Wojciech Puchar wrote:

I recently removed one pair of disks from a windows "hardware :)" RAID controller, and upon inserting it into a newly built FreeBSD system, it was immediately detected by the ar driver, and messages started coming in, like

is there actually any difference in ar and gmirror/gstripe except that ar is simpler, takes only whole drives and use "hardware RAID ;)" compatible headers ?

make the disks forget about their previous RAID-life:

atacontrol delete ar0

Have a look at man atacontrol. I have not tried it, but it is probably worth a try.

I've used gmirror on several occasions, and it works well for me. I have never used ar, but as I understand this is limited to ata disks (hence ar=atapi raid). The geom framework probably provides a lot more features and is not limited the way ar is. I would not mind using ar in this particular system, but I moved disks one by one, erasing the first one (ar was still complaining about the other one missing after I erased it) and when I later added the second one, I got a kernel panic. Mind you, the ar "signature" or whatever was written in a windows system and may not have been exactly compatible. I removed ar from the kernel and continued with my usual gmirror stuff (which works flawlessly)
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