Saturday, November 21

Geek

Moving Right Along

Yurie is now up and running with Fedora 12, which - apart from the complete failure of software RAID on the boot partition - is quite nice. The video driver issues of 9 and 10 are gone (this was already fixed in 11) and the latest version of KDE, while still plagued by some terrible design choices in its application menu, is certainly pretty.

So now I'm installing Windows 2008 R2 on Haruhi. And look! Complete failure of software RAID on the boot partition! The motherboard supports "fakeraid", and has a driver for Windows 2003, but I can get the installer to even acknowledge the existence of the driver disk, much less load the driver.

Windows Server supports software RAID (as distinct from motherboard fakeraid), but there's no install-time option for that at all.

I think you can clone a drive into a RAID-1 set once installed. We'll soon find out, anyway.

Update: Oops. Picked the wrong install option and got Windows without windows. Starting again...

Update: Yes, you can mirror the system volume after install; indeed, once you find the right place (computer management, not storage management) it's quite painless.

I think, as with Yurie, this will protect the operating system and my data, but the system will not be bootable if the boot drive fails. Still, not too shabby. Also, it only seems to have RAID-1, so I'm left with a 750GB mirrored system volume and a single 750GB unprotected disk. I guess that can be for backups.

Now all that's left is to pull the capybara's nest of cables from under my desk, vacuum, and then plug all four computers into the KVM switch.

Update: Oh yeah, there's still the question of what to do with Nagi, with its three 1.5TB Seagate InstaBricksâ„¢ (the 7200.11).

These drives have two major firmware problems: First, they intermittently suffer from lengthy delays, which can cause problems if they're in a RAID array - they get marked as failed. Second, there's a bug where if you're on the last entry of the SMART event log ring buffer when you power up, it writes to the following memory location rather than the first buffer location, and permanently bricks itself.

There's a firmware upgrade, but the first couple of releases of the upgrade also bricked the drive. So for the past year my strategy has been frequent backups and try not to think about it.

I'm inclined to pull them out and replace them with a six-disk RAID-5 array of 1TB Seagate 7200.12 drives, which is what Tanarotte has.  Bit expensive though.

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