SATA RAID FAQ

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I have an Adaptec 1210SA SATA RAID card. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card.

I have an AMD SB600/7x0/8x0 SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the mainboard.

I have an Initio SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card.

I have an Intel ICH5/6/7/8/9/10, PCH SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the mainboard.

I have a JMicron SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card or mainboard.

I have a Marvell SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card.

I have an nForce SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the mainboard.

I have a Promise TX2 SATA RAID card. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card.

I have a Silicon Image SATA RAID card. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card or mainboard.

I have an ULi SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the mainboard.

I have a VIA SATA RAID. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. It's not hardware RAID. It is software RAID, provided by the BIOS on the card or mainboard.

I have a Promise TX4 SATA RAID card. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. TX4 has "RAID5 accelerator" features, but is not full and true hardware RAID. TX4 can offload RAID5 XOR calculations, but typically the host CPU is much faster. Therefore, Linux does not use the RAID5 features of this card.

I have a Promise SX4 SATA RAID card. Why doesn't Linux support my hardware RAID?

A. SX4 has extensive "RAID accelerator" features. While not true hardware RAID, this card has several features which do indeed accelerate RAID support. Unfortunately, Linux does not support the SX4's special RAID accelerator features at this time.

For certain configurations, Promise's Linux driver will perform better than the native Linux SATA driver.

Well, OK. I have figured out my card is not hardware RAID. How do I access the data stored by my BIOS software RAID, under a 2.6.x kernel?

A1. Device Mapper ("DM") and dmraid.
-or-
A2. Multiple Devices ("MD") and mdadm (starting with v3.0)

How do I access the data stored by my BIOS software RAID, under a 2.4.x kernel?

A. Use the ataraid subsystem. See the Linux ATA RAID HOWTO for more information on ataraid in 2.4.x.

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