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OWC 4M2 SSD random disconnects

(@crhendo)
Eminent Member Customer

I have been using an OWC 4M2 with 4x 2TB NVME SSD's in RAID 0 (ie 8TB total) as a temporary working space for a video aggregation workflow for approximately 3 months on a Mac mini 2018 with 64GB memory and multiple RAID 5 Thunderbay enclosures. I am currently running Catalina 10.15.5 Beta (19F83c) in order to circumvent the problems I was having with Kernel panics during large file transfers.

Approximately once a week I was experiencing random disconnects of the OWC 4M2 with the SoftRAID message advising me to adjust my energy settings to prevent drives from sleeping (which I have always had in place) before immediately reconnecting the 4M2. At the time I associated this problem with the Kernel panic issue however this week I am now getting 4-6 disconnects and immediate reconnects per day. I have tried all the usual suspects ie new cable, different Thunderbolt port, initialise and reconfigure the 4M2 without any success.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Topic starter Posted : 14/05/2020 7:12 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

You should not be getting this many, absolutely, that is crazy.
You did try moving the M2 to the port furthest away from the power cord connector?

I am curious if resetting NVRAM (like PRAM), helps at all?

if not;
What all is connected to this computer?
(docks, monitors, enclosures, etc.)
What is connected to the bus that the M2 is connected to? (remember, 2 ports per bus)

Are any of the other Thunderbay's ejecting like this?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 16/05/2020 10:53 pm
(@crhendo)
Eminent Member Customer

You should not be getting this many, absolutely, that is crazy.
You did try moving the M2 to the port furthest away from the power cord connector?

I am curious if resetting NVRAM (like PRAM), helps at all?

if not;
What all is connected to this computer?
(docks, monitors, enclosures, etc.)
What is connected to the bus that the M2 is connected to? (remember, 2 ports per bus)

Are any of the other Thunderbay's ejecting like this?

Well, I took your advice and moved the 4M2 to the port furthest away from the power socket and have not seen any disconnects in the last 24 hours. Thanks!!

I don't suppose you can disclose the science behind this miracle cure?

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Topic starter Posted : 17/05/2020 11:48 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

There is a hardware design flaw in the 2018 Mini.
It turns out to be an RF issue from the WiFi antenna!
One of our OWC Customer technicians discovered this problem, and recommended it to a Drobo user who was suffering from constant disk ejects. It worked.

Further research confirms this design flaw. There is a great article about this by Lloyd Chambers at Macperformanceguide.com:
https://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2019/20190707_1030-MacMini2018-Thunderbolt3-compatibiity.html

Computers and their IO buses are running so fast these days, problems can be obscure and the causes very unexpected.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/05/2020 2:00 pm
(@crhendo)
Eminent Member Customer

There is a hardware design flaw in the 2018 Mini.
It turns out to be an RF issue from the WiFi antenna!
One of our OWC Customer technicians discovered this problem, and recommended it to a Drobo user who was suffering from constant disk ejects. It worked.

Further research confirms this design flaw. There is a great article about this by Lloyd Chambers at Macperformanceguide.com:
https://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2019/20190707_1030-MacMini2018-Thunderbolt3-compatibiity.html

Computers and their IO buses are running so fast these days, problems can be obscure and the causes very unexpected.

Thanks for passing this on. The 2012 Mac Mini had a similar problem with its USB3 ports. I had to install a shield over my WiFi card.

I had assumed that Thunderbolt technology (given its cost) would have been engineered to prevent this from happening. I'm wondering if simply turning WiFi off would fix this.

It's probably worthwhile for OWC to warn potential end users of this problem before somebody loses data on a 4M2 Raid 5 array.

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Topic starter Posted : 18/05/2020 7:03 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Good point, I think it would, if you use wired ethernet.

It applies to all hardware, but I do think its a good idea to document on the site.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/05/2020 7:11 pm
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