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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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Error Certifying 2TB Crucial MX500
#1
I am having trouble certifying a 2TB Crucial MX500 SSD mounted in the upper drive bay of a Late 2012 Macmini (6,2). The drive has Crucial firmware M3CR023.

I have two of these drives: My goal is to install both drives, and run them as a SoftRAID 1 (Mirrored) boot volume. This is to replace another identical Mac mini that currently has 2x 1.5 TB Hitachi spinning drives in a SoftRAID Mirror 1.

Separately, can you point me to information I believe you posted (at ? macintouch.com ?) that Apple will soon prohibit booting from a RAID, and should I rethink my goal with this machine?

Consistently, the Crucial MX500 that is installed in the Upper bay fails certification with 4 errors. The Crucial MX 500 installed in the Lower bay passes.

Troubleshooting:
- swapped the two drives from the Upper/Lower Bays. Only a drive in the Upper bay fails.
- Pulled both drives and installed internally into a MacPro5,1 (Bay 3 and Bay 4): both drives pass certification.
-Replaced the Upper bay SATA cable in the MacMini (first cable purchased from OWC, second cable purchased from iFixIt.com)
-placed both drives in a different Late-2012 macMini.

Other symptoms found while troubleshooting:
-Formatting the drives with Apple Disk Utility under Sierra, I can install macOS Sierra or macOS High Sierra on the drive in the lower bay. It fails when installing on to the Upper bay.
-I was able to (sometimes) create a RAID1 of the two drives, but performance was awful. Installed macOS following the High Sierra instructions (install on an Apple formatted external volume, use Carbon Copy Cloner to copy the external volume to the RAID1 volume.

SoftRAID log and Support Info report attached.
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#2
First, the startup problem. With High Sierra, 10.13.4 and later, you cannot even ru the OS updater on a SoftRAID volume (I think this includes Apple RAID volumes). So you need to have an Apple formatted non RAID disk for updates and CCC back. This at least works.

With Mojave, you cannot startup from any RAID volume. With Catalina, moreso. Apple has locked down the OS, where it must reside on an APFS volume, and be read-only, with user data on a separate volume (which may look like the same volume to the user)

Yes you need to rethink. Setting user data onto Mirror volumes is about all we can do now. (or stay on older OS's, which are subject to hijacks as they are not being maintained any further)

It appears there is a problem with your upper slot. The other Mini, does it work with the Crucial on the upper slot?
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#3
Howdy. Thank you.

re: "It appears there is a problem with your upper slot. The other Mini, does it work with the Crucial on the upper slot?"
agreed likely. I have had the 2TB drive(s) fail certification when in the upper slot of both Minis, but both pass when installed in the lower slot or in another model machine (MacPro5,1). This morning, I installed a Crucial MX500 500 GB drive (same firmware rev as the 2TB MX500) in the upper slot and had the same certification problem. When the test is running, I see the time-remaining estimate count down as expected (starting at about 7 hours with the 2 TB drive), until about 5 minutes in to the test, at which point the remaining time climbs to about 40 hours over about 15 minutes, then drops to normal, then the test aborts with failures about 30-45 minutes in.

Right now, I am running a certification on a Crucial MX200 500 GB drive installed in the upper slot. I will report how that fares.

re: SoftRAID as a boot volume going forward: is this addressed by SoftRAID version 6, once out of beta? (Will I be able to install / boot either Mojave or Catalina from a SoftRAID RAID or a SoftRAID non-RAID volume?)
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#4
re: "It appears there is a problem with your upper slot. The other Mini, does it work with the Crucial on the upper slot?"

A Crucial MX200 500GB just passed certification when installed in the upper slot of my second macMini. In this same Mini, I have had failures of Qty 2 MX500 2TB and Qty 1 MX500 500GB. All three MX500 and the MX200 pass when installed in the MacMini lower slot or in a MacPro5,1, but only the MX200 passes certification when installed in the upper slot. I also have an MX300 500GB model handy, if it seems worthwhile to try.
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#5
Let us know.

On SoftRAID 6, the boot limitation is Apples and will never go away. Apple is putting the limitation on, they believe no one starts up from a Mirror, I suppose. There are no real Mac Servers, so no one is there to make the case.
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