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Installing 2 OSs and Partitioning

I see problems with partitioning or losing partions or booting are common
when someone tries to install ataraid and also another OS (Windows) on the
same computer.

Here are my suggestions. Please add if you have more.

1) ataraid + Windows or Promise raid + Windows:

I think if you install Windows first, it cleans the MBR or corrupts it. It
thinks its doing a favor but its not. So sometimes you lose partitions in
Linux or you cant save the changes to partitions you made. If Linux is
already installed but you cannot boot it after installing Windows, you can
boot linux with Rescue floppy.

Sometimes, its better to install LILO boot loader on the first partition
than the MBR to keep Windows happy. Or, install Windows first and then go
on to Linux installation.

If you think Windows did already damage, you can clean your MBR. Make
array in FastTrak BIOS, boot in dos floppy and type FDISK /MBR

2) md raid with or without another Windows OS:

I had a lot of problems even partitioning. I found that I should delete
array from FastTrak, boot in Linux CD, partition disks. You may see a
warning something like "Unable to re-read the partition table", "Kernel
does not know partition changes" or "Invalid partition" etc. Reboot again
into Linux CD, manual partition with DRUID and you should see all
partitions. Reboot again but this time make raid array in FastTrak BIOS.
Boot into Linux CD, manual partition with DRUID. You have edit mount
points or create MD raid devices and continue with installation. You will
again get warnings about partition table, which you can ignore.

3) Really strange partitioning errors that cannot be fixed as above:
For really strange problems with partitioning clear the Reserve
Sector. Most people dont need to do this, only the real unfortunate
people. Heres what Promise says:

Clearing Reserve Sector (dont do this unless you satisfy 3. above)
WARNING: Before removing the Reserve Sector of the drive(s), backup any
existing data. Removal of the reserve sector of any drive permanently
deletes all existing data on the hard drive. For Mirrored arrays (RAID 1),
you should remove the Reserve Sector from the "mirrored" drive first (this
will appear during Step 3 below) then rebuild the mirrored array. Remove
the Sector on the Master Drive only as a last resort. For Striped arrays
(RAID 0), removing the Reserve Sector from any of the drives that are
striped will destroy the arrayed data.

To remove the Reserve Sector, follow these steps: 

1. When the FastTrak100 BIOS comes up, press Crtl-F to enter the
2. Press 2 to "View Drive Assignments". 
3. Using the arrow keys, highlight the drive where you wish to remove the
reserve sector. 
4. Press ALT-F1. The highlighted drive will start blinking on the screen. 
5. Press CTRL-TAB. A message will appear that says the reserved sector
is where array information is kept) on the disk will be wiped. 
6. Press "Y" to confirm. 
7. For a mirrored arrays, hit the "ESC" key twice to reboot and skip to
8. For striped arrays, repeat this process for each member of the
particular array that is having a problem. 
9. When finished, hit the "ESC" key twice to reboot. 
10. After rebooting, use FastBuild to re-create the array. For mirrored
arrays, rebuild the mirrored array. For striped arrays, use FDISK and
FORMAT after setting up the array.

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