Help setting up RAID on a PM G5

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cb911, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #1
    well i've finally got me PM G5 being delivered tomorrow. it's a dual-processor model, and i'm going to put in a G5 drive bracket so i can squeeze in a few extra hard drives in there. :D

    one of the big reasons i'm moving up to a PM from a PB is because my PB HD failed, and i lost alot of data. i know, backup, backup... but i can't have this happen again. so with 5 internal drives i'm going to setup RAID 5 (i think that's the one - where you lose about 1/5 or 1/4 HD space to have backup data spread accross all drives?) I just need some help in figuring out exactly how to do this.

    on the hard ware side - i'll need the extra drives. i'm thinking of buying 3x300GB drives for the bracket (the PM already has 2x200GB drives). also i'll need a RAID Hard Drive Controller, that's Mac compatible. what would you guys recommend? obviously i'll need extra cables to hook all this stuff up, but i can figure that out.

    then on the software side of things... i'm thinking of leaving one 200GB drive un-RAID'd as a boot drive. this way if OS X messes up (or i mess it up :p) it's easy to re-install. then i'd have 1x200GB & 3x300GB drives setup to RAID. is this possible? or even recommended? i'm not sure if RAID should only be done with drives of the same size...? :confused:

    thanks for any help with this. also if anyone else has ideas about how to setup for redundency - i'd love to hear 'em. :)

    edit>>

    and what about partitioning? it was a partitioned HD in my PB that died - i took it to an Apple re-seller and the guy there said "Hard Drives don't like being partitioned. It's no good for them." i didn't say anything, but i was thinking... "WTF??!!!". could someone clarify that this guy didn't have a clue what he was talking about?
     
  2. cyberddot macrumors 6502

    cyberddot

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    in a forest
    #2
    Sorry I can't explain most of what's needed in a forum post, which is probably for the better, since I've only helped set up a single RAID on a MS platform (at work, with lots of money to throw around) but look at these Mac compatible products ...aw sheesh...in the US though :(

    Firmtek hot swapable drive enclosures, controllers...oh my.
     
  3. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #3
    whoa. :eek: but how much does that FirmTec thing cost? a whole lot i bet...

    and a couple more questions from me - to use the speeds of SATA-II, do all HD's in the computer need to be SATA-II?

    also - do all the HD's need to be run through the RAID Hard Drive Controller? Or can i use a 4 port controller for my RAID setup and leave the last, single drive un-RAID'd?

    much appreciated if anyone can help me best they can on a forum. i guess i could ask at the old Apple re-seller, but after what they told me about partitions... i'm a bit uncertain of their qualifications and the reliability of their advice. :(
     
  4. cyberddot macrumors 6502

    cyberddot

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    in a forest
    #4
    I'd suggest that you do more reading on the subject. If you looked at the link I provided you'd know exactly how cheap some of that hardware can be, but it'll take more than a casual glance. ;) They list the prices under the "Buy" tabs.

    There's plenty of information already painstakingly posted online regarding assembly of RAID's with all manner of hardware and software. Trying to sum it up in a reply to your post is sure to result in an unpaid support situation and possible frustration on both ends.

    If you haven't already purchased all of the disks, and don't actually need almost a Tb of storage for massive amounts of data (that was on your PB? that's a lot :eek: ) I'd look into just using a good backup regime, or considering the uses of software like Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Good Luck!

    edit: horrid writing replacement
     
  5. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #5
    yeah i have been looking at the prices, but i've just gone and bought a PM G5, and i've got a new job, so what else am i going to do? :D :p

    besides, i've already got 1x200GB & 1x250GB external HD's that I'm using with my PowerBook, with another one on the way very soon at the rate i'm going.

    and yeah, those RAID Controllers aren't exactly cheap. at least not the ones that support RAID 5. why is that? you can get a RAID 0, 1 Controller for around AU$175, but a RAID 5 Controller is more like AU$400-500. :eek: i guess there's alot more involved in RAID 5.

    also, i've already purchased a G5 Drive Bracket off of eBay. I guess i could get by with a cheaper solution - only using a RAID 0, 1 card. but to use the extra drives, i do need some kind of Hard Drive Controller card, right? I suppose i could just get a SATA Drive Controller card and be normal. :p

    well, i guess this wasn't so much a thread on setting up RAID, but more me trying to sort out what I'm going to do with this setup. I am going to add at least 2 HD's, but i guess i'll have a think about how to set them up.

    also, i need to buy a monitor, possibly a talbet, some other bits and pieces as well. so i'm giong to take my shopping list to a few places and see what kind of deal they can do me.
     
  6. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #6
    okay - i'm back for a bit more help.

