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[Sticky] Running Big Sur (beta) on Intel Macs

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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

 That is not really a serious question.

We have a working driver, which is actually bundled with Big Sur, having passed all the Apple QA testing.

Its the application that will remain in beta until we are happy with it. 6.0 is a major upgrade. 

I could go on about why. But it is not going to be quick and we are not going to rush 6.0 out for a deadline. It will be done when it is done. In the meantime, users will get free access to all the features of SoftRAID, as we mature the beta.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/11/2020 1:04 am
(@prl99)
Eminent Member

@softraid-support See page 16, I used the link provided, https://www.softraid.com/sr_beta  

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Posted : 21/11/2020 8:50 am
(@prl99)
Eminent Member

@softraid-support My Validation finished with errors being reported on every drive but it came back saying no errors in the SoftRAID window. I can't get SR to mount the RAID so I'm now trying to validate the RAID. This is what it's doing, just updating the I/O requests. Nothing is showing up in the log for this but plenty showed up overnight when it ran. I'll attach report (won't accept log even without extension) and some screenshots.

Screen Shot 2020 11 21 at 6.48.04 AM
Screen Shot 2020 11 21 at 6.36.44 AM
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Posted : 21/11/2020 9:02 am
(@prl99)
Eminent Member

@softraid-support Just realized it's saying waiting for mount, which failed a couple times. I tried Mounting again and it tried for 10-15 sec then gave up.

Screen Shot 2020 11 21 at 7.04.41 AM
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Posted : 21/11/2020 9:07 am
(@prl99)
Eminent Member

@softraid-support Ran some tests on my Thunderbay mini and finally got things to run. If I have Volume Protection enabled it will not mount the RAID set. Here's what I did along with AJA System Lite speed test scores. APFS doesn't appear to really slow anything down in my situation.

Disk testing

did not enable volume safeguard unless documented

1. Deleted original RAID5 volume
2. Selected one drive (--FF00), initialized, created single HFS+ volume: mount successful (no disk icon on any tests but I saw that is a known issue)
3. Ran AJA System Test Lite: 132/137
4. Deleted --FF00 volume.
5. Initialized four drives, created RAID 0 HFS volume-max size 8TB, 64K stripe: mount successful
6. Ran AJA System Test Lite: 421/380
7. Deleted RAID 0 volume
8. Initialized four drives, created RAID 0 APFS volume-max size 8TB, 64K stripe: mount successful
9. Ran AJA System Test Lite: 426/424 (actually faster)
10. Enabled safeguard setting in SoftRAID: RID shows as unmounted
11. Tried to mount: mount unsuccessful
12. Deleted RAID 0 APFS volume: error occurred because it's being used by another application
13. Restarted iMac, still can't delete volume. SoftRAID shows it as unmounted but it's still showing up on desktop
14. Dragged volume icon to Trash, then was able to delete volume in SoftRAID
15. Re-initialized disks and created RAID 0 APFS volume again, no Volume Safeguard: mount successful
16. Dragged disk icon to Trash (This was to confirm I could get back to known operational RAID)
17. Initialized four disks, created RAID 5 APFS volume, no Volume Safeguard: shows that it's mounted on desktop and accessible but SoftRAID says it's unmounted.
18. Ran AJA System Test Lite: 328/340 (understandable because it's RAID 5)
19. Validated each individual disk day before, not sure I want to go through the time of validating the RAID just yet.

OWC TB2 dual hardware RAID formatted as APFS, 3TBx2 3.5" drives: AJA 386/258

>diskutil list

shows all sorts of things but every disk is listed as APFS (I have a second hardware RAID along with an individual HDD running Time Machine)

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Posted : 21/11/2020 2:01 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@prl99

Note: The SoftRAID UI does not fully support APFS. It cannot unmount an APFS volume for example, which is why it worked after you unmounted it.

You say you got the volume to mount changing the "volume protection". What is that? did you mean Safeguard? With Safeguard disabled the volume mounted? I cannot see how that makes a difference.

I am still struggling for a 100% solution for. users who cannot get the SoftRAID driver to load in Big Sur. (why it does not mount). So your clue is tantalizing.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/11/2020 4:14 pm
(@cjglynn)
Active Member

@SoftRAIDSupport, saying a user-posted question "is not really a serious question" is spurious.  Any question a user has is REAL.

What have you been doing since Big Sur was announced? Why is the software not ready?

