Can't install on JMicron FakeRAID

I can’t manage to get linux to install on a computer with

  • a Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 motherboard
  • 2x Samsung Spinpoint 200GiB as FakeRAID-0 on the jmicron controller (called GIGABYTE-SATA in the BIOS)

The fakeraid array works flawlessly in :

  • Vista x84 (using the drivers provided with the board)
  • Linux System RescueCD 0.4.3 - using ‘dmraid’ to activate the array.
    (and of course in FreeDOS too, but in that case it’s the BIOS handling the array anyway).

BUT whenever I try to boot on an install CD, either openSUSE 10.3 or openSUSE 11.0 beta (same also happens with Ubuntu 7.10 and 8.4) :

  • Suddenly the metadata of the first disk in the fakeraid array becomes inaccessible.
  • I can’t do ‘dmraid’ from the installation environment - dmraid can’t detect the metadata on the first disk and can activate the fakeraid array. (both disk are readable, though. And if I want, I can access the array by manually assembling it with ‘mdadm’ and carefully using the same exact parameter as in the fakeraid bios).
  • The fakeraid bios it self can’t detect the array. The first disk is reported as “non raid” and the array is broken.

This situation persist until I power-cycle the machine. Then the array is back again, accessible in the BIOS, in Windows x64 and in SysRescCD.

Has anyone had similar problem ?
Can someone help me how I should proceed to try installing linux on that machine ?

thank you very much.

There’s a procedure for making the driver available using a floppy if it’s not on the install CD/DVD. See Novell Documentation for your version.

With the driver & BIOS raid, should work with later versions.

Before 10.1, to have SuSE on an established raid array, I had to do an install on another partition; install the driver; get the raid detected/configured and then move that install to the raid array. As I recall,I had to partition the raid array, I needed a /boot partition; had to rework the menu.lst for the new partition locations; used the “repair” function to make it bootable; etc. It was not that tough; just a little work:)

There’s a procedure for making the driver available using a floppy if it’s not on the install CD/DVD.

The jmicron SATA-II controller works with the linux ahci driver.
the problem is once I boot any other linux CD except the SysRescCD, the raid array suddenly breaks for all (including the bios and sysresccd) until I power cycle the machine.

See this post: Boot problems with Asus P5K and Raid - openSUSE Forums
Your problem is identical and with a bios upgrade i resolved them.

according to the screenshot you’ve posted, dmraid at least detects your raid and creates corresponding ‘/dev/mapped/jmicron*’ devices. in my situation, whenever the installation cd-r of opensuse is booted, the raid suddenly fails until the next power on/off.

i have done a couple of bios upgrade but none of them did fix the raid problem.
and gigabyte refuse to help as they don’t officially support linux.

Motherboard’s BIOS has been upgraded to latest version F5.
Latest version 11.0 (final) of openSUSE Linux downloaded.

But still I can’t get the fakeraid working.
If I boot Linux from SystemRescueCD or Windows Vista : everything is fine.
If I boot Linux from the openSUSE install CD, suddenly both drives on the fake raid become “Non-RAID” and the raid isn’t accessible anymore (either by any flavor of Linux or even the BIOS itself) until the next power-cycle.

The only difference is that now with the new BIOS, both drives fall of the raid.

Has anyone had succes installing openSUSE Linux on the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6 ?!?

I tweaked the dmraid source code to have it working with jmicron controller. The problem is in the name allocation for the jmicron controller. This is a very fast fix (~15 min) just to make it work.

Anw the new source code can be found here
Sorry about the rapidshare link…

Before installing remove the previous dm-raid package but not its dependencies.

Then run “./configure” and then “make install”

Then dmraid should work with the jmicron controller.
This was tested on opensuse 10.3 and Fedora Core 10.