SoftRAID is now part of the Other World Computing family of brands

SoftRAID Application Features

The SoftRAID Application allows you to test disks, create volumes and investigate problems your disks may be having, or about to have.

Each tile in the SoftRAID Application UI represents a separate disk or volume, making it really easy to create and maintain RAID volumes.1

Select the yellow boxes to expand the sections below and see all the great features and functionality of the SoftRAID Application interface.

SoftRAID application main window
Predict Disk Failure

Want to be warned before your disks fails?

SoftRAID can warn you when your disk is more likely to fail. It can even warn you via email.

Works with all SSDs

SoftRAID uses TRIM commands with all RAID volumes.

It can even warn you when your SSD is about to fail.

Monitors SMART Status

The SoftRAID Monitor checks the SMART status of your disks every day.

It can even send you email if there's a problem.

Test Every Sector

You can certify a disk to make sure all its sectors are reliable.

You can even verify a disk without deleting the volumes on it.

Pipes Show Connections

When you click on a disk tile, the pipes show all the volumes on that disk.

When you click on a volume tile, the pipes show all the disks used for that volume.

Rebuilding Volumes

SoftRAID rebuilds volumes much faster than other RAID products.

With Fast Rebuilds, your mirror or RAID volume only rebuilds the parts of your volume which have changed.

RAID 5 Volumes

RAID 5 volumes give you the fastest volume which which provides protection from disk failures.

With RAID 5 volumes, you also get the largest protected volume with a given set of disks.

RAID 1+0 Volumes

RAID 1+0 volumes give you a fast volume with greater simplicity and reliability than RAID 5.

RAID 1+0 volumes keep on working at the same speed even after one of the disks fail.

Validating Volumes

Validate a volume and make sure it's still working.

Validating also checks that disks have the correct mirror or parity data and updates them if needed.

Apple Volumes

You can convert the volume which came with your Mac to SoftRAID.

You can even convert your AppleRAID mirrors and stripes.

Disk Tiles

A disk tile shows you the size and type of a disk attached to your Mac. You can click on the disclosure triangle to see more information about a disk and whether you need to replace it.

SoftRAID displays a separate tile for each disk connected to your Mac.
It will display tiles for:

  • any hard disks inside your Mac
  • all SSDs and external disk drives connected via Thunderbolt, SATA, FireWire, Fibre or USB
  • connected USB flash drives (aka thumb drive) - yes, SoftRAID even works with those!

Disk tiles show you whether a disk is working correctly or needs to be replaced. You can also click on a disk tile to see which volumes use that disk.

SoftRAID disk tile

What's on your disk tile

There's a lot of information shown on your disk tile:

  • The SMART* status of a disk - this is checked each time you run the SoftRAID application, every time you startup your Mac and every 24 hours while your Mac is running.
  • If a disk is predicted to fail. SoftRAID uses internal counters in each disk to determine if a disk is more likely to fail.
  • Any label you have added to this disk. The label is a name you can add to make it easier to keep track of a particular disk. The SoftRAID Monitor uses a disk's label when reporting errors in dialog boxes, log files or via email. The disk above has been labeled: "Offsite Backup #1."
  • The total number of reads and writes.
  • The total number of errors.
  • The number of hours a disk has been used.
  • The progress and time remaining for any disk operation - like certifying or verifying a disk.

*SMART is a monitoring system in disk drives that SoftRAID Monitor uses to assess drive reliability and anticipate drive failures.

Volume Tiles

A volume tile shows you information about a volume. You can click on the disclosure triangle to see more information about a volume and whether it has encountered any errors.

SoftRAID displays a tile for all volumes which your Mac can access without using a network. A RAID volume uses parts of two or more disks to store your files.

Volume tiles show you the size and RAID level of each volume. They also show you whether a volume is degraded, i.e no longer protected from a failing disk. You can click on a volume tile to see which disks it uses.

SoftRAID volume tile

What's on your volume tile

There's a lot of important information shown on your volume tile:

  • If a volume has a safeguard enabled. A safeguard prevents a volume from being accidentally erased or deleted. It also prevents a volume's disks from accidentally being initialized or overwritten.
  • The optimization type. This tells SoftRAID how to prioritize rebuild and validate operations relative to file reads and writes. The choices are: Workstation, Server, Digital Video, Digital Audio or Digital Photography
  • When the volume was created.
  • The last time the volume was validated. Validating a volume ensures that all sectors are readable. For volumes which are protected from disk failure, validating also makes sure that all mirror disks and parity information is correct.
  • The progress and time remaining for any volume operation - like rebuilding or validating a volume.
  • The total number of reads and writes.
  • The total number of errors.

Testing disks with SoftRAID

SoftRAID's Verify allows you to test your disks without destroying any of the the volumes, or data, on them. Verifying a disk ensures that it can be read without errors. Read more here.

SoftRAID Verify

With SoftRAID's Certify, you can fully check a new disk to make sure it is completely reliable before storing important data on it. Certify is also useful if you are repurposing an older disk.

IMPORTANT! Certifying a disk will completely wipe all the data from it so be careful not to do this with any disk that has data you want to keep on it.

Read more here.

SoftRAID Verify

For more information about verifying and certifying disks, see the page on testing disks.

Testing Volumes with SoftRAID

Nervous about the integrity of your data? Want to make sure all of the data on a volume can still be read? You can Validate your SoftRAID volumes at any time, just to be sure. This won't affect any of the data on your volume, it's perfectly safe.

When you validate a volume, SoftRAID checks every block in your volume to make sure it can be read without errors. Then it does additional checks depending on the kind of RAID volume you have.

Validating a volume is not required, but it's a good safety measure. You can think of it like checking the pressure on your spare tire; if you get a flat you have the peace of mind that your spare is ready to go. Validation gives you the peace of mind that if you have a disk problem and need to restore your data, it's all checked and up-to-date.

To find out more about the process of validating SoftRAID volumes, click here

SoftRAID and SSDs

SoftRAID has full support for all SSDs (Solid State Disks), even non-Apple SSDs. SoftRAID uses the TRIM command to improve the performance of all volumes on SSDs. Unlike most other RAID solutions, SoftRAID supports TRIM on all RAID levels.

TRIM is a feature of most SSDs which improves read and write performance and helps extend the life of the memory chips in an SSD.

The SoftRAID Monitor also constantly monitors SSDs to make sure their memory chips are not worn out. When they have less than 10% of their life remaining, the SoftRAID Monitor will warn you. 2 3

1. RAID 4, 5 and 1+0 volumes are not supported in SoftRAID Lite. back...

2. These features require disks which support SMART. They are not available on disks connected via USB or FireWire and may not be available if a disk is connected via some third party interface cards.

3. This feature is not supported by SSDs shipped by Apple.