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Time Machine not working with Softraid Volumes (b52) on Big Sur 11.1

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(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

When I try to create new volumes it creates them but it comes with an error saying that it couldn't install software. SoftRaid shows the the volume names but they are unmounted. The volumes are available in Finder and writeable though. If I try to use a volume for Time Machine it gets stuck in Preparing stage forever if the file system I chose is HFS+ (journaled). It passes preparing stage quickly, but then backup becomes extremely slow (not sure if it will ever complete) if I use APFS for the volume. Softraid + Big Sur made life really difficult for me.

Should I upgrade the OS to the latest. There is at least one more update available to Big Sur, but I am afraid that more issues will surface. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 12:05 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Big sur has a bug/feature that it only supports APFS volumes for SoftRAID with Time machine. Most users find Big Sur working fine with Time Machine, as long as they use an APFS volume. You probably should update Big Sur, as each release is fixing more bugs, but I don't think that will make a difference with SoftRAID.

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Posted : 15/03/2021 12:43 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

When I try to create a APFS volume it comes with a message that it can not install a file system on a brand new OWC enclosure. It fails and doesn't provide any information why it fails. Very frustrating. The exact message is this: 

"An error occurred erasing the volume XXX. Softraid was unable to create a file system on this volume"

After this, the volume stays unmounted. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 8:45 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

I deleted the volume altogether and recreated an APFS volume and it looks like it went thru and put system files on the volume, but now it stays unmounted. No matter what I did it stays unmounted. I am using an Intel based macbook pro, the Softraid is included in the privacy list to access the disks, OWC is an approved vendor. Nothing that I know appears to be missing. 

 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 9:54 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

You do not have the SoftRAID driver loading. I suspect you did not "Allow" OWC as an identified developer in System Preferences/Security. Without this, the driver cannot load.

When you installed SoftRAID this option should have popped up, although the "default" button is "OK", not go to System Preferences, so it is easy to bypass.

 

If you never saw this dialog, then you may have obsolete extensions. Big Sur now treats obsolete extensions by blocking most other drivers from loading into the extensions cache. If this is your case, post a support file, and I can take a look.

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Posted : 15/03/2021 10:13 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

I just ugdated to the latest Big Sur update to b53 for SoftRaid and the dialog came saying that drivers installed successfully. Checked the system preferences and OWC is checked as an identified developer. I recreated a new APFS volume and the same problems with this message:

"An error occurred erasing the volume XXX. Softraid was unable to create a file system on this volume"

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 10:23 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

Further results:

Deleted the volume, restarted the Mac and re-created the same volume. This time a different issue, it passes creating file sistem on the drive, but this time it stays unmounted. 

OS: Big Sur 11.2.3

SoftRaid: 6.0.1.b53 (Included in software list with full disk access, OWC as identified developer).

Earlier Mac versions required changing booting security setting and I am not sure if it should be done here as well. 

 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 10:46 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

The security issue was only in Catalilna.

 

Run this command in terminal and post the output (as text)

sudo kextstat -b com.softraid.driver.SoftRAID

 

This will tell you whether the driver is loading, what version. (If no response, it is not loading)

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Posted : 15/03/2021 10:58 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

This is what I see:

 

Executing: /usr/bin/kmutil showloaded --bundle-identifier com.softraid.driver.SoftRAID

No variant specified, falling back to release

Index Refs Address            Size       Wired      Name (Version) UUID <Linked Against>

  118    0 0xffffff7fa23e1000 0x2f000    0x2f000    com.softraid.driver.SoftRAID (6.0.1b53) 04BE793D-D81D-356C-9D79-9C0CCE5A5D0F <30 6 5 3>

kasimayyildiz@Kasims-MBP-2 ~ % 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 11:04 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

By the way, I have two OWC TB3 enclosures and they both behave the same way. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the new enclosure and tried the same thing on both as a check. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 11:10 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

Another note:

We have a Mojave machine that we intentionally didn't update to avoid annual Apple related frustrations for certain applications. I created HFS+ volume using that machine on the same OWC enclosures. When I brought back the enclosures to Big Sur, they functioned normally with correct mounting. However, I can not use Time Machine on HFS+ volumes and I need to have APFS volumes up and running for Time Machine backup. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 11:30 am
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

I am using a cheap WD external enclosure as a Time Machine Backup and it has no issues whatsoever with Big Sur. My $1000 plus TB3/Softraid enclosure shows a different issue depending on when and how I approach it. I am almost throwing it away out of window. 

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 1:59 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@ayyildiz

 

Then attach a SoftRAID tech support file. This output shows the driver is loading so your volume should mount.

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Posted : 15/03/2021 5:29 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

@ayyildiz

Once you have made your SoftRAID volume APFS, Time machine should start working normally.

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Posted : 15/03/2021 5:30 pm
(@ayyildiz)
Active Member

@softraid-support, AFPS volumes are never mounted and after a reboot, SoftRaid doesn't even know what format the volume is. It shows "unknown format".

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Topic starter Posted : 15/03/2021 5:51 pm
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