SoftRAID Known Issues
The OWC software team is constantly working to improve and testing SoftRAID to give you the most robust solution possible. As we continue to improve SoftRAID, below is a chart of known issues that are currently being worked on.
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Security Settings and Driver Loading Issues
|Third Party Driver loading in M1 computers requires allowing third party drivers to load.||Before the SoftRAID driver can load, please follow these instructions from Apple. Third party drivers must be enabled for any drivers, not just SoftRAID.
Select “Reduced Security” and enable this:
|Installing the driver requires going to System Preferences -> Security to “Allow” OWC as an identified developer.||When you install the SoftRAID driver, the driver cannot load until OWC is allowed as an identified developer. macOS will display a dialog box, pointing the user to System Preferences/Security when the SoftRAID driver is installed. If you forget to do this, after startup, open System Preferences -> Security, unlock the pane and click “Allow” to enable the SoftRAID driver to load. If you skip this step, your SoftRAID volume will be unable to mount.|
|When installing SoftRAID in Big Sur, macOS never prompts the user to go to System Preferences and the “Allow” option is not available.||Big Sur has strict requirements for drivers to load. A new feature in Big Sur is that if obsolete third party extensions are detected, or extensions that are not optimized for Big Sur, then some or all third party drivers will be prevented from loading.
One way to check whether the driver is loading is look in the expanded volumes tile in SoftRAID for a “disk identifier”. If the driver is not loading, there will not be a disk identifier such as disk5.
Contact SoftRAID support or post a SoftRAID Technical support file on the SoftRAID forum, for help in deleting these obsolete extensions.
|“File System Cannot be created” or “Error 34” when creating a volume.||If you create a new volume, or erase a SoftRAID volume with SoftRAID Application and see this error, it means the SoftRAID driver is not loading. Make sure you “Allow” OWC as an identified developer so that the SoftRAID driver can load.|
|The SoftRAID Application must have “Full Disk access” to be able to access disks.||macOS should prompt you to enable Full Disk access when you launch SoftRAID for the first time after installing the driver. If you forget to enable this, or the prompt does not appear, you can easily enable Full Disk access. The main symptom is generic disk tiles in the disks column. Open System Preferences -> Security -> Privacy and scroll down to Full Disk Access. In the window pane on the right side, drag and drop the SoftRAID application.|
|UPDATED: SoftRAID requires macOS 11.3 to work on M1 (ARM) computer.||SoftRAID 6 supports for M1 Macs. You will need to be running macOS 11.3 or later.|
|Volume does not mount in Big Sur 11.4 even after selecting “Allow” for OWC as an identified developer.||There is a bug in Big Sur where correctly installed drivers may not load at startup.|
Before you perform this step, you must have checked the option to “Allow” OWC as an identified developer.
There is a simple way to manually load the driver. Open the terminal.app and paste this command in:
This bug will be fixed in a future macOS release. We do not know when, however. Until this bug is resolved by Apple, you will probably need to do issue this command after any reboot of the system.
|SoftRAID can only create 1 APFS volume per container.||The SoftRAID application can only create one volume in each APFS container. When you create a new SoftRAID volume, or erase an existing one, SoftRAID will create a new APFS container with a single, new, APFS volume inside this container. If you want to add additional volumes to this container, you can do so with Apple’s Disk Utility program. The limitation is in the SoftRAID application only as the SoftRAID driver works perfectly with any number of APFS volumes in a container.|
|SoftRAID cannot “convert” Apple volumes in APFS format to SoftRAID.||This is a feature that we expect will be added to a future release of SoftRAID.|
|Time Machine requires SoftRAID volumes to be in the APFS format in macOS 11 and later.||If you want Time Machine to backup to a SoftRAID volume in Big Sur, you must create the volume as APFS. Otherwise, Time Machine will get stuck “Preparing volume” and never actually start the backup. A freshly created APFS volume will work with Time Machine.|
|Creating and mounting NTFS volumes.||If you want to create and use NTFS volumes with SoftRAID, you will have to purchase NTFS for macOS from Paragon Software. SoftRAID can detect if this software is installed and will allow you to create and erase NTFS volumes when available.|
|Encrypted and case-sensitive APFS volumes.||While the SoftRAID application is unable to create encrypted or case-sensitive APFS volumes, you can use Apple’s Disk Utility application to add them to an existing APFS container on a SoftRAID volume. Once you have created them with Disk Utility, the SoftRAID driver will support them fully and they will be protected from disk failure according to the RAID level you have selected.|
Unsupported Formats and Feature Changes
