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Walkthrough: creating a RAID-0 Stripe in SoftRAID

Last updated 2015-12-12 - Send Feedback
Related: macOS, RAID, RAID-0, RAID-4, RAID-5, SoftRAID, SSD, storage, Thunderbolt, video

See general overview in Software RAID Creation in SoftRAID.

This page shows how easy it is to create a software RAID-0 stripe using SoftRAID for OS X. First, a quick FAQ:

  • On OS X, the SoftRAID driver is already part of OS X, so a RAID created with SoftRAID means that it can be used on any Mac without installing anything. Moreover, the driver is on the RAID volume itself, so a RAID can be freely plugged on another Mac (without the SoftRAID application).
  • Since the driver is for OS X only, a SoftRAID RAID cannot be used on a Windows PC.

Getting SoftRAID

With the in demise of Disk Utility, now SoftRAID (or SoftRAID Lite) is the best and only choice for RAID on OS X, unless one enjoys the severe risk of wiping out the wrong drives at the command line (Terminal). SoftRAID also has drive health and monitoring features, so MPG heartily recommends it.

For users looking for RAID-0 striping and/or RAID-1 mirroring, SoftRAID Lite is only $39. For RAID-4 and RAID-5 and RAID-10, the full version of SoftRAID is required (also bundled with the various OWC RAID-5 edition products, like the OWC Thunderbay 4.

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#1 Uninitialized drives

Four OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6GB 1TB* SSDs were installed into an OWC Thunderbay 4 Mini.

* 1TB flash, 960GB usable after over-provisioning.

Four uninitialized 1TB SSDs as seen in SoftRAID 5.1

#2 Initializing the drives

Select all four drives, then choose Disk => Initialize... from the menu. SoftRAID prompts for confirmation.

Confirmation dialog for initializing drives in SoftRAID

Confirming starts the initialization. SoftRAID is smart enough to initialize all drives simultaneously.

Simultaneous initialization of four 1TB SSDs in SoftRAID 5.1

#3 Create the volume

Select all four drives (now initialized), then choose Volume => New .... SoftRAID prompts for confirmation. Choose Stripe for a RAID-0 Stripe, enter a volume name, then click Create.

More than one volume can be created if desired—such two volumes each using half the capacity. Simple repeat the steps, using the desired Volume Size.

Simultaneous initialization of four 1TB SSDs in SoftRAID 5.1

Click Create to create the volume. The prompt for stripe size can be clicked-through at 64KB.

Simultaneous initialization of four 1TB SSDs in SoftRAID 5.1

#4 Done

The resulting volume is shown.

SoftRAID info for 3.84 TB RAID-0 stripe volume in SoftRAID 5.1
Finder info for 3.84 TB volume

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