    I've just installed everything, i have 3x300GB drives in the HD Bracket, and another 300GB drive in the 2nd Apple HD bay that I want to use in the array.

    But the strange thing is that OS X sees the HD that's in the 2nd HD bay, but none of the other 3 HD's? However, the HD Controller Card (Highpoint RocketRAID 2220) sees the 3 HD's that are attached to it, the 3 drives from the bracket, but not the drive that's in the 2nd Apple bay? I'm guessing this means all HD's I want to use in the array will have to have their data cables going to the Controller Card...

    Also, the 3xHD's that the Controller Card see's - it's telling me they've got 0GB free space? which makes sense I suppose because they'd have to be formatted first? Yes? But then I tried to create an array with them, and it said I had no devices available? None of the HD's showed up in the "Create Array" screen? This has me confused because when you create the array it would format the HD's, right? :confused:

    Well if anyone's got tips, I'd really appreciate hearing them. I'm just running a Quick Hardware Test now, I think everything should be fine, but this has me stumped. Not any help at alll on the Highpoint Tech website... :rolleyes:

    One more thing - I can't access the Controller BIOS on OS X can I? I mean, it's just got the web-based management tool instead of a BIOS? I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere, but just checking.
     
  7. gman71882 macrumors 6502

    gman71882

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    #7
    With the NEW SEAGATE 750GB Hd's you can have 2 drives in there and Raid them out with Disc utility and Have complete redundancy of 1.5 TB for $1000... damn skippy for me!!!!... plus whateve you take out.... prob 250 GB.
     
  8. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #8
    heh heh.

    that's not exactly complete redundency - it would be if you used RAID 1 which would actually give you ~750GB usable disk space.

    anyway, i've already spent about AU$1100 on this so I just want to get it working already...

    I also saw that the Hardware Test showed an error with the logic board? then below it had some text that said there was an error with one of the fans... is this error one and the same? I also had the side and airflow covers removed from the PM while I was running the test, so maybe that accounts for the fan error? But please tell me I don't have logic board troubles... :(
     
  9. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #9
    Okay, I'm feeling a bit silly now... :eek:

    I must have skipped this before... but on the Manage>Device page there's a button at the top that says "Initialize Devices"... :p

    So it seems like everything will be okay - now i've just got to find a way to route the data cable from HD bay #2 down to the Controller Card in a way that will allow the side panels to fit properly.

    I have learned something from this though. The installation instructions lied a bit, they said "gently insert the card into the PCI slot..." Well there's no 'gentle' in that process!

    I'll post when I get this all fixed up...
     
  10. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    Just a note--if you have three drives, and you want overall speed, I'd suggest finding some software that supports RAID3 (OSX disc utility only does 0 and 1). It's faster and more secure...

    That said, I have a small RAID1 made up of old stock G4 drives that does the trick, I just copy files I'm using onto it and work from it, then copy the finished back. No risk of loss (other than the work I currently am doing) and for CS2 it's super fast, as it is set as the cache drive as well. :)
     
  11. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #11
    hrm... i'll have to look into this RAID3.

    but i don't understand how a software solution could be faster and more reliable than a hardware RAID?? :confused:

    I'm also interested in how you say the RAID 1 is fast... I wouldn't have thought there would be any speed increase at all, considering that it's just mirroring. RAID 0, now you would definitely expect a speed increase there.

    Also, I've got everything installed now. There's one hell of a mess of cables - even though I tried to tidy it up as best I could. It was a bit of fiddling to get the data cable up to drive bay #2 - but I got it eventually.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see in the above pic the unused Apple data cable and where I threaded up the blue data cable that connects the drive to the Controller Card. Any suggestions on how to clean up that cable mess? there's nowhere really for all of them to go. I've taped one data cable to the top of that zone, and another one is poked out of the way resting on top of the 12" PCI slot guides. So most of the mess there is the result of just two data cables, and of course the power splitters/modex-sata adapters.

    The array initialization started at 18:50 and it's just about 20:50 now with 13% completed. :eek: Now I am really glad that I got it started tonight - I may be able to use this tomorrow before lunch hopefully. Wanted to use Foreground Init. so I can test out the transfer rates when I move a bunch of data onto the drives. I don't know if Background would affect the transfer rates, but now I'm kind of wishing I didn't have to wait so long for this. :p

    Now, do I really need that optical drive...? I can see room there to squeeze in maybe another 4 hard drives... :eek: :D :p
     
  12. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    Because it was late and I am an idiot. :) It's a RAID0.
     
  13. cb911 thread starter macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #13
    haha, okay. :p not a problem, I know what that's like....
     

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