A pair of RAID1 NTFS drives driving me nuts!

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A pair of RAID1 NTFS drives driving me nuts!

Postby Gew » 2020-09-10 17:12

Hi guys!

I just installed Debian 10.5 (Buster) and everything works nice and so, except for my RAID(1) array.
To be honest, this has been an "out of the box issue" with just about every Linux distribution I've tried.
This time I'm going to chase it down, and hopefully (with help from you guys) solve it, once and for all.

So, I run a dual boot PC with Windows 10 and now Debian aside of it. I have a decade old motherboard with a [for the time] pretty conventional BIOS RAID function (I think it's what is referred to as hardware RAID, not sure though) that I have configured with two identical drives to run RAID1-mode for me to be on the safe side if one fails. In Windows, it's my D:\ and in "diskmgmt.msc" (Disk Management) the (two) drives show up as one, out of the box right after install. It has never been a problem after fresh W10 installs or so. Anyways, in Linux, they show as the two /dev/sdX devices, and when I start Xfce, two "DISK-label" are shown on the desktop. This is pretty annoying, and I've found that if I mount one of them and add files to it, it will only sync to that drive, and when I enter W10 and use the appropriate utility (e.g. web-based AMD RAID Xpert) I [consequently] get detected corruption which it then fixes. Awergh, the show can't go on like this.

Recently, I found that if I skip the /dev/sdX device and instead look at /dev/disk/by-label/, I do see one(!) "DISK-label" and I tried mount:ing it manually, and voila, after putting it in /etc/fstab and rebooting I did no loner see that awful duplicate entries on my Xfce desktop, but none, and the (what I hoped to be) "merged" disk(s) was automatically where I had fstab:ed it to be. So, I tried copying a few files to it, and then (just to make things the right way) umount:ed it, and rebooted back into W10. The new files showed up in the file list, but they contained zero data, so a simple chkdsk.exe removed them. So, when I thought I had reached the finish line I failed, and now I'm back on square one.

So, guys, what am I supposed to do? :)
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Re: A pair of RAID1 NTFS drives driving me nuts!

Postby Bloom » 2020-09-10 17:26

The soft-RAID in Linux is INCOMPATIBLE with the one in Windows. If you want to share a RAID volume between the two, you will have to use a hardware RAID controller. Or ditch Windows.
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Re: A pair of RAID1 NTFS drives driving me nuts!

Postby Gew » 2020-09-10 17:50

Thanks for your quick response @Bloom.
I actually started having a sense this was the verdict.

My last hope was that the Linux software RAID "mdadm" package was the helper I needed.
Started typing in this command:

Code: Select all
root@gew:~# mdadm -C /dev/md0 -l 1 -n 2 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc
mdadm: partition table exists on /dev/sdb
mdadm: partition table exists on /dev/sdb but will be lost or
       meaningless after creating array
mdadm: Note: this array has metadata at the start and
    may not be suitable as a boot device.  If you plan to
    store '/boot' on this device please ensure that
    your boot-loader understands md/v1.x metadata, or use
    --metadata=0.90
mdadm: partition table exists on /dev/sdc
mdadm: partition table exists on /dev/sdc but will be lost or
       meaningless after creating array
Continue creating array? n


Fortunately, I realized that if I had typed "y", I would be in way over my head.
Well, at least you laid it out there for me, without frills.
I guess sometimes there's just no shortcut(s) in life, sigh.

Like you said, either ditch Windows (and recreate the array, I guess),
or invest in a friggin' hardware RAID controller.. ?!
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Gew
 
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Re: A pair of RAID1 NTFS drives driving me nuts!

Postby Gew » 2020-09-10 17:57

Hey, you know what?
I think I won't give up just yet, after all!

After reading this thread ...
https://askubuntu.com/questions/2953/is ... stallation
... I got optimistic!

I installed the dmraid package, and right after installation this is what the query command gave me:

Code: Select all
root@gew:~# dmraid -r
/dev/sdc: pdc, "pdc_bdbjjgciib", mirror, ok, 2930146048 sectors, data@ 0
/dev/sdb: pdc, "pdc_bdbjjgciib", mirror, ok, 2930146048 sectors, data@ 0
root@gew:~#


This should be good news, shouldn't it?
I will continue my investigation, and report back!
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