On January 30th, I wrote:

I'm currently running FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE (amd64) on a system based on Intel SE7230NH1-E motherboard, which has Intel ICH7R integrated softraid. The machine has two 500 GB drives which are configured as RAID1 in BIOS. Unfortunately, this setup seems to have some stability issues which I can't figure out how to solve. Specifically, when the storage subsystem is put under heavy load (such as doing nightly backups) the kernel starts spitting out horrible error messages such as:

FAILURE - out of memory in ata_raid_init_request
g_vfs_done():ar0s1f[WRITE(offset=8091172864, length=16384)]error = 5
FAIg_vfs_done():ar0LURE - out of memsory in ata_raid_1init_reqfu[eWsRItTE(o
ffset=8091F1A8I9LU2R4E8 ,-  oleuntg tohf= 16m3e8m4o)ry]e rirno ra t=a 5
vfs_done():ar0s1f[WRITE(offsFAeItL=UR8E0 9-1 2o05u6t3 2o,f lmeengmtoh=ry1 6i3n8 4a)t]ae_rrraoird _=in i5t

If it looks like garbage, then yes, this is how it appears in /var/log/messages. I'm seriously afraid that similar corruption is sneaking into important user files.

Only thing I can think of is converting this setup from BIOS-based RAID to gmirror. This would involve, I think, modifying /etc/fstab so that it references ad4 instead of ar0, then permanently breaking the mirror in BIOS, booting up the system with single disk and then basically following the gmirror chapter in the handbook. Correct?

I'm also a little uncertain about "permanently breaking the mirror" part. I've read all the motherboard and LSI docs I can find and this topic isn't covered anywhere.

Well, finally I could summon up enough courage to perform this procedure on a production server (such as it is). To break the mirror, I just went to motherboard BIOS (not the BIOS-based RAID utility) and changed the 'Configure SATA as' setting from 'RAID' to 'IDE'. Generally everything seems to have gone OK. The system now runs from /dev/mirror/gm0, which consists of ad4 and ad6. However, the kernel still sees the old ar0 array and complains that it's broken. Do I care, or should I just remove 'device ataraid' from kernel configuration?

kernel: ar0: WARNING - mirror protection lost. RAID1 array in DEGRADED mode
kernel: ar0: 476772MB <LSILogic v3 MegaRAID RAID1> status: DEGRADED
kernel: ar0: disk0 READY (master) using ad4 at ata2-master
kernel: ar0: disk1 DOWN no device found for this subdisk

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