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Gerbil Elite
Topic Author
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Large IDE RAID on old an Pentium?

Tue Jan 28, 2003 3:08 pm

Hi all,

I have an unused Pentium (133 I think) lying around that I was thinking of turning into a Linux firewall/internet sharing box with a 60 or 80GB RAID 1 as NAS for a small network of 3-5 PCs.

Since it will just be running a console (no X) and used primarily to serve up MP3s and store downloads, backups, etc I figure I dont need super file xfer throughput and an old Pentium would be perfect for the job.

However, I assume those old Pentium BIOS have no chance of recognizing the new large capacity HDs. Will a PCI RAID card allow one to build a RAID with big HDs not normally usable on a mobo? ie will the RAID card's BIOS
effectively 'hide' the drives from the PC BIOS so that the drives can be properly partitioned, formatted, and used without choking?

Any thoughts are appreciated...
Global Moderator
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2001 7:00 pm

Tue Jan 28, 2003 3:13 pm

It should, since the PCI RAID card bypasses the onboard BIOS. You may want to check compatibility of the card with an older PCI bus, though I doubt there'd be a problem.
Gerbil Elite
Topic Author
Posts: 740
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2003 2:46 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC Canada

Tue Jan 28, 2003 10:03 pm

Thanks for the reply,

I had a look on the Adaptec and Promise website, and while there is no info regarding my orginal question, I am leaning *away* from my idea of resurrecting the ol' P133.

It seems that these RAID cards do have linux drivers, but you may be linked to a particular distro and version. One Promise card had drivers for Caldera, Suse, and Redhat; but the most recent RH drivers were for 7.3

I have no idea whether those drivers would work on newer releases like RH8 or even different distros (I'm on MDK9 currently), but while Promise has Windows drivers out the wazoo, their Linux support seems much more sparse...

I was hoping to use the old Pentium to save some $$ but I may just be better off getting a cheap Duron or Celeron and running a software RAID 1.

Also, if I'm still too dumb to get the RAID working properly, I can still cron regular backups to the second HD :wink:
Maximum Gerbil
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Location: Seattle, WA

Tue Jan 28, 2003 11:04 pm

I would expect it to work, since the RAID card is interpreting the drive size.

But I wouldn't expect it to be fast.
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
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Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:35 am

Most of these raid cards doesnt have an onboard cpu to perform raid operations either, so they use the main cpu for that.

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