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Solution for a MAC MINI 2020?

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(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Good morning,
for obvious reasons of old age, I am forced to replace my 2009 Mac Pro because it can no longer guarantee me future updates on Apple operating systems, with consequent problems on applications.

At the moment, I'm in Mojave, but I can't switch to Catalina or, as far as I know, to Big Sur.

So I wanted to move to a 2020 Mac Mini that could be a "cheap" investment for me. Among other things, the reviews I read on the web speak of it like a small mac pro (with all its limitations of course).

So I needed to know if and how I can use SoftRaid to continue to use my records safely. Here are some questions:

1) Can I use an external drive equipped with Thunderbolt to create a RAID 1 with SoftRaid?
2) The mac mini has a thunderbolt 3, can you tell me if it is also compatible with a Thunderbolt 2 and if SoftRaid can be compatible even if less fast?
3) Do you know if there are any difficulties in installing the two disks that I already merged with SoftRaid once I installed them outside?

Thank you very much!

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Topic starter Posted : 16/10/2020 5:23 am
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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

No problem at all. Any Mac Equipped with Thunderbolt, I believe can run Big Sur. If you use the Apple adapter, you can run older Thunderbolt on newer Macs.

Your disks will just be "plug 'n Play" in the new Thunderbolt enclosure!

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Posted : 16/10/2020 9:52 pm
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Thank you for reply.

Can you tell me if can get a good result with 3.0 or 3.1 USB CASE?

Thnaks

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Topic starter Posted : 18/10/2020 2:33 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

What is good results to you? USB generally will peak at 250MB/s. IO/s are slower also.

I do not prefer USB to Thunderbolt, which is faster and more reliable.

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Posted : 18/10/2020 3:32 pm
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

It's true, the thunderbolt is much faster by far, but I was thinking that the external hard disk boxes whit thunderbolt cost a lot of money and I can't right now because I must buy a new  mac mini (top of the range with i7), add new memory, buy an egpu box with external amd card! So much and too much money to spend now! :D

I don't need a lot of transfer speed at the moment. I own two hard drives that are in RAID 1 and contain only documents. If you tell me it's ok, I opt for for now to use a 3.1 box (or 3.0).

Then later on I will organize with thunderbolt solution hoping to find some some inexpensive opportunity.

 

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Topic starter Posted : 22/10/2020 5:33 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

You will be OK. I am always encouraging users to go Thunderbolt over USB, just so you know. But either fundamentally works.

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Posted : 22/10/2020 9:41 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Apple does not have a great USB implementation, so I generally recommend avoiding USB. As long as you are maintaining backups, your scenario should be OK!

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Posted : 22/10/2020 9:50 pm
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Thank you very much for info!

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Topic starter Posted : 23/10/2020 9:31 am
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Good morning, I purchased an external device as I had anticipated, with USB 3.1 second generation.
Now I just need to insert the two original hard drives that I had on the old Mac and that SoftRaid had put in RAID 1 and launch your software? Or should I proceed in another way? Do I risk data loss if I do something wrong?

Another question, on one of the two disks I have unfortunately updated a file that I needed urgently. What will happen now when the two disks are synchronized by SoftRaid?

Thanks

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Topic starter Posted : 02/11/2020 5:00 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

If you insert the disks, they will work just fine.

The good news is when you wrote to "one" of the disks, if it was the primary, the volume will rebuild.

If you mounted the secondary, the volume split and you will need to delete the old volume, then "add secondary disk" and "remove missing secondary disks" to reset the disk counter for the volume.

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Posted : 02/11/2020 11:38 am
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Mhhh...I don't think I understand. I inserted the two discs and I get this situation. How do I reconstruct the archives? Which of the two disks should I delete? I am afraid to delete some important data. Do you have a tutorial to show me? Thanks

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Topic starter Posted : 02/11/2020 12:26 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

This has to be done MANUALLY. You need to open both volumes and inspect and determine which to delete. Its impossible for a disk driver to know which should be which.

If you have two volumes, though, probably the one with the newer creation date in SoftRAID is the keeper.

I am assuming your volume was in sync, until you mounted only one of the disks. that would have spit the mirror, permanently.

 

Open both, compare side by side in list view (in view options enable "calculate all sizes". that will help you know if both are essentially the same except for a few files.) When you pick one, open some files new and old and make sure they are OK. Then delete the other volume and "add secondary disk".

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Posted : 02/11/2020 8:32 pm
Spyro70 liked
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Very good. I did everything and rebuilt the archive. Now it seems that everything is working well.

There is only one small problem. I then bought a FANTEC with USB 3.1 (2 GEN) connection. I connected the external box on the Mac mini using the supplied cable but using the Thunderbolt because the cable inside the box is a USB-C to USB-C and the Mac mini has no USB-C input.
Now it happens that when I turn on the box connected to the computer, SoftRAid for a moment signals me a corruption error, but then the problem seems to be solved and I see the two hard drives in mirror connected correctly.
I thought the problem was due to the fact that I had connected the device on the Mac Thunderbolt, so I bought a 3.1 (2 GEN) USB-C to USB A certified cable separately, but I get the same problem.
In this regard I wanted to ask if the problem could be due to the fact that the box is not really that fast. And yet from a "speed test" carried out with other hard drives identical to those used with SoftRaid I reach about 80/90 MB/s. Is it possible that the same hard drives would go faster if I put them on the Mac Pro 2009?

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Topic starter Posted : 04/11/2020 4:06 pm
(@spyro70)
Eminent Member Customer

Sorry, here Screenshot

Screenshot

 

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Topic starter Posted : 04/11/2020 4:33 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

The SoftRAID UI is in real time, so a slow bus can show temporary states until all the disks respond.

 

However, if you get Missing disk and then it shows up, set the mirror time out in SoftRAID preferences to 1 minute.

 

Yes it would be faster with the right cable. The Thunderbolt cable does not carry USB 3 connections, so you would be runnning at USB 2. The A to C USB 3 cables should get you 250MB/s or so. The old Mac Pro only has USB 2, so you would need a USB 3.1 or 3.0 card to get faster performance.

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Posted : 04/11/2020 9:19 pm
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