Install Raid PowerEdge SC 1430

A friend of mine gave me an old Dell PowerEdge SC 1430 Tower Server. It has three hard-drives in it, that are about 160 GB each. The system had a Promise FastTrak TX1430 Raid card in it, and I am not sure. Would that be a hardware RAID, or would you consider that a BIOS Raid?

In any event, have the very latest OpenSuse 11.2 install DVD.
I can boot from the DVD, do a fresh install and the system starts where I can sign on as the user. When I look at the starting parition, it has /dev/sda /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc … each being a hard drive. These are just listed under the hard-drives, not under RAID.

The problem is that when I cold shut-down the machine, and restart from a power-up, the system comes up and cannot find the boot disk. So, Obviously I am doing something wrong.

I am used to having 1 or 2 drives in a machine, just SATA drives, and no raid at all. I have no experience installing Linux on a machine with RAID, again not sure if this is BIOS or Hardware RAID.

Just so you know, I did look on Google for this answer first.
I even searched these forums first. I did not find an answer that would help, so that is why I finally posted.

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!


I am not familiar with that particular model but on some other Dell PowerEdge models, I had to set up the RAID in the BIOS and the resultant disk came up in openSUSE as a normal drive.

Ok … I’ve done a ton of research, and if anyone else is looking, this is FakeRAID.

The Promise FastTrak TX1430 is a low-end fake-raid, not a real hardware raid, but a BIOS RAID.

I got all my information by looking up FakeRaid on WikiPedia.
So, this device is nothing more than a Sata card with some extra firmware. When you go to the BIOS, you have the chance to create a RAID, the firmware takes care of this. In Windows, during installation you install a piece of software that acts as the RAID Driver. For this device, there are drivers for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. For Linux, they support RHEL 5.4 and Suse SLED 9, that’s it.

Now, according to the WikiPedia, this device is not a real Hardware RAID, all the real work for controlling the RAID goes through the CPU … and often not very well.

Real Hardware RAIDS cost money, and are very proprietary.
With a real Hardware RAID, they have their own CPU’s and handle the disk access much better.

I’ve also come to find out that, the Promise TX1430 is card, the company added, not Dell. Dell has their own RAID cards:
PowerEdge Raid Controller or PERC.

So, for me, I’m going to pull the dries off this card, plug the drives into the motherboard directly, and if I really want a RAID I can do a Software Raid in Linux.

I hope this information helps someone else. Thanks.

BTW … if I am completely wrong, please let me know.
I am always willing to learn.

Sounds like you hit the nail on the head. There are too many machines with this kind of cheap raid solution. Even good raid controls are tricky and they tend to lock you in. I see no reason for raid on a general purpose Desktop machine. Maybe if you have a need for high available servers it makes sense.

Good research. It is useful to others too.