What Apple broke in macOS Big Sur 11.2

With the release of macOS 11.2, Apple introduced a bug in the kernel which prevented the SoftRAID driver when running on M1 Macs. While Apple had this fixed in a beta release of macOS about a month later, most users don’t want to run a beta version of an operating system on their Mac.

The fix is in

The good news is that Apple has released the official version of macOS 11.3 to all Mac users. This version restores the ability to load the SoftRAID driver on M1 Macs. This bug was on M1 Macs only so the SoftRAID driver has been able to run on Intel Macs on all versions of macOS 11.2.

Why you might still have problems loading drivers with macOS 11.3

There are still occasional situations where the SoftRAID driver doesn’t load on macOS 11.3 but this occurs on both Intel and M1 Macs. When this occurs, all third-party drivers are blocked from loading, not just the SoftRAID driver.

Our Customer Support staff has determined that this happens when users have older drivers installed on their Mac. These drivers, often for older printers, are often unsigned and may even date back to 2007. These out-of-date drivers get copied over to your new M1 or Intel Mac when you use Apple’s Migration Assistant application. They can also exist if you updated your existing startup to macOS 11 rather than performing a clean install on a new startup volume.

Prior to macOS Big Sur 11, the operating system would just skip insecure drivers and go ahead and load the rest normally. New with macOS 11, the kernel will encounter one of these insecure drivers and then just refuse to load all third-party drivers. I’m still not sure whether this new behavior is a bug or a feature.

So, now it is up to the user to delete these out-of-date drivers manually before their system will work correctly.