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I have never set up a RAID array before.

I just purchased an HP Proliant DL580 G2 server that has a Smart Array 5i RAID controller on it. Do I need any special utility CD to configure the RAID before I load the OS on it? Or is it some type of GUI that I can load after the BIOS loads? I will be loading the operating system and all files onto one partition. I will be putting Debian Linux on this server. It comes with 3x36GB drives, and I want to do a RAID1 array with one hot spare (not looking for speed, just redundancy).

The server does not come with any software, so I'm wondering if there's something else I need to get to be able to configure the RAID. Also, any tips to help get it set up correctly would be greatly appreciated.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For a Debian Lenny install on top of a hardware RAID no special drivers are needed (unless your model of RAID controller is so brand new that the stable release doesn't have drivers for it). And the CD's that come with the server are completely useless when you install Linux.

The various lists indicate that Debian Lenny should install OK on that server. You might need to install the bnx2-firmware package for the ethernet cards. Probably best to first install the base system from a CD, download the bnx2-firmware package onto a USB stick and install it from there. Once that is in place, you can configure your network and from there on it's blue skies all the way.

You might want to check this regarding the RAID controller.

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Typically, during the POST there will be an option ala "CTRL + R" to "Enter RAID Utility" which will allow you to configure the RAID setup. Once you've completed that, you will probably need to load special drivers for your OS install. The CDs that come with the server will walk you through the steps necessary for your target OS deployment.

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I believe you'll be prompted to hit F8 for configuration after it initializes during POST.

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