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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.

Disks Spontaneously Disappear (RAID 1+0 )
#1
I'm been using a pair of new Thunderbay 4's in a RAID 1+0 for a couple of weeks. I'm getting repeated dialog box warnings of disks disappearing without warning while in use. These warnings are often followed by subsequent dialogs about drives in the volume not being connected to my Mac and something about replacing cables. The drives, enclosures and cables are all brand new.

When this happens, I unmount the volume, switch off the enclosures and switch them on again. SoftRAID does a rebuild, and everything is fine again for a few hours until it happens again.

Seems like this shouldn't be happening. Could this be a problem with one of the Thunderbays? The drives affected are in the same enclosure every time.

Any thoughts?


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#2
There are two different possible problems:

Disk all eject and show up again right away. This is an Apple/intel bug. We collect data on these. (SoftRAID support files)

Disks eject (1 or 2 only) and do not appear immediately until a restart or power cycle on the enclosure.

In the latter case, check to see if the LED light is on for the missing disk(s). In that case, it may be an enclosure issue.
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#3
(06-15-2018, 09:12 PM)SoftRAID Support Wrote: There are two different possible problems:

Disk all eject and show up again right away. This is an Apple/intel bug. We collect data on these. (SoftRAID support files)

Disks eject (1 or 2 only) and do not appear immediately until a restart or power cycle on the enclosure.

In the latter case, check to see if the LED light is on for the missing disk(s). In that case, it may be an enclosure issue.

It's definitely the latter scenario – just one or two drives. I'll keep watch next time for what the LED light is doing.

So just to be clear, if the light is on for the missing drive, that indicates an enclosure issue. If the light is off for the missing drive, then it may be a drive issue. Correct?
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#4
If a light remains on, it is most likely an enclosure issue.

If the light is off, the disk does not show up, then more investigation is needed before saying definitively it is a disk or enclosure.
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#5
Understood.

I'm considering switching the affected drives to the other Thunderbay and seeing what happens. Would this be worthwhile to identify potential trouble with the enclosure?
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#6
You mean the other Thunderbolt connection? (port)

You can certainly try as sometimes cleaning all connections with isopropyl alcohol helps.
Apple recommends this and resetting NVRAM in cases where an OS update starts triggering this behavior.
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#7
(06-17-2018, 09:46 AM)SoftRAID Support Wrote: You mean the other Thunderbolt connection? (port)

You can certainly try as sometimes cleaning all connections with isopropyl alcohol helps.
Apple recommends this and resetting NVRAM in cases where an OS update starts triggering this behavior.

I actually hadn't considered switching ports, although that's not a bad idea. I just meant trying to isolate the problem by putting the affected drives (it seems to be the same 1 or 2 each time) into my other Thunderbay (I have two in a RAID 1+0). If the problem persists in that case, then it's probably not the enclosure, right?
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#8
I should clarify what I meant in my last post:

The problem is currently affecting drives X and Y in Enclosure A, bays 2 & 3. If I swap those drives into Enclosure B and the problem persists with drives X and Y, now in a different enclosure, then the issue is likely specific to the drives themselves because the problem is following the drives.

But if I swap drives X and Y to Enclosure B and the problem persists in the same bays of Enclosure A, now containing different drives, then the issue is more likely related to the enclosure and not the drives.

Does this make sense, or am I missing something?
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#9
A simpler test is also to swap the drives in the same enclosure. Do the drop outs follow the disks, or the slots. I suspect the slots.

Its worth swapping ports/cables, whatever you can, also. Once you isolate the issue, then you know what is causing the problem.
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#10
Good idea. Thank you! I'll try that and report back after the next failure.
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