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Full Version: How to upgrade a SoftRAID startup volume to High Sierra
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This post will help users who startup from a SoftRAID volume to upgrade to High Sierra

Issues:
• High Sierra's installer will not directly install onto an Apple RAID volume
• High Sierra's installer will not directly install onto a SoftRAID volume
• High Sierra's installer can trigger a kernel panic on SoftRAID RAID 4/5 volumes

We are actively working with Apple engineering to resolve these issues.

The essential steps are these:
• Clone your existing volume to a non RAID Apple volume
• Upgrade to High Sierra onto that volume
• Clone your new updated system back to your SoftRAID volume.

Required tools:
• SoftRAID 5.6.3
• Volume cloning software, i.e, SuperDuper, Carbon Copy Cloner, Chronosync etc.

IMPORTANT: If you have a RAID 4 or 5 volume, you will need to disconnect those disks before running the High Sierra installer!

Step by Step instructions
  1. Connect an external disk to your computer, large enough to contain your boot volume.
    (If your startup volume has too much data for a single disk to hold, you can copy large files off line, so your startup volume is a manageable size.)
  2. Run Disk Utility and follow these Disk Utility steps:
    • Select the external disk in the left column and "Erase."
    • Select:
      • Format: OS X Extended (journaled)
      • Scheme: GUID Partition map
    • Quit Disk Utility.
  3. Now restart your computer, making sure no applications are running.
  4. Run your cloning application and clone your system to the external disk.
  5. Go to System Preferences → 'Startup Disk' and select your new cloned volume to be the startup disk
  6. IMPORTANT: If you have a SoftRAID RAID 4 or RAID 5 volume, disconnect all disks associated with it before proceeding.
  7. Run the High Sierra installer and upgrade your system to High Sierra.
  8. Run SoftRAID 5.6.3 and update the driver in your new system volume.
    Note: it is now safe to reconnect your RAID 4/5 disks!
  9. Run your cloning application and clone your system from the external disk back to your SoftRAID volume.
  10. Run SoftRAID 5.6.3 again. Select the SoftRAID volume tile and "rebuild boot cache".
  11. Go to System Preferences → 'Startup Disk' and select your newly cloned SoftRAID volume (on your system disk(s))
  12. Restart your computer. It should now start up using your SoftRAID volume.
Let us know if we can make this page better, we will keep it updated.

Final Note: Best practice is to startup from a different volume when cloning your startup volume. Be aware, however, that this would add several more steps to this process. But by restarting before cloning your system, you are minimizing any possible issues from cloning a "live" system.
I have your instuctions from your forum and from your email to me personally, but I have follow up questions. I have cloned my SoftRAID RAID 1 internal disk on my MacMini to an external drive (2 clones) via Carbon Copy Cloner. I am in the process of updating "Mac CCC backup 1(from which I booted) from Sierra to High Sierra.

1) Do I completely erase the internal Raid1 (Sierra) disks) before cloning the HIgh Sierra disk to the internal RAID 1 Disk(s) or will the restore of the High Sierra Clone be good enough for a successful bootable High Sierra Internal RAID 1 Disk under SoftRAID?

2) Should I boot from the Sierra "Mac CCC Backup 2", and then start the restore/clone of the High Sierra Mac CCC Backup 1 disk to the Internal SoftRAID RAID 1 disk?
It is probably best to erase, but not 100% necessary. Both Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper do an excellent job of replacing files.

I am not completely clear on your second question. I will try to answer.

CCC recommends you boot from a separate volume when cloning one to another. Im my experience, if there is a fresh restart and minimal processes (apps/tasks) are running, there are no issues. But all cloning apps are clear that best results are when the source system is not the startup volume. You can always do the clone and if it does not work, then create a third volume to complete this task.

Remember after your clone of the volume is complete, you need to run SoftRAID and "rebuild boot cache" on the cloned SoftRAID volume.
I carried out the upgrade of my MacMini RAID 1 Boot from 10.12.6 to 10.13.1 several weeks ago, as per your instructtions and everything went smoothly. I use Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) to clone the upgrade external disk to my Real Boot (RAID1).

Today I tried to apply the 10.13.2 update to the RAID 1 Boot disk and it went though the proceddd but booted into 10.13.1, so now I am going trough the whole "Clone" process again - updating an external single disk (boot) to 10.13.2 then cloning it back to the unmounted RAID 1 disk. It looks like minor pathes theat do not requirwe reboots can go theough the normal update process but tthat Apple is going to insist on not allowing "major" updates like 10.13.1 -> 10.13.2 to be done directly to a SoftRAID disk. Have you found this to be true?
Apple has told us directly that they do not want to support ANY bootable RAID volumes in the future. For now, SoftRAID volumes are bootable, but a day may come when this is not possible.

While we do not know what the future holds, 10.13 has made it very inconvenient for SoftRAID and Apple RAID users to install the OS, apply updates and boot their RAID volumes. The installer issues are likely a first step in a pathway that precludes booting from software RAID volumes.

You are correct that 10.13.2 does not install on SoftRAID or Apple RAID startup volumes. One needs to clone to another Apple formatted disk, then clone back.
Apple's decision makes no sense, since their competitors (PC - Miscrosoft), and most Linux systems thrive on RAID. If they do not want RAID, great, SofRAID is far better thatn their Disk Utiility and AppleRAID.

As to the installation of 10.13.2 via a clone then CCC to the RAID 1 boot disk. Ever\ything went smoothly
Maybe the market will tell them otherwise. This is probably being driven by security engineers, who are more concerned with hack/backdoor attempts than user experience.

Look at how you cannot even wake up a High Sierra machine with the keyboard any longer, you must use the mouse/trackpad and physically click it. Bet that was implemented by someone trying to prevent some type of remote event. But it is very annoying to users.
So, presuming the past is prologue and Apple will generally do what they want to do with High Sierra onwards, I'm trying to figure out my boot drive exit strategy and disassemble my ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 boot drive. I'm willing to sacrifice one of the drives to be a non-RAID boot drive because I don't want to put in on the iMac's internal SSD. That brings me to two questions:

1) Is it possible to have a 3-drive RAID 5 with SoftRAID?

2) If so, is it possible to have SoftRAID "shrink" the 4-drive RAID 5 to a 3-drive RAID 5? SoftRAID knows exactly where all the data and parity blocks are, and their relationship to one another. So one would think – given the possibility – it would be easier to just click a few times and let SoftRAID handle subsequent housekeeping than having to painfully vacate and restore.

-dp
Yes and no.

A RAID 5 requires 3 or more disks, up to 16 total.

You cannot add or remove disks from a RAID 5 volume.

Backup/restore is the way to go.

(Always make sure you have backups also!)