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FAQ - SoftRAID Features and Compatibility

What SoftRAID features work during the 30 day trial period?

During the 30 day trial period, you can use all of the features of SoftRAID. This allows you to try out SoftRAID for free and learn about its advanced RAID and disk monitoring features.

After the 30 day trial period is over, your SoftRAID volumes will continue to mount and you can continue to read and write files on them. If you are using a SoftRAID volume as your startup volume, you can continue to use it to start up your Mac. All other SoftRAID features will be disabled.

What happens after the 30 day trial period is over?

You can purchase a license to use SoftRAID at any time. Once you enter your SoftRAID serial number, you will no longer be using SoftRAID in trial mode and all features will continue to work after the 30 day period is over.

If you continue to use SoftRAID after the 30 day trial period, your SoftRAID volumes will continue to mount and read and write files. However, some operations may be up to 70% slower. In addition, the SoftRAID application cannot be used with disks and all data protection features in SoftRAID volumes are disabled.

If you are using a mirror (RAID 1), RAID 4, RAID 5 or RAID 1+0 volume past the 30 day trial period and have not purchased a license, you are likely to lose data if one of your disks fails.

If you have been using SoftRAID in trial mode after the 30 day period and then purchase a license, you should validate each of your SoftRAID volumes. This will ensure that the mirror or parity data is correct and your volume will work correctly if you have a disk failure.

You can validate a volume by selecting the volume's tile in the SoftRAID application and then choosing "Validate" from the "Volume" menu.

How do I convert my AppleRAID volume to SoftRAID?

To convert AppleRAID volumes to SoftRAID just follow these 6 simple steps:

  1. Ensure your AppleRAID disks are connected and have been backed up
  2. Launch SoftRAID
  3. Select your AppleRAID volume tile from the rhs of the SoftRAID application
    (all volumes that are connected to and recognized by your system will be listed)
  4. Select the AppleRAID volume tile
  5. From the Volume menu, select "convert"; this will bring up a dialog box.
  6. Follow the directions in the dialog box.

Conversion takes around 10 seconds or less

Can I use SoftRAID on earlier versions of Mac OS X?

SoftRAID version 5 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.8 and later. We recommend that you run the latest bug fix release for the version of Mac OS X you are using.

Is SoftRAID compatible with other utility programs?

Most third party utilities are fully compatible with SoftRAID volumes. This includes: DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro, Drive Genius and Data Rescue.

How much will SoftRAID slow down my Mac?

The SoftRAID Monitor generally uses less than 0.2% of your Mac's CPU power, even when you are using SoftRAID for both your startup volume and all your data volumes.

The SoftRAID driver only uses CPU power when you are reading or writing files. Reading and writing to RAID volumes usually uses less than 4% of the CPU power of your Mac. This increases to about 10% of the CPU power when writing to or rebuilding RAID 4 and RAID 5 volumes.

In addition, all parts of SoftRAID will usually be using less than 200 MB of your physical RAM (less than 100 MB if you are not using RAID 4 or RAID 5 volumes).

We have designed SoftRAID to have as little impact on the speed of your system as possible.

Does SoftRAID work with XSAN and other SANs (Storage Area Networks)?

XSAN and other SANs are incompatible with SoftRAID. SANs require direct access to the disks they use and cannot use disks which are under SoftRAID's control.

Do I need a second SoftRAID serial number if I have 2 Macs?

Each Mac that has SoftRAID volumes needs to have a separate serial number. SoftRAID only checks the serial number on a Mac if it has SoftRAID volumes. If a Mac does not have SoftRAID volumes, the serial number is not checked.

This means that if you have two Macs, each of which have SoftRAID volumes attached to them, you will need 2 serial numbers.

If you wish to move a single SoftRAID volume between 2 or more computers—so it is only ever attached to one Mac at a time—you can use a single serial number. Simply enter the serial number on every Mac which will be using SoftRAID. When you want to move the SoftRAID volume from one Mac to another, eject the volume, unplug the disks used for the volume and restart your Mac. Restarting your Mac releases the serial number from the Mac which was using it so another Mac can start using that same serial number.

Can I use SoftRAID with Time Machine?

Yes! Time Machine works great with SoftRAID and you can easily use a SoftRAID volume as the target for your Time Machine backup

Any time you connect a disk containing a SoftRAID volume, or create a new SoftRAID volume, Time Machine will ask if you want to use that volume as a Time Machine target. Note that the volume has to be over a certain size (big enough to back up your data), or Time Machine will ignore it.

Using Time Machine with SoftRAID volume

(Encryption not currently available, see below)

Mac OS will ask you when you first create any new volume—whether with SoftRAID, Disk Utility or another program—if you want it to be a Time Machine volume. Just select "Use as Backup Disk" and Time Machine will back up to that volume.

Using Time Machine with SoftRAID volume

If at any time you want to add (or remove) a connected SoftRAID volume as a Time Machine target, you can do so by going to Time Machine in System Preferences, and using “Select Backup Disk” to select your volume. (Note: even though Time Machine says "Select Backup Disk" it's really the volume on the disk that's being used for the backup).

Using Time Machine with SoftRAID volume

Can I create an encrypted Time Machine backup on a SoftRAID volume?

Unfortunately, Mac OS does not support encryption on SoftRAID volumes at this time. This feature should be enabled in a future version of Mac OS.