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SoftRAID 5.6 SMART over USB driver

(@felix-v)
Active Member Customer

Hello, i upgraded my media server to SoftRAID 5.6 and the new SMART over USB driver feature is not working properly at all. By any chance it's based on the SAT SMART Driver?
I own 2 Newertech Guardian Maximus RAID-1 hardware units with USB 2, FW800 & eSATA (older models), connected daisy chained through FW800, and 2 WD Elements 5TB USB 3 units configured as a mirror volume in SoftRAID.
At first everything seems to work well, but in a couple of hours i start to get IO errors on my WD Elements drives, randomly, until my mirror gets degraded, and my Maximus units, appear fine in SoftRAID but the hardware RAID controller starts reporting HDD 1 failure on both in the same time.
Surprise, surprise, after a hard reset on everything, all is running perfectly for a while, and after disabling the SMART USB feature in SoftRAID, i didn't have a single problem for around 2 weeks.
The reason i am asking if your solution is a SAT SMART Driver version is because i tried it a while ago, packaged by Binary Fruit (the makers of DriveDX app) and i had the exact same issue with my Guardian Maximus units (i didn't own the WD Elements at that time).
Do you have a compatibility table for the SMART over USB feature? Because it seems you released it in the wild prematurely and it's on by default, causing a lot of problems.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/06/2017 8:26 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We are not using the SAT SMART driver, we wrote a completely independent driver.

We purchased and tested dozens of units and had a beta version out for several months.

As we learn of problems, we are going to work on them. There are thousands of different chip sets and firmware versions, it is not possible to test them all, so we will fix any issues as they arise.

We are also investigating a way to individually disable drives. Our goal is to make our driver as reliable as possible, and still support many USB 2 and FW devices.

The Western Digital enclosures are interesting, as there are older enclosures that do support a SMART query, slightly newer ones that do not, and current drives generally do, but some do not.

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Posted : 09/06/2017 10:59 am
(@felix-v)
Active Member Customer

Can i PM you a report for further investigation?
WD Elements are the previous model, so very recent, and were reporting SMART info to SoftRAID.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/06/2017 2:32 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

You can send a SoftRAID support file to support at softraid.

Also include the specific model number and version.

We will try to get our hands on drives that fail to work with our SMART drivers, where practical.

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Posted : 09/06/2017 2:38 pm
(@felix-v)
Active Member Customer

Done, i've send the report.

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Topic starter Posted : 09/06/2017 9:10 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

thanks, we received it.

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Posted : 11/06/2017 2:34 pm
(@gerhardmiller)
Active Member Customer

Dear Softraid team, dear Mark,

is there a list of the devices (as you mentioned above) which were tested for SMART over USB by you and are confirmed to work?

Thank you.

-Gerhard

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Posted : 23/06/2018 6:15 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We do not have a formal list. We purchased drives from several manufacturers, such as Seagate, Western Digital, G-Tech, LaCie, Toshiba. We also tried USB enclosures, but there is no standard there. We are considering a tool that can collect data for us, so we can add support for more USB enclosures as we encounter them. There are too many to test and different versions from the same company respond differently, so this is not simple to do.

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Posted : 24/06/2018 2:20 pm
(@felix-v)
Active Member Customer

We do not have a formal list. We purchased drives from several manufacturers, such as Seagate, Western Digital, G-Tech, LaCie, Toshiba. We also tried USB enclosures, but there is no standard there. We are considering a tool that can collect data for us, so we can add support for more USB enclosures as we encounter them. There are too many to test and different versions from the same company respond differently, so this is not simple to do.

you should have one for units that work.

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Topic starter Posted : 24/06/2018 2:39 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We do not know, only the 10-20 that we tested in house. There are permutations, where a manufacturer has one model that works, another that does not. It is very complicated.

If we only list a handful of specific models, users will assume those are the only ones that work, or that all models from that brand work, which is not the case. the chips inside enclosures can change within a model, even.

If we can find an efficient way to document drives that support SMART, we will.

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Posted : 25/06/2018 10:36 am
(@gerhardmiller)
Active Member Customer

It would be a start to know which models you tested and were confirmed to work for SMART over USB (and ideally also whether these models worked on USB 3.0 or on USB 3.1, if they were tested for this).

You can add a disclaimer that it depends on the model/chipset inside and also that likely many other models might work as well, even if you haven't tested them.

We do not know, only the 10-20 that we tested in house.

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Posted : 29/06/2018 10:30 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We are investigating a way to do this, but anything that involves us obtaining "one of each device" for testing won't work, as it is very cumbersome and expensive.

At the same time, we understand many users do want to know before purchasing a drive, that SMART is available for it.

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Posted : 29/06/2018 11:10 am
(@felix-v)
Active Member Customer

Well, i understand now why you don't wanna publish a list.
I just moved one of the WD Elements 5TB drives to my MacBook Pro during a storage reorganisation and so far is stable with USB S.M.A.R.T. feature. This is one of the drives that basically started this thread and even now crashes when i enable S.M.A.R.T. on my Mac mini.
Same OS version, same SoftRAID version, same gen of computers (MBP Mid 2012 non Retina and mini server late 2012).

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Topic starter Posted : 05/08/2018 8:05 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

thanks for the feedback!

Supporting SMART over USB can be very tricky.

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Posted : 06/08/2018 2:18 am
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