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How to use a SoftRAID startup volume with High Sierra

If you're using High Sierra, and booting up from a SoftRAID volume, you'll need to follow the steps given in this forum post, since the macOS High Sierra Installer does not recognize SoftRAID volumes as valid startup volumes.

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Volume suddenly read-only
#1
Volume suddenly read-only for TimeMachine and now will not mount

I Have OWC Thunderbay 4 drive enclosure with SoftRAID v5.7.3 with 4 8TB drives configured RAID 5 safeguard enabled. One of the volumes is TimeMachine first showed error on running TimeMachine backup with “read-only” error. The TimeMachine volume will mount and I can read files on it but TimeMachine errors out and I cannot drag drop files to it when I tested. TimeMachine volume will mount and does show in the volume list on SoftRAID with no errors. This all happened soon after upgrading SoftRAID to v5.7.3. But not sure if this was coincidence or not.

I have reviewed support forum but looks like posts are a few years old. I have tried rebooting and turning on/off Time Machine auto backup but nothing seems to work yet.

Any suggestions on steps to take?

OWC Thunderbay 4
SoftRAID v5.7.3
OSX 10.12.6
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#2
Two main choices:

Backup and restore

Disk Warrior.

Disk Warrior is easiest and will optimize your directory and also improve Finder performance.
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#3
Thank you for the suggestion. I have purchased DiskWarrior and ran the Directory Rebuild and more problems have ensued. In the end the Volume in question “Time Machine” need significant optimization and after Rebuild the SoftRAID showed this volume as “degraded - failed” with I/o errors. The Disk portion of the dashboard now shows each drive with I/o errors I suspect as the volume in RAID 5 is on each disk. However all the other volumes report as “no errors” and are running fine. Not sure how to proceed. The Time Machine volume is not as important as the other volumes thankfully. I would have no problem removing or reformatting if that is something that can be done at this point. I have screed shots of the SoftRAID dashboard, the Disk Warrior Rebuild report and error messages if that helps.

The DiskWarrior error message reads: “DIskWarrior encountered an unexpected error while attempting to repair aliases of directory hard links on the disk “Time Machine”. Restart from a Recovery disk and try rebuilding again. Refer to [url]www.alsoft.com/recovery[/url]. If you report this error, please mention the error code (2191, 13 : 7775).”

If I am willing to just let go of the “Time Machine” volume what is my best course of action?

OWC Thunderbay 4
SoftRAID v5.7.3
OSX 10.12.6
DiskWarrior 5.2

I greatly appreciate any help and happy to provide additional information.
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#4
Further, here is log entries for past few days:

Jan 28 04:12:09 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Jan 28 04:12:14 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.
Jan 29 13:52:36 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.
Jan 29 19:54:25 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished uploading SMART disk statistics to server.
Jan 29 19:54:26 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished uploading anonymous usage statistics to server.
Jan 30 14:27:25 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Jan 30 14:27:25 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.
Feb 1 08:00:14 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.
Feb 2 15:18:56 - SoftRAID Driver: The SoftRAID volume "MBP Backup" (disk14) encountered an error (E00002C1). A program attempted to read or write to a volume which was not open.
Feb 2 15:18:57 - SoftRAID Driver: The SoftRAID volume "Misc" (disk11) encountered an error (E00002C1). A program attempted to read or write to a volume which was not open.
Feb 2 15:18:57 - SoftRAID Driver: The SoftRAID volume "iTunes" (disk13) encountered an error (E00002C1). A program attempted to read or write to a volume which was not open.
Feb 2 15:18:57 - SoftRAID Driver: The SoftRAID volume "Media" (disk15) encountered an error (E00002C1). A program attempted to read or write to a volume which was not open.
Feb 2 15:18:57 - SoftRAID Driver: The SoftRAID volume "Images" (disk12) encountered an error (E00002C1). A program attempted to read or write to a volume which was not open.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a write error (E00002CD). The disk (disk2, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AF055E00) was unable to write sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847757901824 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk (disk2, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AF055E00) for the SoftRAID volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered multiple read or write errors. This disk has been marked "failed" and will no longer be used for when reading volume data.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a write error (E00002CD). The disk (disk2, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AF055E00) was unable to write sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847758426112 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a write error (E00002CD). The disk (disk3, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9DEB106C0) was unable to write sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847758426112 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk (disk3, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9DEB106C0) for the SoftRAID volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered multiple read or write errors. This disk has been marked "failed" and will no longer be used for when reading volume data.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) has encountered 2 or more read/write errors in the past 24 hours. SoftRAID will stop reporting read/write errors from this disk for the next 24 hours to prevent system log files from filling up. This disk (disk2, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AF055E00) should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:27 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a read error (E00002CD). The disk (disk3, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9DEB106C0) was unable to read sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847758426112 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) has encountered 2 or more read/write errors in the past 24 hours. SoftRAID will stop reporting read/write errors from this disk for the next 24 hours to prevent system log files from filling up. This disk (disk3, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9DEB106C0) should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a write error (E00002CD). The disk (disk4, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFD0D40) was unable to write sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847763406848 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a write error (E00002CD). The disk (disk1, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFBEC00) was unable to write sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847763406848 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk (disk4, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFD0D40) for the SoftRAID volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered multiple read or write errors. This disk has been marked "failed" and will no longer be used for when reading volume data.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk (disk1, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFBEC00) for the SoftRAID volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered multiple read or write errors. This disk has been marked "failed" and will no longer be used for when reading volume data.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a read error (E00002CD). The disk (disk4, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFD0D40) was unable to read sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847763406848 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:21:28 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) encountered a read error (E00002CD). The disk (disk1, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFBEC00) was unable to read sectors. The error occurred at volume offset 4847763406848 (i/o block size 262144). This disk should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:25:41 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) has encountered 2 or more read/write errors in the past 24 hours. SoftRAID will stop reporting read/write errors from this disk for the next 24 hours to prevent system log files from filling up. This disk (disk4, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFD0D40) should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:25:41 - SoftRAID Driver: A disk for the volume "Time Machine" (disk16) has encountered 2 or more read/write errors in the past 24 hours. SoftRAID will stop reporting read/write errors from this disk for the next 24 hours to prevent system log files from filling up. This disk (disk1, SoftRAID ID: 07476EE9AEFBEC00) should be replaced.
Feb 2 18:59:16 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.

