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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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Failed Rebuild Resulting in Lost Volume, 3 "Missing" Disks
#1
Model: OWC ThunderBay 4 connected via Thunderbolt 2
Version: SoftRAID XT v5.7.5 w/ Driver v5.7.5
Configuration: RAID 5
Computer: 2013 Mac Pro (purchased in 2018)
OS: High Sierra 10.13.6

Long-time user, first-time posting to the forums.

A couple weeks ago, SoftRAID signaled that one of the four drives in my array was degraded, requiring replacement due to reallocated sectors. I had already done this once before in 2017 with a new 5TB drive, so I know the process well. I ordered a new replacement drive, a Toshiba MD04ACA600 from OWC, who no longer sold the 5TB models that originally came with the drive. Following the guidebook that came with the array, I replaced the physical disk, initialized the new one in the array, and added the disk to the volume, a 15TB volume originally constructed from 4x5TB Toshiba MD04ACA500 drives, now constructed with 1x6TB and 3x5TB drives, only two remaining that originally came with the unit.

The rebuild was completed overnight, and when I returned to my workstation in the morning, I received notice of the completion, but also received a notification that another one of the disks in the build was now degraded, requiring replacement again for reallocated sectors. Following the same process as the previous week, I ordered another 6TB Toshiba of the same caliber, leaving only one disk that originally came with the enclosure. I installed it in the bay by the same process as above when it arrived in the mail today; this time, however, as soon as the rebuild process began, MacOS reported the drive being improperly ejected! Now, I can no longer see the old volume, which had over 6TB of data stored on it; instead, SoftRAID only recognizes the new disk as “out-of-sync” on a new volume that is “missing” 3 other disks. I cannot access the older volume, which theoretically still exists on all the remaining disks.

Is my data lost for good? I would really hate to have to start on a few pending projects from scratch, owing to a rebuild error. Please help.


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#2
We received your query off line. We can try to repair the volume when we receive a SoftRAID tech support file.

There is some kind of bug in SoftRAID, when the disk ejects at such an inopportune moment, otherwise this could never happen. When we get the support file, we can investigate this.
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#3
Sent along the support file to y'all's team. Hoping y'all can help resolve this.
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#4
So far, looks like an enclosure failure.... Working with you!
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