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Posted : 21/11/2020 6:45 pm
(@cjglynn)
Active Member

@SoftRAIDSupport, your answer awaits ... Or are you still drinking Coronas on vacation?

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Posted : 21/11/2020 6:46 pm
(@prl99)
Eminent Member

@softraid-support Yes, it didn't mount when Safeguard was enabled by checking the Volume Safeguard box but when I didn't check the box so Safeguard was not enabled, I was able to get it to mount. The SoftRAID window says it's unmounted but it shows up on my desktop (no icon) and I can open the disk as well as run AJA System Lite on it (see results above). I can absolutely replicate this with various RAID settings. When I had Safeguard disabled, it worked. When I had it enabled it didn't.

I haven't tried unmounting it because it took so long to get it mounted! There is still work to be done but this is better than it was in ver 5.

Screen Shot 2020 11 21 at 5.07.45 PM
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Posted : 21/11/2020 7:13 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Developing. Spending hundreds of hours dealing with Big Sur bugs. 'nuff said.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/11/2020 10:59 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

This is not a forum for sarcasm.

Have you ever developed kernel level software for Apple's ecosystem? In particular a disk driver?

If you had, you would not be asking in that tone.

Please stop, or I will have to ban you, you are wasting other members valuable time with your sarcasm.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/11/2020 11:07 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

There are no significant "driver" issues with SoftRAID 6. The issues are essentially user interface, or installation of the drivers (getting past the Big Sur security mechanisms). Once it loads, the driver is fine, and as in SoftRAID 5, fast, with very low latency.

The User interface is NOT complete. SoftRAID's UI does not recognize APFS volumes correctly, so things like having to manually unmount a volume before managing it in the GUI exist. Don't worry about that.

If you want to unmount, you must use the desktop (finder) to do so.

 

I will try to investigate the Safeguard correlation you found, it "can't" make a difference, based on what Safeguard does (its only a flag in the partition map to prevent volumes from being deleted by the application), but I will test it out. The resetting of NVRAM found by another user is a possible idea that I can see why it might work.

Normally we find most of these issues, but like Catalina 15.0, many changes were made after final beta, and it may take some time to get them all figured out or resolved.

Sorry about the user interface being "old", as the UI does not have any changes yet. They will come in the future. we are planning a major change to the way SoftRAID looks at volumes. Otherwise we won't be taking advantage of many of the features available in APFS.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/11/2020 11:20 pm
(@alex-peters)
New Member

Hi There...I've tried using the link...

 

  https://www.softraid.com/sr_beta  

 

to get the SOFTRAID 6 beta so i can open softraid but there is nothing there...just says item cannot be found?

 

My RAID drives launch OK and come up on my desktop and they are being read fine but i just cannot launch the SOFTRAID XT i am using on my Mac using Big Sur 11.0.01.

 

If i go ahead and use my drive (as i have work that has to be done and cannot wait ) I'm guessing whatever i save new to it will not be saved in RAID 5 as i have it setup? How will this work when i eventually install the updated working version?

 

Does it matter i'm using SOFTRAID XT...?...in that do i need a different beta than SOFTRAID 6 Beta?

 

Many Thanks

ALEX

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Posted : 22/11/2020 4:31 am
 ckd
(@ckd)
New Member

@cjglynn

Relax. Between the usual OS growing pains, Apple's tightening of macOS's security model, and other issues, Big Sur turned out to be a fairly complicated beast, and a moving target on top of that. The majority of apps have shipped as "Big Sur compatible" already didn't have much to update beyond some small visual touch-ups. There were releases of macOS 11 in which even mature pieces, like the built-in samba client, ceased to function correctly.  Things that were already a little dicey in the past, like kernel extensions and drivers, are that much harder to get right in Big Sur.

If you have an iota of common sense, you want vendors to take their time in validating their products on production code, not putting your data at risk by rushing through the process.

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Posted : 22/11/2020 10:56 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Wordpress seems to add a > to the url of any link I post. WIth email, we need to add the brackets to isolate the link, wordpresss seems to break that.

 

Use this url: https://www.softraid.com/sr_beta

We only have one version in the beta, covering everything.

To your other concerns, just use the volume, there are no issues. Everything is working as you would expect it to. The application will remain in beta for quite a while, wait until you start seeing major changes to the interface, then you know we are getting closer to release.

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Topic starter Posted : 22/11/2020 12:00 pm
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