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Trouble with Time Machine

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 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

I'm running Big Sur and needed to upgrade my older (2015) OWC Raid Array, so I purchased the latest and greatest Thunderbolt 3 Array and it arrived on Saturday.

Didn't realize that the only choice was SoftRaid (rather than the older hardware solution).  Tried installing SoftRaid, errors.  Tried contacting tech support, not on weekends.  Searched support forums and found that Big Sur isn't supported.  Found a Beta version link.  Installed Beta version and set up some drives for testing (not sure if I should consider putting production information on a beta product.)

Having trouble setting up Time Machine backups -- it just hung when I used it as a local drive destination.  Created another volume and shared it so it could be a destination for one of my laptops and that failed.

So, I am now questioning my purchase and have a few questions:

1. When will Big Sur be supported on a non-beta version of SoftRaid?

2. Do SoftRaid volumes support Time Machine Backups?

3. What will happen during the next OS update - how has my risk profile changed from my prior experience with hardware RAID solutions?

Thanks for any insights and suggestions.

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 30/11/2020 8:33 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Time Machine ought to work. Did you create an APFS volume, or a HFS volume, so I can test it here?

Where it is sticking? Preparing data? or not letting you select it? Theoretically Time Machine should treat a SoftRAID volume like any other volume. There is nothing special about it, to a backup application like Time Machine.

 

Support is always available via email, but the call center is closed on weekends. And the forums are moderated over the weekend also.

 

the SoftRAID 6 driver is solid, the application needs lots of User Interface enhancements before release. I anticipate early next year for a final 6.x release.

The next major OS release will move disk drivers to "user space", rather than in the system. This should be a seamless change for users. We will have the new driver ready well in advance of this change.

 

Sorry for your experience, hope things improve from here on out.

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Posted : 30/11/2020 10:13 am
 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

@softraid-support

They were created as HFS volumes.  The local destination just stuck on preparing backup, the shared volume failed with the laptop saying that it can't mount the drive.

Thank you for your quick reply.  I do certainly like the functionality of the softraid.  The prior 3 arrays I've purchased from OWC have been rock solid and I have nothing but love for them.

As long as the driver is solid, I'll start working under the premise that it's safe for production work.  After I run a few more tests, I'll set up everything and start my migration.

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 30/11/2020 10:30 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Preparing backup is a Time Machine issue. I have only a 1TB in my laptop and sometimes it takes a couple hours "preparing backup", sometimes minutes.

If it is stuck, erase the Time Machine volume with SoftRAID and point Time Machine to it again.

 

The driver for SoftRAID 6 is solid. there are not that many changes from the 5.x driver, except it had to be updated/recompiled with the new XCode tools.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30/11/2020 2:17 pm
 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

I finally had time to try this again.  Time machine ran for over 24 hours, still preparing a backup before I forced it to quit.  I rebooted, deleted the softraid partition, created a new partition and tried again, let run for another 24 hours  Same result.

These are both local machine backup tests.

My OWC Mercury Elite Pro continues to perform TM backups of the machine fine (I keep this offline and only plug into my iMac when I run a backup).

To me, it looks like it gets "hung up" on trying to initialize the softraid drive for backups.  IDK but am frustrated.

I'm running Big Sur 11.0.1 on an iMac 27" 2017.

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Topic starter Posted : 03/12/2020 6:56 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

I had another user complain, so I may need to do some tests. tyhis could be a Time Machine issue that it needs a dedicated APFS volume to back up to.

 

You can try making your volume APFS (delete and create a new one) and see if Time Machine works.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 03/12/2020 8:45 pm
 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

I'll try that tonight and let you know.  Thanks.

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 04/12/2020 9:22 am
 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

Well, that seemed to do the trick.  I created a volume as APFS and then added to Time Machine.  It ran as expected from a locally attached computer.  After it completes, I'll check it and then try creating a volume and sharing for a remote laptop to use for TM.

Unless I run into something strange, I'll consider my issue closed.  

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 04/12/2020 6:06 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Are you backing up to a APFS volume? I have that working, to an encrypted backup.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 04/12/2020 7:41 pm
 Kurt
(@kurt)
Active Member

@softraid-support

Yes, I created an APFS volume on the Thunderbay 4 under Big Sur and everything now seems to work well with Time Machine.  

I'm now comfortable with how it works, so I reset everything and am in the process of certifying the disks so that I can create my desired volumes for my production environment.

While I've historically used HPS+ as the file system, I think I'll start just using APFS as my default.

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 05/12/2020 9:13 am
(@johnd)
Active Member Customer

I've been using SoftRAID 5.x with my 4x6TB SoftRAID-5 for a long time now, with no issues. I upgraded to SoftRAID 6 beta, and Big Sur, but started a new Time Machine backup to an SSD, now that Time Machine supports APFS backups. This makes me curious what would have happened if I continued using the SoftRAID HFS volume after upgrading to Big Sur.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 05/12/2020 7:44 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

I think under Big Sur, you need an APFS volume to back up to. It will "Prepare" the volume and with SoftRAID disks, probably fail.

I have tested Time Machine on APFS, but not HFS, as I did not expect it to work.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 06/12/2020 12:08 pm
(@rich916)
New Member

Hope to not steal this thread- having same issues. New purchase of OWC TB4 on a 2020 iMac - finally able to access Bio Sur with the 6.0.1 beta. Set up RAID 1.0 with HFS and TM hangs up with message preparing RAID for TM backup. Erased and set up again with same issue. Attempted to set drives to APFS with success. Soft RAID would not initialize with an error message that a prior program (DisK Utility?) still had access even with no other program running? 

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Posted : 03/01/2021 11:14 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

SoftRAID 6 user interface does not support APFS correctly yet, you need to manually unmount volumes.

Time Machine works, but only on APFS. You cannot convert a SoftRAID volume from HFS to APFS, so delete and select APFS when creating a new volume.

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Posted : 04/01/2021 9:34 am
 SLeM
(@slem)
Eminent Member

@Rich916 : make sure that you unmount all raid-based APFS in the finder before you try to create more APFS . You might also have to unmount all other raid-based file systems, but the SoftRAID 6 GUI specifically cannot yet automatically unmount APFS whereas it can "usually" automatically unmount HFS+ file systems.

I just installed a TB4 myself on Saturday, so this is all new to me as well, but I WAS able to use Big Sur 11.1 to back up to SoftRAID APFS filesystems... though not before hitting the same problem you encountered.

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Posted : 05/01/2021 4:54 pm
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