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> Lilo And Raid?, how do I boot to a raid array?
johnshep0
post Jul 8 2005, 06:56 PM
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I have an asus a7v8x motherboard with a Promise Fasttrack raid controller. I have Linux on two IDE hard drives, hda and hdb. I have added two SATA drives on the raid controller and am putting various flavors of Windows on the striped raid array so my wife can play games. I can boot to raid by resetting the boot option in the BIOS, or I can boot to Linux. My question is "Is there a boot manager that will allow me to choose without re-entering the BIOS every time?" Can LILO or Grub do this? Linux (Mandriva LE2005) only sees two drives, sda and sdb, and can't read from them. That's fine, I don't care if Linux can see one striped drive or not, but how do I get LILO to boot to raid? Or, is there another boot manager that will see every drive? I have looked at a few such as xosl and osl2000. They say they may not see the raid array, and I don't want to find out by installing one of them and hosing a perfectly good system.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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johnshep0
post Jul 11 2005, 11:27 AM
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OK. Answering my own question for the enlightement of generations to come and the entertainment of the children.

This is a bit roundabout, but I do have a way to make it work.

1. I used MS-DOS 6.22 fdisk to create a primary FAT partition 511Mb on the raid array. Formatted same with DOS. Copied all of the DOS diskettes, set the BIOS to boot from floppy first, then CD-ROM, then RAID, then IDE, and check that it boots. Yes. That's drive C:. Linux, on IDE drives 1 & 2 is untouched. DOS sees SATA RAID array as one big hard drive.

2. Booted to a Win98SE startup floppy and invoked fdisk to created an extended partitionusing the rest of the space. Created two logical drives D: and E: to hold Windows 98SE. Formatted those drives and installed Windows to D:Windows. Windows drops some files in the root directory of C:, but preserves MS-DOS so it can be booted to later. Press F8 during the beginning of Windows load process, and then boot to previous version of MS-DOS. Later, I edited C:MSDOS.SYS to always bring up the boot menu. Tested that to see if Windows and DOS both boot from RAID array. Yes.

3. Booted to Windows 2000 install diskettes, and installed Windows 2000 to unformatted space in extended partition. Now, when booting Win2K boot loader gives me the choice of Win2K or Win98SE. If I boot to Win98SE, I can then boot to DOS.

4. Installed XOSL operating system loader to C:. XOSL gives you the oportunity to install the Ranish partition manager, but I already know that Ranish cannot deal with the Promise Fast Track controller. Don't use Ranish on the RAID array! It also lets you install SBM (Smart Boot Manager), which I did. I configured it to default to linux on hda which it sees as HD1. When it gets there, good old LILO takes over. It also points to the RAID array on HD0 for booting to Windows.

To sum up, I boot to the RAID array where XOSL pops up. If I let it go to Linux, then LILO pops up. If I want to boot to Windows, then I see the Windows 2000 boot loader. If I want to get to DOS, then I select Windows 98SE and go through its boot menu to previous version of DOS.

DOS and Windows can't see Linux, and because I'm not smart enough to make all the drivers work, Linux can't see DOS or Windows. That's OK. A little kludgy, but it works.

And, since I've seen this question elsewhere, the ASUS A7V8X board will support two SATA drives and 4 IDE drives simultaneously.
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johnshep0
post Jul 11 2005, 03:42 PM
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Neglected to mention: had to put the Asus Promise Fast Track drivers on a floppy and feed them to Windows 2000 during install.
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