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Does macOS support installing and boot from a single volume using SoftRAID?

(@smayer97)
Eminent Member Customer

Been catching up on issues around macOS and support for (or lack of) for RAID volumes. So it is clear that Apple no longer supports installing macOS, updating macOS, or booting macOS from a RAID. What is unclear will macOS still install, update and boot from a SoftRAID volume that is NOT configured as a RAID (0, 1, 1+0, 4, 5) but just a single volume?

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Topic starter Posted : 18/10/2020 7:00 am
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(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Sorry, no. Booting from a SoftRAID volume of any type is never going to be allowed again, as far as we know.

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Posted : 18/10/2020 3:38 pm
(@smayer97)
Eminent Member Customer

So just to be clear, if you have a drive using SoftRAID with 2 partitions, one that is used for storage and one that is used for a copy of the OS, it will no longer be possible to boot off that OS partition if using macOS 10.14 Mojave or higher? Even if the storage part is a RAID 1 but the OS part is not even a RAID but a single drive partition?

And just to be sure, this is effective as of macOS 10.14 Mojave?

And this also applies to AppleRAID driver too?

If this is truly so, this means that the only way to make a bootable OS backup would be to use a dedicated drive with Apple only driver.  I like to keep at least 2 backup copies of my current macOS boot drive. The implications based on this, I will need 2 separate boot drives on top of any RAID storage. That is absolutely HORRIBLE news... and REALLY complicates backup and redundancy strategies.

Am I missing another approach?

I truly hope someone is able to convince Apple that this is a poor idea and to reverse course on this.

This post was modified 2 years ago 2 times by smayer97
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Topic starter Posted : 19/10/2020 4:02 am
(@smayer97)
Eminent Member Customer

So I just found your Important Notices page on this issue:

https://srforums.wpengine.com/support/important-notices/#booting

So this answers most of my questions. So does this mean that Apple still supports booting from an Apple RAID 1 or 0 with either Mojave or Catalina? Any change with Big Sur?

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Topic starter Posted : 19/10/2020 4:18 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Apple no longer supports booting from RAID in Big Sur at all. Catalina is very difficult and you cannot install macOS onto Apple RAID.

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Posted : 19/10/2020 12:07 pm
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Yes, you must have a dedicated disk as a backup boot drive now.

One idea is using Carbon Copy Cloner to make the second copy a "disk image", so you have a restorable system. CCC knows how to handle these situatons, and is very good for that.

Users can get Apple RAID to boot Mojave by cloning. (sometimes SoftRAID volumes, but it is tricky and I do not have a realiable method to give you)

Catalina, I think it is very difficult to get an Apple RAID to boot, if not impossible. I have not spent time trying, however.

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Posted : 19/10/2020 1:40 pm
(@smayer97)
Eminent Member Customer

@softraid-support I figured that out and I was afraid of that...

Thanks for some of the pointers... in fact I came up with the same idea just yesterday regarding using disk image for a second copy... of course it is not bootable but is a fallback solution. I am familiar with and use CCC though have never tried this use yet...though I know it is fairly straightforward.

If you do come across another solution, please do post.

 

Since you have close(r) ties to Apple, I hope you can have an influence on them changing their direction on this issue...

Of course there are 2 reasons for having a boot drive on a RAID... one is immediate redundancy for immediate recoverability and the second is speed, both important issues for not only individuals but small business too (but I know you know these things).

This post was modified 2 years ago by smayer97
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Topic starter Posted : 20/10/2020 6:40 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

Apple security team won this battle. The system is going to be even further locked down with ARM. As it is, you cannot remove an internal hard drive from one computer and put it in another. the newer ARM macs will be more like iPhones in their flexibility.

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Posted : 20/10/2020 11:34 am
(@smayer97)
Eminent Member Customer

That does not sound exciting... that would turn Macs into consumables... that is quite the thought to digest.

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Topic starter Posted : 20/10/2020 11:44 am
(@softraid-support)
Member Admin

That is what I predict. There will be the "Mac Pro" models, but everything else will become consumables.

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Posted : 20/10/2020 2:02 pm
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