SoftRAID Bulletins

At SoftRAID, we pride ourselves in the quality of our software and the excellent support we give our customers. Our goal is that you never have to worry about SoftRAID, that it runs in the background and doesn’t interfere with your work until one of your disks starts to have problems.

If you have encountered a problem, it may be something we have already fixed, or a problem with Mac OS X which we are already aware of and have a solution for.

SoftRAID features online help resources including a robust, active forum and extensive frequently asked questions pages. Also, if you are unfamiliar with RAID terms, please visit our glossary page for a guide to unfamiliar terms and references used in SoftRAID.com and SoftRAID documentation.

Current Bulletins

You may decide you no longer want SoftRAID running on your system and want to remove it. Deleting the Application will not remove all the extensions and drivers, however.
There is a very simple way to remove the SoftRAID driver and all components from your system. Please do not use third party applications for this. Run SoftRAID.

In the “Utilities” menu is “Uninstall SoftRAID”.

This command will remove all drivers, components, preferences, etc. (including your license number) “Uninstall SoftRAID” does NOT delete the SoftRAID Application.

Note: if you have your system set to relaunch all apps after a restart, you will get the SoftRAID Application launching also and it will prompt you to install the driver. Cancel from this dialog box and quit SoftRAID.

Uninstall Tip for SoftRAID 6.3 or later:

You may also use the terminal to uninstall SoftRAID. Launch the terminal.app and paste this line into Terminal and hit enter (You will need your admin password):
Sudo softraidtool uninstall

Affects macOS Catalina (10.15) and later

Catalina blocks many driver extensions from loading at startup. This is part of the enhanced security measures Apple is taking to make macOS less vulnerable to hack attempts.

The SMART driver included with macOS does not support SMART over USB or FireWire devices. If you want information about a USB drive’s health, you must turn to a third-party extension to enable SMART data to be obtained over the USB bus. OWC has written such a driver, which is included with SoftRAID. With the SMART driver loaded, SoftRAID can detect when a disk has a SMART status of “failed”, and can use SMART information on a disk to predict a disk is about to fail because of existing conditions on the disk that are correlated with imminent disk failures. There is a way to get SMART drivers loading, but it requires you to take some steps.

1. Make sure the SMART drivers are installed. Unmount and disconnect all USB storage from your computer. Restart and run SoftRAID. Go to SoftRAID disk Preferences and make sure SMART USB drivers are enabled. Then select your startup volume, and “Reinstall SoftRAID Driver”. This will make sure the USB driver are loaded.

2. Restart your computer, leaving all USB drives disconnected. This is how you allow the SMART USB driver to be loaded. After startup, then connect your drives. If Catalina detects any USB drives during the startup process, it will block these extensions from loading.

3. You can tell if the drivers have loaded, by running SoftRAID. You should see (depending on the enclosure, not all enclosures can pass SMART data over USB) a status of “SMART – passed” on at least one of your USB disks. If any can pass SMART, then the driver is loading correctly. Do not worry if for example, one of your external disk shows a – next to the SMART status, it means the OWC SMART driver was unable to get SMART from that specific enclosure.

4. Going forward, you should occasionally (weekly/monthly) startup your computer without any USB drives connected, so you can check SMART on your disks.

Previous Bulletins

Fixed in SoftRAID 6 and MacOS 11 (Big Sur)

There is a bug in SoftRAID where the SoftRAID Application loses its connection with the SoftRAID Monitor. When this happens, a dialog box is displayed stating that “An internal part of the SoftRAID application has stopped functioning properly. Please quit SoftRAID and relaunch it.” We have been unable to find the cause of this bug; it is extremely intermittent. Some systems will encounter this almost daily, while most will never see this problem. There is no risk to data, or your volumes from this bug. Relaunch SoftRAID to continue using it.

Quick Workaround: There is no reason to keep the SoftRAID Application running. Quit the SoftRAID Application when not actively managing your volumes. The “SoftRAID Monitor”, which you see an icon for in the menu bar, is the process that monitors your volumes and will continue to do so even if the SoftRAID application is not running. The only time you are likely to encounter this issue otherwise, is when using disk “Certify”. Certify can take a week on larger drives. If you get this error, you can start the “Certify” again and SoftRAID will resume the certify where it was before the error.
Note: You can Certify disks using the Terminal.app. There is online help available for this, in the SoftRAID help menu or by using softraidtool help in terminal.

