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I'm trying to install a Debian 6 (newest version) on a Server which has 2 RAIDs.

First RAID is configured on an Intel controller and is a simple RAID 1 with 3 partitions (swap, /, and a special data partition)

Second RAID (not important here) is on another RAID controller, 1 TB. Everything fine with that one.

So, my problem: When I enter the Debian installation routine and get to parted, it won't let me change anything regarding the Intel RAID (aside from deleting it...which works over the Software RAID menu...strange, right?). The RAID controller is listed as something like "raidmd126 RAIDACTIVE #(readonly) $harddrive1 $harddrive2". There is one partition listed, which goes over the whole space, I can try to mount it and make it ext4 but when I want to go to the next step and parted tries to commit those changes I get an error, saying that this operation is not allowed.

If I change to a shell (ash) and enter dmesg I can see that Debian says something about an unknown partition table. I entered the Intel RAID controller menu several times and created the RAID new, but it didn't change anything.

Previously on that machine was a Suse 11 installed, it worked fine with the RAID controller.

So, question is: Why did it work with Suse but won't work with Debian? / How to make it work with Debian?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You might not have the correct drivers available in the kernel for the motherboard fakeRAID. I'd strongly suggest using mdadm instead to make Linux software RAIDs instead of using the subpar onboard controller.

FakeRAID should be avoided at pretty much all costs.

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uhm...(I guess) it's a very stupid question but how do you know that this is a FakeRAID? (I've absolutely no experiences with RAID systems) and if the drivers aren't available, how come that it detects the RAID and is able to delete it? (I still don't get that part) – Steffen Winkler Nov 8 '11 at 13:25
Simple. Intel doesn't make real RAID controllers. Real controllers have dedicated cache, a dedicated XOR processor, and usually have a battery for the cache in the event of a power failure. Intel doesn't make controllers like this. I suggested that perhaps Debian doesn't have full support for your motherboard's fakeRAID, which is why some operations would be available. It's entirely speculation though. – MDMarra Nov 8 '11 at 13:29
thanks, short google search showed me why FakeRAID is bad. – Steffen Winkler Nov 8 '11 at 14:52

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