Some Linux Users Are Reporting Software RAID Issues With ASRock Motherboards
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 27 November 2018 at 10:29 AM EST. 20 Comments
HARDWARE --
Making the rounds this morning is an ASRock forum post about a motherboard accidentally and repeatedly wiping out Linux Software RAID meta-data. A few Phoronix readers have also reported similar issues such as in the forums and Twitter. This appears to stem from an UEFI issue.

The original report is pertaining to an ASRock Z97 Extreme6 motherboard. The indications are at boot time the ASRock UEFI implementation is accidentally zeroing out part of the disk containing the MD RAID meta-data during the start-up process. The belief by the user is that the UEFI thinks its trying to repair the GUID Partition Table (GPT), not knowing its a Linux RAID setup. So take this as a word of caution for the moment; it's obviously unintentional damage and likely the result of ASRock not testing their consumer products under Linux much.


Keep in mind that this report as well as the Phoronix Forums thread mentions a similar motherboard, which is based on the Z97 chipset -- several year old motherboards from the Haswell days. It's quite possible the UEFI issue was since discovered and fixed for newer UEFI updates on newer ASRock motherboards but never made it out as updates in their older products.


Unfortunately I haven't had any personal contacts at ASRock in a few years (and thus no ASRock product reviews recently compared to years ago when there were many Linux reviews of their products on Phoronix...), but will work to get more information on the issue. I have used Linux Software RAID on some other ASRock motherboards in the past year without issue so I don't believe it's a widespread issue at least of their current wares.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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