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[Sticky] Important notes regarding Big Sur and SoftRAID

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Member Admin

Here is an announcement from Tim Standing, Vice President Engineering, OWC.

Many of our customers are wondering: Is SoftRAID going to work on Big Sur? Will SoftRAID continue to work on Macs with Apple silicon?

Let's start with a little background on the team behind SoftRAID for Mac: We have already been through, not 1 but 2 processor architecture changes. First the one was from Motorola 68000 to PowerPC and the second was from PowerPC to Intel. So of course we're going to conquer this transition as well.

We already have a Mac mini with Apple silicon on our way from Apple, we ordered it registered for one 5 minutes after the web page went live. In anticipation of the Mac mini arriving next week, we have already started implementing the changes required to support this new CPU. Just like the move from PowerPC to Intel, for this change, the majority of the code for SoftRAID will not require any changes. There are just a few key areas we will have to change.

With the switch from PowerPC to Intel CPUs, the major change was that areas of memory which stored numbers larger than 256 were set up in the reverse order in the Intel CPU. This mean that any number, that was used by the SoftRAID driver to determine what type of volume was in use, had to be swapped around right after it was read from disk and right before it was written back out.

With this new CPU, the key changes are the way the processor counts time and the way each of the CPU cores determine if memory has been altered by another CPU core. We have already finished the changes to the SoftRAID code which rely on getting time. We have also started a code review of both the driver and SoftRAID tool to determine what needs to be changed to accommodate the new multi-core CPU memory access architecture.

If you have access to a Mac mini with Apple silicon and would like to try out beta builds of SoftRAID which support this new CPU, please let us know and we will give you access to the beta testing program. Obviously, you won't be able to use it with Thunderbolt enclosures, as these test Mac minis don't have Thunderbolt, but you will be able to use it with USB 3.1 Gen 2 enclosures like the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad. We will be testing it with 4, 8 and 16 disk RAID volumes to ensure our implementation is robust.

I'll post more on this thread when we have a beta ready for testing with this new Mac hardware architecture.

Tim Standing
VP Software Engineering - Mac
Other World Computing, Inc.

Topic starter Posted : 29/06/2020 10:15 pm
Estimable Member Customer

Hi Tim, 

Good to hear you guys are making progress on the new CPU from Apple. What about the existing machines? When will a version that runs Big Sur on existing Intel CPU (in my case it's a Intel 8-core Intel i9 processor) CPU? Your current SoftRAID V6 software and V5 software won't run. The backup version included by Apple in its public Beta build is flawed (wrong icons) and doesn't have any UI. It does allow access to data, however. 

Best Regards, 




Macbook Pro Retina 2019, internal 1TB storage, 32GB RAM, two external T3 enclosures (2.5TB online storage), 6x500GB, EVO SSD, RAID 4; MacOS Mojave.

Posted : 11/09/2020 9:08 am
Member Admin

We are working on it is all I can say at this point. The "wrong icon" is actually the (limited) bundled version of the driver.


We are working on the application still.

Topic starter Posted : 11/09/2020 12:07 pm
Active Member Customer

How does one get access to developer betas of SoftRaid 6?  I've just moved a main machine to Big Sur beta 9 after testing it on another machine through the previous 6 betas.  Everything works except SoftRaid 5.8.4.  It appears that the drives are still accessible and my RAID sync program still works, but I hate seeing that big RED exclamation point through 5 different RAID arrays.

Posted : 01/10/2020 5:32 pm
Member Admin

We do not have a working beta yet for 10.11. Sorry.

Topic starter Posted : 01/10/2020 6:24 pm
New Member Customer

Any idea of the schedule for the first Beta for Apple Silicon based machines?


Thank you.

Posted : 12/11/2020 11:02 am
Active Member

Big Sur is here, when can I switch with a working Softraid version?

Posted : 12/11/2020 6:54 pm
New Member

Given that the public version of Big Sur has dropped, can we have an official update on the current status of compatibility, and whether we can update. I just want to know whether it will work if i update, or whether I need to hold off on the delivery of a soft raid update.

Posted : 12/11/2020 7:35 pm
Member Admin

the next beta of SoftRAID, probably numbered 60 b43, will support Apple Silicon. We are trying to get this out shortly, in the next few days.


We are going to announce a public beta at that time.


here is the link to the beta: ​​​​​​​SoftRAID 6


Topic starter Posted : 12/11/2020 8:47 pm
Eminent Member Customer

This thread, and the subsequent questions, are about Big Sur and SoftRAID, NOT Apple Silicon (which nobody yet has).

Please respond to the questions about the state of SoftRAID and Big Sur, the operating system that is currently available. Not the computers with the architecture change that are not out yet.

This is some crazy-making runaround in this forum now. How is there not an official FAQ about this?

Posted : 13/11/2020 11:34 am
Active Member

@softraid-support  Hi there. Intel Mac (2013 Mac Pro) on Big Sur.  ThunderBay.   Trying SoftRAID 6 beta.  Recognizes disks, all show no errors, and also recognizes ThunderBay array, also showing no errors.


The problem is it boots in "unmounted" state, and when I try to mount the array, it fails.  I haven't yet found an error.


The only info in the SoftRAID log is:


Nov 13 1254 - SoftRAID Application: Launching application: SoftRAID version (null)
Nov 13 1208 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Nov 13 1228 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Nov 13 1239 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished SMART test on all disks. No disks failed the SMART test.
Nov 13 1240 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished uploading SMART disk statistics to server.
Nov 13 1241 - SoftRAID Monitor: Finished uploading anonymous usage statistics to server.
Nov 13 1253 - SoftRAID Application: Quitting application
Nov 13 1255 - SoftRAID Application: Launching application: SoftRAID version (null)
Nov 13 1225 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Nov 13 1234 - SoftRAID Monitor: Starting SMART test on all disks which support SMART.
Nov 13 1250 - SoftRAID Monitor: SoftRAID Monitor loaded, version 6.0.1 b42.



Any suggestions appreciated.  Thank you.

Posted : 13/11/2020 11:47 am
Member Admin

Peter; We will have a sticky in a few days when B43 is released.


Sterno's problem is either the driver not loading, or directory damage from the big Sur update.

Check if in the expanded volume tile, the Disk Identifer has a number (disk5) or a -

Topic starter Posted : 13/11/2020 12:12 pm
Active Member

@softraid-support hello, thanks for the quick reply


In the expanded volume tile there is "-"


Any suggestion on remediation to get a valid volume ID?

Posted : 13/11/2020 12:15 pm
Member Admin


Try this

Topic starter Posted : 13/11/2020 12:19 pm
New Member

So the answer seems to be don't upgrade to Big Sur yet. Is that correct? I'm just trying to get clarity for users of Intel based systems whether we can upgrade today or if we should wait? "You should wait." is a perfectly acceptable answer btw, I'm not trying to rush anything.

Posted : 13/11/2020 12:43 pm
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