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Update on SoftRAID and Mac OS X 10.7.4 Volume Mounting

See the May 11 post.

Timothy Standing of SoftRAID follows up:

Shortly after the release of the 10.7.4 update, we started to see SoftRAID users who were unable to mount any SoftRAID volumes on their 10.7.4 systems. This bug affected only about 2% of our users. After investigating further, we discovered that it only affected 10.7.4 users who were using Macs that did not support the 64 bit kernel. This is limited to the earlier generations of Intel Macs (e.g. the first two generations of Mac Pros, the MacPro 1,1 and Mac Pro 2,1). These are the same Macs which will not be able to run Mountain Lion.

We then started working with Apple engineers to determine the root cause of the problem and to develop a fix for it. While working with Apple engineers, we discovered was that Apple had disabled one of the two sets of read / write calls in 10.7.4. Before 10.7.4, volume drivers could use one of two types of read / write calls for transferring data to and from a volume, the older one which was introduced in 10.0 and a newer one introduced in 10.6. Since SoftRAID still supports any Macs running 10.4, we used the older one when running in the 32 bit kernel and the newer one when running the 64 bit kernel (the 64 bit kernel was introduced with 10.6). When Apple disabled the older one in 10.7.4, all read / write calls to SoftRAID volumes would fail when they were made with the older set calls, i.e. on Macs running the 32 bit kernel.

We have just released a beta version of SoftRAID, 4.3.2 b9, which works around this problem by using the newer set of read write calls whenever a user is running 10.7. It is available by sending email to support@softraid.com. We will be releasing a final version of SoftRAID 4.3.2 in the next two weeks.

This same problem also affected other drivers on the Mac. For instance, some of the cards from Sonnet Technologies, Inc. experienced the same problem. They have released new drivers for their products which allows volumes to mount correctly when running 10.7.4 with a 32 bit kernel. Please see their web site (http://www.sonnettech.com/support/) for driver updates.

MPG: More and more caution seems to be needed with Apple system software updates these days, when cavalier changes like this are thrown in (disabling system calls in a minor release is reckless at best). PGP Software was also broken in 10.7.4.


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