from samba, have a look at sourceforge.indices-masivos.com/support/tracker.php?aid=2894782 and twopenguins.it/2009/12/… <br> My hardware is a quad core CPU, with an intel matrix onboard controller and 4Gb RAM –  dyasny Mar 2 '10 at 10:45
Wow thanks. Hopefully that will help my softraid work... I'll just wait it out and see how it runs on this hardware if it does manage to build the raid... will update... Based on the performance I might opt for the next option. Another option would be to go for hardware raid. Do you know how this is handled? Through Bios or through Freenas itself? Been searching around for the answer but no one seems to have asked this question, probably cos its too noobish, again I'm sorry if it is since I'm pretty new to RAID. Cheers and thanks heaps Dyasny –  Benjy23 Mar 2 '10 at 12:45
If you get a proper RAID controller, you'll be able to manage it from the controller BIOS - usually you'll need to press a key combination to enter it, when prompted during POST/BOOT. –  dyasny Mar 2 '10 at 14:34
I see, but I'm guessing it wouldn't offer the SMART features of emailing you if a hard drive fails. That's all well and good... Btw... my motherboard is a gigabyte G41MT-ES2L and it has a PCI Expresss slot for the graphics card... is this usable for a raid controller, since I recall most of the raid controllers uses PCI Express. Gonna try that script fix first then if all else fails, I'll bite the bullet... unfortunately it seems pretty hard to find RAID controllers here...thanks heaps. –  Benjy23 Mar 2 '10 at 14:45
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