Seems to have conflicting entries but not sure how best to read. Initial problems was the "Read Only" problem for "Time Machine" volume. Perhaps isolated to the volume or do all drives need to be replaced? Since last test showed all drives ok perhaps just a problem with the volume, if so how best to fix?

Hope the readers of the support forum can make sense of this and I'm happy to provide additional data if helpful to resolution.

Kind regards
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#5
Disk Read errors when they involve actual sectors (not just "sector 0, where the disk may be unavailable), are likely failure modes from the disk.

I would take the time to do a 2 pass certify on this disk.

the "read only" issue is a volume directory problem. That is most likely unrelated. Same with the Disk Warrior inability to rebuild, if you get that again, just restart and try again.

Some disk errors are OS to volume communication errors, ie, the volume may point to non-existent locations. In this case, it is a point nearly 5TB into the disk. that would be a hardware issue with the disk and needs to be investigated.
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#6
Thank you for reply.

Ok, so as I understand it I would need to certify each disk? In doing so SoftRAID reads / writes to each disk, thus would lose all data. Let me see if I got this right that I should proceed simply to certify and then would have to rebuild all assuming disks are ok. However, The issue is that just one volumes shows the errors but each of 4 disks the shows I/O errors after the DiskWarrior rebuild. After all the running of DiskWarrior the SoftRAID log then last showed:

Feb 2 18:59:16 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.

I see two alternative options for next course of action to perhaps isolate the long term problem:

Option A)

(1) Erase the degraded failed volume and re-run DiskWarrior to see if it was all started by the initial Read Only problem with Time Machine which I understand is a fairly common problem
(2) Create new Time Machine Volume, Run DiskWarrior and start all over Time Machine process with OS X
(3) With stability - take care to back up each volume with Carbon Copy Cloner and do 2 pass certify to ensure disks are ok and if so rebuild each volume
(4) would you recommend I run DiskWarrior directory tests / rebuild before or after any of these steps?

Option B)

(1) I will first back up all the Volumes EXCEPT the Time Machine which I can rebuild once system is running. I’m not so worried about that.
(2) Then I would do 2 pass certify. If disks are OK then I would start over again coping the data from backup to each new volume accordingly making fresh back up with Carbon Copy Cloner prior and then rebuilding with CCC back to the certified disks and volumes respectively.
(3) would you recommend I run DiskWarrior directory tests / rebuild before or after any of these steps?

Appreciate the assistance - I know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to be sure what is right path :-)
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#7
I usually have the advantage of looking at a SoftRAID support file before replying. If all the errors occurred during the Disk Warrior rebuild, then it could just have been the volume pointing to illegal locations for data, where the disks error and SoftRAID logs them.


You can certainly erase the Time Machine volume (with SoftRAID) and the RAID will reset itself.

Perhaps all you really need to do is pay attention for any additional problems. Disk Warrior is good to run monthly or so, or after any crash/power loss, etc.
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#8
Would it help to provide a SoftRAID support file? If yes how do I provide?

Thanks
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#9
yes, probably. email it to support at softraid
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