TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Support for the other architectures (X86_64, s390(x) and PowerPC)
PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/06/19 15:57:42

I'd like to know if it's possible to dual-boot install CentOS on my Opteron 4-CPU (8-core) TYAN motherboard (for cluster number crunching). It has Win2003Server running in 64-bit mode from a RAID-1 mirrored drive and a RAID-0 swapdrive - both using the onboard SATA channels. I seem to remember that server versions of Windows have trouble sharing in a dual-boot setup - like, Windows may become unbootable... Is that true?

Also does CentOS support all the hardware out-of-the-box? I was told that R*dHat was the Linux of choice for when I need to boot Linux... (hence my interest in centOS)

Thank You Very Much,
PattiM. :-D

Gribok
Posts: 19
Joined: 2006/03/10 01:41:44
Location: Washington, DC

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by Gribok » 2006/06/28 14:40:10

I have not heard about having issues dual-booting with Win2003Server, but I have not tried it myself. I don't have your motherboard, but from what I've seen it should work fine. I've had very good luck with dual-socket boards from Tyan.

The safest thing to try in your situation is to install CentOS on a spare partition, but do the boot-loader installation not in the MBR, but on the partition where you installed CentOS. Then you have to create a boot floppy disk. To boot into CentOS you will have to use the boot disk, but this way your win boot environment does not get touched.

This assumes you have spare free space on your hard drives, and have a floppy drive.

foxb
Posts: 1924
Joined: 2006/04/20 19:03:33
Location: Montreal/QC

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by foxb » 2006/06/28 17:56:49

You did not specify the MB model, but if it is that one http://www.tyan.com/products/html/thunderk8qsdpro_spec.html

It should work.

As advice first try LiveCD to see if it will recognize all HW (LAM and Raid controlers are usually the problem)

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/10 20:21:24

Thank you very much for the reply!! My motherboard is the 4881 - the one that can expand to 8 CPU's...

It's been a while and I'm trying to decide what OS to install, Slackware, SuSE-64, or CentOS-64... RAID1 is something I need. My box has Win2003Server on it, already at RAID1 - do I just install CentOS to the RAID? I checked out the instructions at:

http://www.centos.org/docs/4/html/rhel-sag-en-4/ch-software-raid.html

...but they said nothing about how to install to an existing RAID1 drive - at least I couldn't figure it out from those instructions because I'm not creating a new drive...

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/10 20:23:23

[quote]
Gribok wrote:
I have not heard about having issues dual-booting with Win2003Server, but I have not tried it myself. I don't have your motherboard, but from what I've seen it should work fine. I've had very good luck with dual-socket boards from Tyan.

The safest thing to try in your situation is to install CentOS on a spare partition, but do the boot-loader installation not in the MBR, but on the partition where you installed CentOS. Then you have to create a boot floppy disk. To boot into CentOS you will have to use the boot disk, but this way your win boot environment does not get touched.

This assumes you have spare free space on your hard drives, and have a floppy drive.[/quote]

So what you're saying is that I can simply install CentOS via the graphical installer onto my existing RAID! drive(s)? That would be wonderful! :-D

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/10 23:33:29

Oops- forgot to mention it's the on-board SATA RAID that I am using - I think they call that BIOS RAID?

jowa
Posts: 75
Joined: 2005/07/10 14:42:39

TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by jowa » 2006/07/11 07:22:22

[quote]
PattiMS wrote:
Oops- forgot to mention it's the on-board SATA RAID that I am using - I think they call that BIOS RAID?[/quote]That's your problem right there. BIOS RAID, Fake RAID, HostRAID, WinRAID, B.S. RAID, Boloney RAID...it goes by many names. CentOS/RHEL can't be installed onto such BIOS RAID volumes.

Look into getting a proper, [b]actual[/b] hardware RAID card and (re)install both OS:es on volumes set up on that instead.


More reading on the matter:

[url=http://linux-ata.org/faq-sata-raid.html]Linux SATA RAID FAQ[/url]
[url=http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html]Serial ATA (SATA) on Linux[/url]

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/11 15:49:17

THANKS!! OK - that fits more with what I've been reading over and over - but I thought perhaps CentOS was different. Since you have experience - what RAID cards are supported? I have a RocketRaid on another machine and it was the only reasonably priced, 64-bit PCI (>100MHz) card I could find at the time... I know it's usually easier to do what is known to be compatable with Linux...

PattiMS
Posts: 14
Joined: 2006/06/19 15:51:08

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by PattiMS » 2006/07/11 16:18:05

I've been reading the links and it's suggested using the CentOS built-in software RAID. There are still driver issues apparently with true hardware raid.

So I'm thinking this: I have 4 SATA drives, and can have one pair be RAID1 with Win2003Server (using bios fakeraid) and one pair be RAID1 with CentOS (i.e., disable the raid for these two in bios, but enable CentOS RAID software during installation). Then I just never access the CentOS RAID from Win2003 and never access the Win2003 RAID from CentOS. How does that sound? Is it doable during CentOS installation?

This is from a posting here, and it seems to say that I can access my software raid from CentOS...

8. Well, OK. I have figured out my card is not hardware RAID. How do I access the data stored by my BIOS software RAID, under a 2.6.x kernel?
A. Device Mapper ("DM") and dmraid. http://people.redhat.com/~heinzm/sw/dmraid/

Gribok
Posts: 19
Joined: 2006/03/10 01:41:44
Location: Washington, DC

Re: TYAN 8-core dual boot with Win2003Server?

Post by Gribok » 2006/07/11 20:58:39

You can definitely use two drives with windows and two other drives with Linux. Doing software raid is pretty easy during installation. Just use the graphical installer and do manual partitioning. For each partition you want to be raid1 you need to create a partition on each of the two drives of type raid and then create a raid device using the two raid partitions. I hope that makes sense. The only thing that I would suggest is what I said earlier in this thread about installing the bootloader not in MBR (Master Boot Record), but on the Linux partition, and then creating a bootable floppy. This way you don't touch the windows boot environment.

As for true Hardware-RAID cards, be careful about the cheaper ones. Even if it says it's hardware raid, that may not be the case. Some of the cheaper cards do exactly the same thing as your onboard solution, the raid information is calculated using the CPU through a driver that's supported under windows only. Such a card can still be used, just with software raid, meaning the drives on the raid card will be seen as normal separate drives even if you have set them up as one raid device in the card's bios.

The only manufacturer that I can recommend is 3ware. We use their cards in our company on CentOS servers exclusively and have not had any problems. I've installed the 2-port, 4-port and 8-port versions of their SATA raid cards and I absolutely love them. The 8-port cards that I have are part of a 9TB logical volume, serving about 50-60 windows machine using Samba. The controller that I would recommend is the "3ware 9550SX-4LP" and goes for about $319. It's a very nice 64-bit PCI-X card that works perfectly with CentOS 4.

As for accessing your existing windows drives, I'm not sure that you can do that with mdadm. I know that when you setup software raid it writes some meta data to each drive and it's possible that you would overwrite something already on the drives, but I really don't know.

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