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.
How Secure Boot and System Integrity Protection Guard Your Mac
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
Updating From 5.8.1 (and older) to 5.8.3: How to Approve OWC as an “Identified Developer” so your SoftRAID volumes can mount
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.
Kernel panic on sleep with Accelsior 4M2 in the 2019 Mac Pro
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.
Booting no longer supported in macOS
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.
Bug with Disk Utility and “Erase” disks
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.
How to get SMART over USB working with Catalina
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.
SoftRAID Application Must Quit
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.
How to Uninstall SoftRAID and all its components from your System
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.
10.15.4 bug Finder copy
A bug was introduced in Catalina, in 10.15.4, that caused the Finder to hang when copying large amounts of data. The bug causes large file transfers, such as copying 30GB or more of data using Finder, to hang. We have confirmed that this bug has been fixed in 10.15.5. Tim Standing writes about it in the Rocket Yard Blog.
Catalina updates revert driver to 5.6.8
Did you know that the Catalina macOS installer downgrades the SoftRAID driver to 5.6.8 when it updates macOS? Remember after every update to macOS, you need to run the SoftRAID application, which will ask to update the driver to the correct version.
Apple fixes problem with 16 drives in 10.15.5
We discovered a problem with macOS, when there are about 12 or more disk drives in a volume, or 16 or more drives connected to your computer, macOS can hang. Apple has a fix for this in 10.15.5.
Additional advice and important information for 2019 Mac Pro
SoftRAID: Secure Boot must be disabled on your 2019 Mac Pro. Learn more.
SoftRAID: If you initially have problems creating, or mounting your volumes, you may need to “approve” OWC as an Identified Developer. Learn more.
SoftRAID: After every update to macOS Catalina, run SoftRAID and update the driver.
Accelsior: Position your cards in 8 bit slots for best performance and reliability. We found a bug in the Mac Pro, that when 2 or more cards are installed, and the correct parameters are not set in the Mac OS Expansion slot utility, your computer can kernel panic on wake from sleep. Always keep the Expansion slot utility settings at “default” unless you have a specific reason to over-ride them. (details to follow, or a separate blog post)
Performance: The maximum performance for reads/writes on storage installed inside the Mac Pro is approximately 7GB/s. (using AJA performance test). Yes, you can install multiple cards like the Accelsior in the 2019 Mac Pro, but you will not get more than the 7GB/s cap. This cap applies to cards installed in both 8 lane and 16 lane PCI slots.