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FAQ - Using SoftRAID Volumes

What is volume safeguard and why should I use it?

SoftRAID volume safeguards protect you from accidentally destroying a volume which contains files that you need. When you enable the safeguard on a volume, SoftRAID prevents you from doing anything to the volume's disks which would destroy the volume. For example, you cannot initialize or certify a disk if any of the volumes on that disk contain a safeguard. SoftRAID also prevents you from deleting or erase a volume with a safeguard.

What is volume optimization and how does it work?

When you select the optimization setting for a volume in SoftRAID, you are telling the SoftRAID driver what you will be primarily using that volume for. This allows the driver to fine tune its behavior—like the volume rebuild rate, and when status information is written to the disk—so that the driver will not interfere with your work.

For more information on the different types of optimization, see the "Volume optimization" help topic—available when running the SoftRAID application from the Help menu: Maintaining Disks and Volumes > Maintaining Volumes > Volume Optimization.

How can I make a SoftRAID volume read-only?

You can make any SoftRAID volume read-only as long as it is not your startup volume and does not contain files which another application is using. You can do this by selecting "Make Read-Only" under the Volume menu in the SoftRAID application. Once a volume has been made read-only, the SoftRAID driver will prevent any application from from writing to the volume. At a later time, you can convert the volume back to read-write. For more information, see the help topic (available under the Help menu when running the SoftRAID application) on read-only volumes.

How can I make the fastest possible volume for video editing?

If you are creating a stripe volume for editing uncompressed digital video footage, there are several things you can do to maximize its performance.

If the volume uses disks with rotating media (and not SSDs), you should create the volume with only the first 30% of each disk. You can do this by initializing each disk with SoftRAID and then creating your new stripe volume. In the SoftRAID application new volume window, click the Max Size button to see the maximum size that you can create. Then enter a value which is 30% of this as the size of your new volume.

You should also shutdown your Mac each evening or restart it every 12 - 18 hours if you leave it on all the time. SoftRAID performs several maintenance functions when you first startup your Mac and every 24 hours thereafter. These functions include checking for new versions of SoftRAID and checking the SMART status of each disk attached to your Mac. You don't want these functions to be performed while you are capturing or playing back video data. (You can also disable these functions in the SoftRAID preferences. They are found in the Application and Volume tabs of the Preferences window.)