[GLLUG] RAID1 and Debian 7.2.0 installer

James Courtier-Dutton james.dutton at gmail.com
Tue Oct 15 08:32:48 UTC 2013

For a home machine, I don't really see the need for RAID.
I have a spare HDD on the shelf.
I just back it up to a remote machine (at a relations house) over the
If the running HDD fails, I just drive round to the remote machine and plug
in the spare HDD and sync them up.
I then bring it back and I am up and running.
If the HDD in the remote machine fails, I do the same, and just use the
spare HDD there instead.
Based on the fact that HDDs don't fail very often, I have not actually had
to do this for 6 years now.

The question I asked myself, is, how long can I do without my photo and
video library, which this HDD supports. And the answer was about 1 month,
so long as I don't actually loose photos and videos I have taken.

I have a laptop as well, and just use that for vital day to day work.

Kind Regards


On 15 October 2013 01:43, Chris Bell <chrisbell at chrisbell.org.uk> wrote:

> On Mon 14 Oct, John Edwards wrote:
> > BOn Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 10:24:29AM +0000, Chris Bell wrote:
> > > Hello,
> > >    I have been trying to install Debian 7.2.0 to a Pentium 4 32-bit
> box with
> > > a pair of 3TB discs configured with all RAID1 partitions.
> >
> > The first thing to check is whether a machine that old can detect the
> > 3TB disks correctly. Then check whether the 3TB disks are partitioned
> > using the DOS style partitions or the newer GPT partitions.
>    It is an IBM "eserver". Its setup shows the disc labels and capacity
> correctly, although I suppose that may not show that it will detect the
> discs correctly. Perhaps I should do a test with single non-RAID
> partitions.
>    The first attempt at installation did not throw up any other problems,
> although I did not attempt to copy any data or files to the larger /serv
> partition.
> >
> > > There is a line included in the raid
> > > set-up to enable booting which does not appear to do anything except
> make
> > > the screen flash.
> >
> > What do you mean? I've never seen such a line needed in the mdadm.conf
> > (Linux software RAID configuration file). I would have thought that
> > the choice of which partition to boot from would be purely the
> > decision of the boot loader GRUB.
>    Debian uses parted, and the normal sequence is to create each partition,
> enter a name for each partition, define the intended use (including ext4,
> swap, or container for software RAID), and set the bootable flags. The
> "bootable" line disappears if swap is selected, but remained stuck at not
> bootable if RAID is the intended use.
>    The next step is to select the partitions to be included in each RAID
> group and specify the RAID type.
>    The final details of remaining individual and RAID partitions are then
> entered, but the bootable line does not appear.
> >
> >
> > > What do I need to do? Should I just try to cofigure the
> > > RAID using an alternative installer? Should I insert an old IDE PATA
> disc
> > > just to run GRUB2 from a bootable minimal installation? Thanks.
> > >
> > > Bootable Partition 1 66GB RAID1 /
> > > Bootable Partition 2 66GB RAID1 unused, for future use as alternate /
> > > Bootable Partition 3 66GB RAID1 unused, for future use as alternate /
> > >          Partition 4 16GB RAID1 swap
> > >          Partition 5 rest RAID1 /serv
> >
> >
> > Does booting a Debian CD is rescue mode help in booting the system, or
> > at least get some data about the disks and partition layout?
> >
> > The output of 'parted /dev/sda print' (as root or sudo) will give
> > full details of the partitions and which type they are.
> >
>    Not tried yet, ran out of time today. The basic idea was to allow /serv
> to be accessible from a totally new software version. Another box with a
> couple of 2TB discs but no spare partitions is in continuous use, and is
> overdue for re-installation, so I hope to use the new box as at least part
> replacement. I also intend to change some UPS batteries as my mains supply
> is not reliable.
> --
> Chris Bell www.chrisbell.org.uk
> Microsoft sells you Windows ... Linux gives you the whole house.
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