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SoftRAID Volume Locked error

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(@hedware)
Active Member

@softraid-support Thank you for the reply. Another question please and one I should have asked. Does SoftRAID work on non-OWC enclosures?

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Posted : 25/09/2021 7:42 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

You need either "SoftRAID Lite" (RAID 0/1 only) or SoftRAID Pro for non OWC enclosures

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Posted : 25/09/2021 9:38 pm
(@hedware)
Active Member

@softraid-supportThank you again. Do non-OWC enclosure owners experience volume lock ups?

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Posted : 26/09/2021 2:29 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@hedware

Yes I have seen this on other brands. Of course, I see many more OWC, as SoftRAID is bundled with OWC enclosures, not with others.

But I have seen this even with hardware RAID enclosures that are in JBOD mode (Users liked SoftRAID over the built in hardware RAID) and running SoftRAID.

This is a problem to macOS and sleep primarily, where macOS has rules on how disks should be identified, then when Thunderbolt resets, the disks get new identifiers, without the changes being logged into the IO registry, so if they were to be written to, data corruption would ensue. the volume locking was our way to prevent such corruption. This issue has been going on since Thunderbolt was introduced.

 

Back in 2014/15, there were many more users with non OWC enclosures, and we saw this with everything. (that is when we built in the protection, in late 2015/early 2016 if I remember) And the underlying issue has not been addressed to this day.

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Posted : 26/09/2021 12:25 pm
(@steve223)
Estimable Member Customer

@softraid-support I'm saying it again If you know the issue exists since 2014 you should not sell raid devices with software raid or at least make your customers aware that there is a good chance of encountering the issue.

If I had known I would have not wasted 4k on your enclosures.

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Posted : 26/09/2021 7:04 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@steve223

Your proposal is extreme, not everyone suffers this issue. It is very frustrating for those that do. I understand that.

This is NOT a problem specific to OWC enclosures. It is a generic Thunderbolt design problem. and a MacOS bug, that has existed for a long time.

SoftRAID is the messenger, because we put up a warning after the system wakes from sleep and the disks have been changed. SoftRAID is not the cause, it is an alarm bell and the locking is to protect user data.

Set your system not to sleep and see if that gets around this issue. When you retire for the day, unmount your volume and disconnect it.

You can also try rearranging the hardware, changing cables, etc. that may fix it also. Its a trial and error thing often. One of the Thunderbolt chips in the daisy chain, computer connection, either cable end, enclosure connector, or any other Thunderbolt device or cable can cause the thunderbolt bus to crash at sleep or waking up. I agree it is frustrating. But for example, in a half dozen computers in my lab, I do not see the volume locking problem. even when I borrowed a pair of thunderbolt monitors to test on.

So the problem could even be caused by "dirty power", so maybe try investing in a power conditioner. they are inexpensive and help your equipment last longer!

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Posted : 26/09/2021 9:22 pm
(@hedware)
Active Member

@steve223 Just to endorse your view, I live in Australia and if SoftRAID was an Australian business selling product with a known default but not providing clear and assessable notice of this default to potential buyers then our consumer protection agencies would have had SoftRAID in court long ago. Apart from this Forum, there is nothing on the product sales side of the SoftRAID website notifying this issue.

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Posted : 27/09/2021 3:50 am
steve223 liked
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@hedware

If you can show me anywhere on Apple's marketing, where they list the limitations and flaws of Thunderbolt, I might agree with you.

We are making the best possible products, within the limitations of macOS, Mac computers and Thunderbolt/USB.

Every one of our enclosures, docks, cables, etc go through rigorous thunderbolt certification. We have probably the highest quality of any Apple peripheral manufacturer. We are constantly looking for ways to improve or mitigate issues both in our hardware and issues with mac's.

Most all all the issues with Thunderbolt happen with multiple devices, also. Interference is a complex issue.

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Posted : 27/09/2021 9:21 am
(@steve223)
Estimable Member Customer

@softraid-support as @hedware said under Australian law you could not sell the product here in AU, you know about the Thunderbolt limitations no matter if it's Apple or Thunderbolt fault yet you sell products that are affected by the limitations, don't work as advertised yet without informing your customers about the potential issues they could face. I tried your OWC enclosures on a 2019 MacPro for $12.000 which I then sold and bought a 2020 iMac5k in the hope this would fix the issue yet both machines had the disconnecting issue with your devices. As I said it seems that a software Raid approach is no longer a reliable option with the current Thunderbolt technology. Hardware Raid Devices like Synology, Promise or Drobo work without any issues so are the only reliable option at this stage.

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Posted : 27/09/2021 10:35 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@steve223

I disagree, but that is why this is a discussion forum. There are many issues with hardware RAID also, that do not exist with software RAID, primarily predictive failure of disks, where you can know a disk is failing before it fails. (many enclosures have this claim, but it barely works if at all)

Considering all technology has some issue or other, what can be sold in Australia?

Routers have hacks and problems, phones have hundreds of issues if you dig into the details, and the more complex the device, the more issues.

I am not going to delve into issues with other enclosures, it is not under discussion, but lets say they exist.

When you tried two computers, did you change Thunderbolt cables? Are you using a hub or dock?

If an enclosure is defective, that is a different story, we are happy to replace defective products.

If you can connect your Thunderbay enclosure to two different Macs', with different thunderbolt cabling, and no other hardware connected, and you still get ejects or locking (locking assuming you have disabled sleep), you may have a defective enclosure.

(I assume you purchased a voltage conditioner?, they are essential for high tech equipment, inexpensive and most users do not understand their value, but I recommend one for every computer. Better than a UPS, actually, is the regulation of voltage to a clean current.)

We do have a depot in Australia. Lets figure out if your unit is defective then.

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Posted : 27/09/2021 11:43 pm
(@steve223)
Estimable Member Customer

@softraid-support it's too late now I sold all but one OWC enclosure and switched to Promise for my work computer. I have one OWC enclosure left which is on an M1 Mac mini and it does work well there but would not buy one again for any production environment.

Sending the units back which you offered would have lost me several 100$ of the return postage so I sold them on the private market losing quite a bit of money.

 

Before I sold I did several months of testing with all different scenarios and bought quite a few different Thunderbolt 4 cables from different brands all to no avail. I doubt that two enclosures had a hardware issue the 3rd unit I still have also did not work on the iMac nor MacPro.

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Posted : 28/09/2021 3:18 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@steve223

I am sorry about this, but it is strange. Something is causing the disks to power off (at least) momentarily. You have set Energy preferences for  drives not to sleep?

On these systems was there a dock or hub? Or a clean connection to the computer?

This post was modified 1 year ago by SoftRAID Support
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Posted : 28/09/2021 9:48 am
(@steve223)
Estimable Member Customer

@softraid-support as I said for month I tried every possible approach, dock no dock, system not going to sleep (which was no good as used to run my Mac24/7) and anything else suggested.  I lost days of work and money with all this not to mention the frustration. 

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Posted : 28/09/2021 5:27 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@steve223

Curious: did you have a line conditioner on your system?

I am trying to think what may be in common with your two computers.

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Posted : 29/09/2021 12:16 am
(@steve223)
Estimable Member Customer

@softraid-support nop no line conditioner, but as I said the second system works without issues with the new Promise Pegasus 32R4, Drobo R8, 2 x 8TB NVME Thunderbolt 3 external drives and a Drobo 5D3 as Time Machine drive. Same Cables same everything else and since OWC drives have been removed (several months ago now) did not have a single disk disconnection. 

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Posted : 29/09/2021 1:19 am
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