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SMART status not provided on some drives

(@mriesman)
New Member Customer

I have 3 StarTech USB 3 dual docks attached to a Mac Mini 2012 server running Sierra. I just installed SoftRAID and am running a RAID 1 on 2 4TB Toshiba disks in one of the docks. They don't show SMART status. Neither do two other Toshiba 4TB disks in another dock, But in the third dock, an 8TB HGST disk and a 2 TB Seagate disk both show SMART status. Is there something with Toshiba? Anything I can do?

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Topic starter Posted : 20/05/2020 3:52 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

We do not get SMART from all devices, we tried to be generic with our tool, some are not possible, some take getting the actual drive and reverse engineering it, which we have not done for all drives. Sorry.

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Posted : 20/05/2020 10:30 pm
(@mriesman)
New Member Customer

Well, I solved it! I installed the latest version of the SMART utility software, and then downloaded and installed the SAT SMART driver from within that app. I was worried that this would conflict with SoftRAID, so I tried it on a test server first. It's fine. Now all my disks on my production server show SMART status both in SoftRAID and in the SMART Utility app. You should recommend this as an option for SoftRAID users.

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Topic starter Posted : 24/05/2020 11:31 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Thanks for the feedback on this, I will investigate this.

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Posted : 25/05/2020 11:40 am
(@andresena)
Eminent Member Customer

Interesting...

I have "Drive DX from Binary Fruit" installed on my System to check the SMART Status on my disks (single disk) connect through an USB 3 dock (one slot). But to perform this operation I installed the SAT SMART Driver available from their website (signed driver from Binary Fruit).

Here's the link:
https://binaryfruit.com/drivedx/usb-drive-support

But, I can't see any SMART status from any disk connect to the USB Dock inside SoftRAID.

I hope this helps in the investigation.

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Posted : 28/05/2020 8:55 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Try this:
Startup without any USB device connected. Then connect your USB device. Can you see SMART on USB now?

The problem is one of Apple's design, they are blocking USB drivers from working, if they load at startup (i.e, if there is a USB drive connected)

This appears to be a permanent change, not easily worked around.

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Posted : 28/05/2020 11:11 am
(@andresena)
Eminent Member Customer

Try this:
Startup without any USB device connected. Then connect your USB device. Can you see SMART on USB now?

One question:
Startup without any USB device or just without any USB drive connect?

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Posted : 28/05/2020 11:48 am
(@andresena)
Eminent Member Customer

I have a disk that has a predicted do failure status and I used it for this test.

I used this as a reference parameter
Disk inside OWC Thunderbay 6
SoftRAID
failure predicted reallocates sectors: 8

System Startup without any USB Device (including usb mouse):

Disk inside USB Dock
SoftRAID
SMART Status: -

DriveDX
Disk Failing
Smart parameter 005 Reallocated Sector Count: 8

Mac OS X 10.15.3
SoftRAID 5.8.3
USB DOCK: AKASA AK-DK03U3

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Posted : 28/05/2020 12:46 pm
(@mriesman)
New Member Customer

In my case, all drives show up. I always boot up with all USB drives connected, not least because I mostly manage the production server remotely and sometimes need to reboot it. I have multiple systems including a test server at home and 2 other machines (an office iMac and a digital audio Mac Pro). I have USB3 or eSATA drive docks on all of them and they all show SMART status. I'm running Sierra on all systems if that matters.

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Topic starter Posted : 28/05/2020 12:53 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Catalina is where this restriction was placed, so Sierra has no issues.

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Posted : 28/05/2020 1:58 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

One question:
Startup without any USB device or just without any USB drive connect?

Startup with out any USB "disk". This includes thumbdrives, etc.

My prediction is SMART should work with the SoftRAID SMART drivers. and also DriveDx, SMART Utility, etc. (to the degree you can obtain SMART from the devices)

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Posted : 28/05/2020 2:00 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Good result. I think this shows the SoftRAID/OWC SMART tools do not have the ability to see past that dock, while the SAT-SMART driver (open source) does.

What we expect, however, is if that drive/dock is connected at startup, DriveDX won't be able to get SMART.

SAme with SMART Utility.

I would love it if someone found a solution, as I think we would be able to also, based on their success. At the moment, we do not think it is possible to get SMART drivers loading if there are any USB disks connected at Startup.

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Posted : 28/05/2020 2:06 pm
(@andresena)
Eminent Member Customer

Another question:

I have a OWC ThunderBay6 with 4 disks and 1 NVME SSD.

SoftRAID shows SMART Status of all 4 disks, but, none for the NVME SSD.

For the NVME SSD, this is expected?

MAC OS X 10.15.3
Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
SoftRAID 5.8.3 Driver 5.8.3
SSD NVME Samsung 960 EVO 250G

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Posted : 01/06/2020 8:17 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

NVMe are very different than normal drives, so this could be normal, yes. Solid state media does not reallocate sectors. I would expect a SMART pass/fail, however. I won't be in the office for a couple days, so cannot text this immediately.

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Posted : 01/06/2020 11:46 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

I did some tests and SoftRAID still has not caught up to NVMe SMART checking. It is on our list for SoftRAID 6.

I can get SMART data using DriveDx, but not SoftRAID on a couple different blades, so we should be able to get this information also.

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Posted : 03/06/2020 10:29 am
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