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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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Mojave does not support booting from RAID volumes
#1
With the release of 10.14 Mojave, users can no longer startup from RAID volumes. This includes any SoftRAID volume and Apple RAID volumes.

There is no workaround for this, and we do not expect there to be a solution going forward.

We had several discussions with Apple to see if they would re-enable booting in the future, but the chances are slim to zero.

Prepare to migrate your startup volumes to Apple standard volumes before attempting to install Mojave.
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#2
Note: the new OS is "Mojave".

(Thanks - we fixed that typo - ed.)
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#3
Currently I have this setup:
- iMac 21, 2015, 1TB fusion drive (28GBSSD/5400 HDD)
- Thunderbay mini, 4*250 GB SSD, thunderbolt 2, with softraid lite 5.7, (4*SSD in RAID 0)
I use the Thunderbay as a startupdisk/main drive and the fusion drive as a backup disk (carbon copy).

Because Mojave doesn’t support booting from RAID volumes:

- Should I stay with the setup as it is, and consequently stay with High Sierra?

Or maybe:

- Use one SSD in the Thunderbay as a startup disk, the three others in RAID 0 as home/data drive, the internal fusion drive as backup and upgrade to Mojave? I read some negative posts on speed of external SSD’s in APFS?

or?
thanks!
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#4
(09-12-2018, 12:07 AM)henkkeygnaert@gmail.com Wrote: - Use one SSD in the Thunderbay as a startup disk, the three others in RAID 0 as home/data drive, the internal fusion drive as backup and upgrade to Mojave? I read some negative posts on speed of external SSD’s in APFS?

or?
thanks!

This is probably your best option. Older computer with Fusion drives is not something I would trust for reliability, too much can go wrong.

Or replace the SSD/HDD in your iMac with a newer, higher capacity, high speed SSD. Use that for booting. then the HDD can be backup, as well as the external Stripe volume. (and subscribe to a backup system like BackBlaze.)
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#5
(09-10-2018, 09:00 AM)SoftRAID Support Wrote: With the release of 10.14 Mojave, users can no longer startup from RAID volumes. This includes any SoftRAID volume and Apple RAID volumes.

There is no workaround for this, and we do not expect there to be a solution going forward.

We had several discussions with Apple to see if they would re-enable booting in the future, but the chances are slim to zero.

Prepare to migrate your startup volumes to Apple standard volumes before attempting to install Mojave.

But iMac Pros boot off a two flash SSD RAID don't they? I mean I know they do (I thought). Is that not a RAID? The 4TB version contains two 2TB m.2 SSDs. Or is it a JBOD? Strange.

Thanks,
Steve
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#6
The iMac Pro has a second channel for the NVMe blade. It appears as a single disk to the OS.

It is not RAID, however.
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#7
(09-12-2018, 12:07 AM)henkkeygnaert@gmail.com Wrote: Currently I have this setup:
- iMac 21, 2015, 1TB fusion drive (28GBSSD/5400 HDD)
- Thunderbay mini, 4*250 GB SSD, thunderbolt 2, with softraid lite 5.7, (4*SSD in RAID 0)
I use the Thunderbay as a startupdisk/main drive and the fusion drive as a backup disk (carbon copy).

Because Mojave doesn’t support booting from RAID volumes:

- Should I stay with the setup as it is, and consequently stay with High Sierra?

Or maybe:

- Use one SSD in the Thunderbay as a startup disk, the three others in RAID 0 as home/data drive, the internal fusion drive as backup and upgrade to Mojave? I read some negative posts on speed of external SSD’s in APFS?

or?
thanks!

Another possibility is to split the fusion drive into its 2 component drives. 24GB is more than enough for an OS installation. You could boot off of the NVME, keep your data and apps on the RAID, and back those up to the HDD. You could also carve a small partition on the HDD to maintain a carbon copy of the tiny install volume for boot redundancy.
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#8
One caution:
I have seen that Disk Utility often wants to take over Fusion drives and reconfigure the drives. Just a warning. I last saw this a couple years ago, so perhaps this is no longer an issue, but it is worth watching out for.
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#9
Thanks for the advise,
I went for:
- one SSD in the Thunderbay (managed by Disk Utility) as a startupdisk (APFS/non raid)
- my home directory on the other three SSD's in a Softraid RAID 0 (managed by softraid)

-backup: carbon copy of the startupdisk and the home directory both on a separate partition of the internal fusion drive.

After the update to Mojave, the startupdisk was APFS, the RAID and Fusion drive are still hfs+

I'm using this setup for a few weeks now and everything is going fine, only slightly slower than before with the RAID 0 as a startupdisk/home directory, but definitely a lot faster than the internal fusion drive.
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#10
Apple engineering management seems to think RAID is unnecessary for their customers. Its being decided that Apple customers are not power users, do not use servers, mission critical work, etc. These power users are Apple's most loyal and vocal customers, unfortunately.

too bad.

thanks for the replies, I think many users will do a combination of Carbon Copy Cloner (or alternative) and RAID on data storage.
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