|Apple Fusion drives are not supported in the SoftRAID interface.||SoftRAID is unable to link the volume to its fusion drives in the SoftRAID interface and cannot display SMART data on disks that comprise a fusion volume. This means you may get alerts that a disk in the fusion volume is predicted to fail, but SoftRAID does not display the prediction failure state in the disk tiles. However, this information will be contained in the SoftRAID log.|
|Email Notifications.||We are currently reworking how notifications function to improve the user experience and encourage wider use of SoftRAID notifications.|
|RAID 6||RAID 6 is a widely requested feature as it allows users to add larger capacity disk drives. We are working on the implementation of RAID 6 for a future SoftRAID release.|
|Encryption not supported at this time.||There is currently an issue with macOS that can cause kernel panics on encrypted SoftRAID APFS volumes. We are unable to support encryption until this is addressed in macOS.|
|Booting from SoftRAID volumes no longer supported||macOS no longer supports startup from RAID volumes. As a result, with SoftRAID 6, we have removed the code that can boot (startup) from the SoftRAID driver.|
|Limited support for SMART over USB||The technology to support SMART over USB has been with SoftRAID for many years. However, starting with macOS 10.14, Mojave, it has become more difficult to load the SMART USB drivers. Starting with macOS 10.15, Catalina, SMART drivers are blocked from loading at startup. In order to load these drivers, users need to disconnect all USB drives, and wait until their Mac is finished starting up before connecting USB drives to test for SMART. We are working on tools to enable SMART over USB without this limitation.|
|Dialog box saying an internal part of SoftRAID has quit appears after running the SoftRAID application for many hours with a KVM or without a monitor attached.||This error can occur on macOS 10.14 systems and earlier when the machine is running SoftRAID application for many hours without a monitor attached (or with a KVM that does not have the system selected). This is cause by a bug in macOS which causes an accumulation of undelivered memory from one part of the SoftRAID application to another.|
Workaround: If you are experiencing this issue, upgrade to macOS 10.15, Catalina, or later. You can also work around this issue by making sure you always have a monitor connected to your computer (or that system always selected when using a KVM).
|Crash on shutdowns with too many disks connected,||There is a kernel bug in macOS when too many large disks are connected to your system. It is becoming more common to experience this issue with multiple enclosures. The symptom is when you shut down, the computer never completes a shutdown, and then crashes and restarts.|
Our testing shows that this occurs consistently with 12 or more disks, but it can happen with fewer disks if they are large capacity. This can occur during shutdown because macOS sends a “flush cache” command to each disk. If this takes too long, shutdown is interrupted and the computer crashes and restarts.
Workaround: If you are experiencing this issue, unmount all your volumes before shutting down your computer.
|Disk passes a Certify/Verify, but incorrectly reports an error.||In some cases, when “Certify Disk” or “Verify Disk” is performed, the disk can report a read error on the last sector of the disk. This occurrs on one of the 10TB Hitachi drive models with 4Kn sectors. Inspecting the SoftRAID log will show the read error occurred on the last read command on the disk.|
|One or more of the disks for the volume “Volume Name” (diskxx) is no longer usable. The volume is now locked to prevent data corruption. Please restart your Mac to use this volume again.||This error can be reported after waking from sleep, if the SoftRAID Monitor detects that the disk numbers as registered in macOS have changed unexpectedly. Continuing to use this volume could result in data corruption, so SoftRAID locks the volume until you restart the system. This problem can result from using certain hubs, docks, or underpowered devices. It can also happen if power is interrupted on your enclosure while the Mac is asleep.|
We have reported this issue to Apple and expect a fix soon.
|Mercury Elite Pro Quad has extremely slow performance when using a Thunderbolt active cable.||Thunderbolt 3 cables come in two types, active and passive. Active cables do not support USB 3.1 gen 2. If you use an active cable on a USB 3 device such as the MEPQ, macOS will connect to this enclosure in USB 2.0 protocol. The SoftRAID application disk tile will display USB2 in the disk tile to help alert you to this condition. Since USB 2.0 is limited to about 40MB/s, this is why you can get very slow performance in this situation. The solution is to use a USB 3.1 gen2 cable (USBC connector type), or a Thunderbolt 3 passive cable.|
|Disk Utility is unable to use a disk initialized by SoftRAID||Disk Utility is unable to work with disks that are in SoftRAID format. To reuse a disk with Disk Utility, launch SoftRAID. Select the disk tile and “Zero Disk.” Select “100 Sectors,” which is enough to erase the partition map. Disk Utility will see the disk as unpartitioned and will be able to erase/format it.|
|Volume creation Mercury Elite Pro Quad||Cannot create a volume on a Mercury Elite Pro Quad with XT. This has been fixed with SoftRAID versions 6.0.4 and later.|