Thunderbay 4 RAID stuck on "Preparing 'Time Machine'"
I believe in Big Sur, Time Machine does not work correctly with non APFS volumes. Create a fresh APFS volume for Time Machine and see if it works for you.
I was able to create a RAID0 APFS and Time Machine to that.
Some of the problems I had creating APFS volumes might have been related to the situation mentioned in one of my other posts, where it appears to be necessary to unmount all APFS volumes that share the physical drive(s) in the finder before being able to create a new APFS volume.
that is correct, as SoftRAID cannot unmount APFS yet.
That did the trick! I re-initialized my 4 drives with b48 of SoftRaid and created a new Time Machine volume as APFS. Overnight it successfully backed up like 8TB of info without a hiccup.
Thank you so much.
Sorry I was so confused because for a few years I was told not to format HDDs as APFS an stick with HFS. But it worked great. And it's backing up every hour like it's supposed to.
And then of course I use CCC to clone my internal startup SSD to an external SSD via Thunderbolt 2 every other night, so if something terrible happens I can just boot from that and keep working. Clients don't want to hear sob stories about how your gear failed — they just want their work done and sent to the printer on time. So you saved my bacon.
I am not updating Big Sur to betas or anything until you tell us it's a good idea.
APFS is up to 50% slower than HFS (on rotating media), but Time Machine requires it now, I believe. It is just backing up, so performance is probably not critical.
@softraid-support Right. The initial backup seemed a bit slower but I just had my 7TB media volume back up overnight so it didn't bother me. Hourly incremental backups don't seem slower to me.
My ThunderBay had a hard drive that failed. Since it was under warranty, I returned it per a RA# and received the new unit. 4TB total storage.
I partitioned it, RAID0, with half being used for photos/video and the other half for TimeMachine. Like above, I can't get Time Machine to run--gets stuck on the "Preparing" dialog. So, the system won't back up. I attempted to use Disk Utility to reformat the Time Machine partition to APFS. No go. The other partition is HFS+, per the SoftRaid software. What is the solution? Move the whole RAID array over to Apple formats, so APFS can be accessed (SoftRaid doesn't support APFS format)? Although, if APFS is slower, that defeats the purpose of the RAID 0 configuration.
Thanks. I fought it yesterday, going back and forth between Disk Utility and the SoftRAID app (interesting, you can create APFS when doing a partition, but not when creating a volume). After a bunch of crashing, where the APFS container was rendered under the wrong hardware, it corrected itself. So, I now hav a HFS+ partition up and running, RAID0, for my regular applications, and an AFPS partition, which Time Machine recognizes (odd that Time Machine doesn't flash an error when it is directed to HFS+, it just freezes during the setup stage).
I've noted the comments above that HFS+ is actually faster for spinning media, but APFS is what Time Machine now needs to see. In any event, good conversation, above. Took more work that I expected, but it seems like all is now working. Dropbox & Time Machine now seem to be getting along on their own partitions/volumes.