My laptop uses two M.2 drives in RAID 0 as the main drive. This was stock configuration (an Acer Predator GX-792 laptop). I reformatted and installed Ubuntu 14.04 on it (using ext3 file system) with no issues and have been running it for 6 months. I did not need to set up RAID 0 in Linux. From memory, I just pointed the installer at the single existing virtual drive mountpoint and it worked immediately. (I can't remember the full details, since it was easy. I did NOT configure any RAID options in the installer or Linux though.)

Unfortunately, months later, the laptop hardware has died from a power supply issue. I now want to access the files on that boot drive. An easy solution would be to simply swap the M.2 drives with another similar laptop, but the laptop is not a common one and finding one locally is not easy.

I do have a SATA SSD based running Linux Ubuntu 14.04 desktop system which has two M.2 slots available, so I can plug both laptop M.2 drives into it.

What's the next step to MOUNT those drives? Is RAID 0 formatting standard or does it really depend on my laptop's specific controller?

I don't want to FORMAT the drives for RAID 0... I just want to access the files that already exist on them.

I assume I'd get two (unmounted) drives showing up as something like /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc and I'd start with something like mdadm --examine /dev/sdb

but even after studying mdadm I'm not sure how to MOUNT them or if mdadm can mount drives that it didn't format itself [is RAID 0 striping proprietary?]

I have no mdadm configuration file for the drives, since mdadm did not make them. Most of the references I've found to remounting two RAID 0 drives assume you have this configuration file from your old system.

I'm asking for advice before I begin since it would be tragedy to accidentally corrupt the data using a wrong strategy. Thanks!

  • Favour returned! Question upvoted! You're an 8-rep user already! ;-) – Fabby Oct 30 '18 at 8:44

I own the same hardware as you and the first thing I did was to get rid of the RAID-0 as RAID-0 is worse than no RAID at all...¹

So now your options are:

  • Find any other machine with the same Intel RAID controller that has the BIOS enabled so you can go into the setup and configure it the same way as a yours. (Acer has the RAID Controller's BIOS disabled as you can read from my struggles)
  • Find another Acer Predator that has its BIOS configured in the same way as yours...
  • Ship your drives and a HDD to me and I'll copy everything over and send them all back.²

Details from my machine that might help you:³

description: RAID bus controller
product: 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode]
vendor: Intel Corporation
physical id: 17
bus info: pci@0000:00:17.0
version: 31
width: 32 bits
clock: 66MHz
capabilities: storage msi pm bus_master cap_list
configuration: driver=ahci latency=0
resources: irq:122 memory:93528000-93529fff memory:9352f000-9352f0ff ioport:5040(size=8) ioport:5048(size=4) ioport:5020(size=32) memory:9352d000-9352d7ff

Note¹: from a reliability perspective
Note²: Don't trust random strangers on the web, it might be a scam. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Note³: Power Supply failure: if it caused a white-out, the internal electronics (including the M2s) might be toast

  • I agree with you now.. RAID 0 is worse than no RAID! I didn't even really want it, I just went with the existing default and now I'm paying for it. Thank you for telling me about the specific RAID controller this laptop uses. My desktop system has an Intel Intel Z370 Chipset, so I assume it can read the Intel RAID 0 M.2 drives. But do I need to configure that RAID from BIOS, or do I boot to linux and play with mdadm? – Diane Wilbor Oct 25 '18 at 1:11

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