andrewaandrewa
1 Copper

2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

I have a DELL XPS 430 which is used mainly for data storage. It is configured with 2 * 1TB SATA HDD in RAID1 and on the resulting 1TB disk array (#1) on separate partitions I have OS Linux Fedora and storage data.

Can I add 2 more disks and configure them as another RAID1 array (#2) ?

My idea is to connect 2 * SSD SATA disks and install there the OS for fast boot etc. and keep the cheaper large HDD slow space for data only. For example:

2 * 60GB SSD in RAID1 --> disk array #1 60GB to install OS

2 * 1TB HDD in RAID1   --> disk array #2 1TB to keep data 

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6 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

Hi,

I don't believe you can have two separate RAIDs enabled in that system at one time.  I could be wrong but I don't think the BIOS can handle such a setup.

From the user manuals for the XPS 430:

You can use one of two methods to configure RAID hard drive volumes.

  • The first method uses the Intel® RAID Option ROM utility and is performed before you install the operating system onto the hard drive.
  • The second method uses the Intel® Application Accelerator and is performed after you have installed the operating system.

Both methods require that you set your computer to RAID-enabled mode before beginning any of the RAID configuration procedures in this document.

What I would recommend doing is a search for the Intel Application Accelerator software user's guide and seeing whether it supports two distinct RAID setups simultaneously.  If it can, then it should have instructions on how to set it up.  But, unfortunately, that isn't something we support here on the forums.  Another user may have more information so I'm bumping this post to see if anyone else can help.

If you want further help please PM me your service tag so I can look at the configuration of the original system, and post here with your questions.  I'll try to help but not sure how much I can provide.

Todd

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andrewaandrewa
1 Copper

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

Dear Todd,

Thank You very much for Your answer.

I am afraid the second method which You recommend is unusable by me as the OS is Linux and it is not supported by Intel software. I could use Linux software RAID, but I prefer disk redundancy to be handled by dedicated hardware on the MB. By the way, IAA smells of fake hardware raid, it is closer to software RAID, correct? 

I did some googling and I found some posts from users confirming they have configured multiple RAID array with embedded Intel ICH*R controller and the first method You mention using Intel® RAID Option ROM utility:

communities.intel.com/.../4181
"On ICH10R you can create multiple RAID arrays and each of them can contain up to two volumes of different (but "compatible") RAID level (for example, you can't have a RAID-5 and a RAID-1 volume on the same array)"

Here is a CISCO manual how to do it:

 www.cisco.com/.../Embedded_ICH10R . html

This encourages me to make a test on my XPS430. I am going to buy 4 pcs SSD anyway, I will connect them to the MB and make an attempt to perform 2 RAID array configuration. Then will post the result. Whatever it is, it could help other users. 

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8 Krypton

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

You'll find the post from the Dell technician correct -- while the Intel hardware can handle two RAID arrays, the system BIOS cannot.

You are limited to a single RAID array -- if you want another one you'll need to install an add-in controller card for the second pair of drives.

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andrewaandrewa
1 Copper

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

Last week I finally connected 2 pcs Intel SSD 120GB to my old machine and I was able to cofigure Intel ICH controller to allow 2 * RAID1 arrays (numbered RAID0 and RAID1) each with 2 disks. It works fine! To the Fedora 23 OS the 4 disks are reported as 2 RAID arrays, 1 * 1TB HDD and 1*120GB SSD.

The only problem was that during the ICH configuration the boot partition on the existing HDD array got damaged. While the 2 new SSD were connected as separate disks the old OS booted OK and saw the 2 disks. After going through the Ctrl-I menu error was received on CPU startup though ICH warns about data destruction on the disks of the newly configured array only. Data integrity is OK, just boot was affected.

I intended to install new OS anyway so not a big problem and I did not attempt a repair. The excercise eventually brought about new life to the DELL server! 

Hope this experience is useful to those who contemplate to add more arrays on ICH controller.

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desmogger
1 Copper

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

Todd I would like to do the same thing 2- SSD C: Drives and 2 - 1TB Raid 1 mirrored drives for data but I have a

T3610 Precision Workstation. 

Thanks Robert Day

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theflash1932
5 Iridium

RE: 2*2 RAID1 disks on DELL XPS 430 - is it possible?

The T3610 has two hardware options for RAID controllers ... are you also talking about the onboard Intel RAID controller? or are your drives managed by an add-in LSI controller?

The excercise eventually brought about new life to the DELL server! 

Just wanted to point out that the XPS is not a server.

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