Affects 6.0.5 -> Please upgrade to latest version of SoftRAID 6

Problem:
Your volume does not mount at startup. Your volume appears in SoftRAID, but does not mount.
When you attempt to mount it manually, it tries, but never mounts. If you expand the volume tile for the volume, you will notice there is not a “Disk Identifier”, such as disk8, instead, a – is displayed.

Cause:
There is a bug in Big Sur, where drivers designated as “auto loading” are not loaded at startup. This affects multiple drivers, including the SoftRAID driver.

Solution:
SoftRAID 6.1 beta 7 adds a preference to work around this.
If you are running Big Sur (only, this is not available for Monterey, as we anticipate a fix from Apple before Monterey is released), if you go to “Application” preferences, there is an options to “Manually load SoftRAID driver on restart”.

Select this option and restart.

SoftRAID will run a script at restart to manually load the SoftRAID driver.

We would like feedback if this is indeed working as anticipated. You can leave comments in our forum.

A direct link to the latest beta for SoftRAID 6.1 is here:
http://www.softraid.com/sr_beta

Affects MacOS 11.2
macOS 11.2 update does not allow the SoftRAID driver to load
UPDATED: Apple has released macOS 11.3 that fixes the issue with SoftRAID and M1 Macs. Please upgrade to 11.3 for M1 (Apple Silicon) support.

Affects Catalina 10.15 and Mojave 10.14

Some users don’t want to disable Secure Boot because they believe it disables all malware protection on their Mac. This belief is not correct, and Apple labeling the setting for disabling Secure Boot as “No Security” in the Startup System Security application doesn’t help.Read the Rocket Yard blog for more details.

You can also read more information on our FAQ page.

Disable Secure Boot on Mojave and Catalina T2 equipped systems

Does SoftRAID ask to install the driver every restart? When you create a new volume, do you get an error that “the volume could not be initialized”? Catalina introduced a new requirement for SoftRAID users. If your machine has a T2 security chip, Catalina will automatically load the limited function SoftRAID driver bundled with macOS. You must have Secure Boot disabled on all computers with the T2 chip installed. Learn more.

How do I now if my computer has the T2 chip?

According to Apple, these Mac computers have the Apple T2 Security Chip:

• iMac Pro

• Mac Pro introduced in 2019

• Mac mini introduced in 2018

• MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later

• MacBook Pro introduced in 2018 or later

You can also use System Information to learn whether your Mac has the T2 chip:

1. Press and hold the Option key while choosing Apple () menu > System Information.
2. In the sidebar, select either Controller or iBridge, depending on the version of macOS in use.
3. If you see “Apple T2 chip” on the right, your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip

Affects Mojave (10.14 and High Sierra (10.13)

OS X security prevents the SoftRAID driver from loading, which in turn prevents your SoftRAID volumes from mounting. You need to approve OWC as an “Identified Developer”. We created a PDF with instructions to help you resolve this problem.

Affects Catalina

The Accelsior 4M2 is an exciting product, delivering 6GB/s of read and write performance in the 2019 Mac Pro. There are a few things you should be aware of, especially if you install 2 or more Accelsior cards. Read more.

Affects SoftRAID 6, all versions

SoftRAID can no longer startup your Mac. Here’s why:

Starting back in 10.9, bug were introduced in the Mac OS installers that made it more and more difficult to install Mac OS X onto SoftRAID disks. Mostly these initial issues were simply bugs and easy to work around.

However, High Sierra’s installer would not install at all. Users could install High Sierra onto a standard non RAID volume, and use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the OS onto the SoftRAID volume and from then on it would work normally. With 10.13.4, High Sierra prevented Mac OS X updates from being installed onto SoftRAID volumes. Users now had to maintain a full system on an external disk, then clone back to their SoftRAID volume to keep High Sierra updated.

Mojave refused to work at all. There are some corner cases, where it is possible to get a SoftRAID volume to be your startup volume, but it is extremely difficult. However, Apple’s RAID 1 and RAID 0 built in RAID drivers would still function in Mojave as startup volumes.

Affects Catalina and older macOS

Disk Utility encounters problems when it tries to erase a disk that has a SoftRAID partition map. Depending on the macOS version, you may get an error, or on older macOS versions (10.9 and older), Disk Utility may hang completely.

There is a simple solution to this issue. Before running Disk Utility on a SoftRAID formatted disk use the SoftRAID “Zero Disk” command. The 100 Sectors option is easiest, as it takes a couple seconds and erases the beginning and end of the disk.

Disk Utility will now see the disk as a “new” disk and will work as expected.