Archives for: January 2010, 01

01/01/10

  05:22:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 839 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, Storage, Ubuntu

Converted box to use RAID1

Link: http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Convert_a_single_drive_system_to_RAID

box is such an important server to my home network, while the last time it failed wasn't due to drive failure...there had been times in its past where it was.

And, since I was playing around with RAID a lot on orac, I decided that it was probably time that I convert box to do RAID.

It doesn't need a lot of storage....it has always been a 40GB harddrive of some sort. That had come either as stock in the off-lease system I built it around or from a ReplayTV. The latest incarnation of 'box', a Thinkcentre S51, used SATA drives, so spare drives wasn't something I had a pile of for it.

Now being a Thinkcentre S51, there wasn't much in the way of internal options of doing RAID, but there was a second SATA port on the motherboard. And, it did have USB ports...so at first I was looking at creating RAID using an external harddrive. Either USB or SATA. Leaning towards SATA (had purchased a SATA bracket).

But, I was looking for a pair of small SATA drives....at first one the same size as the current, but then a pair of small/same would do....and more procrastination.

But, then the K-State Student Union computer store had a clearance table out...and on it where various sizes of 2.5" SATA drives. And, I recalled seeing an adapter that would allow me to mount a pair of 2.5" SATA drives in a 3.5" drive bay. There was even a version that had on board RAID (and could do USB)....similar to one of the RAID enclosures connected to orac. Though I wanted to go with mdadm managing my raid in software, since it was a little bit better known to me in its setup, management and recovery. The latter is kind of important, since at work we've had fun in trying to recover systems using hardware RAID after a card/board swap or having it tell us its status by some mean other than wondering if a light shouldn't be on or something while passing by it in the data center.

But, the table had come out before I was going on my winter holidays...so I wasn't in a position to figure things out and buy it. Later when I came back from holidays, I saw that some of the 2.5" drives were still available...and had been marked down even further. The big ones were gone, and a co-worker mentioned that he had gotten a pair of 250G for just such a use. There was a single 80G and 3 120G left. So, either I could get a single enclosure and go with the old external mount of drive plan....or get a pair of 120G drives and explore the 2x2.5 to 3.5 bay adapter route. I ended up buying all 3 of the 120G drives, figuring that I'd have a cold spare for down the road.

I then checked eBay for the adapter....and bought the one that wasn't RAID or anything. I chose a seller that shipped USPS, and it just made it in on New Year's Eve.

During the thinking and research phase, I found the linked to details on how to do what I wanted.... And, I pretty much used it (with minor adjustments to suit my needs, like the differences of my ubuntu release, or that I was going to swtich to having /home on /dev/md1. Or that I wasn't going to reuse the old drive in the conversion, etc.

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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