The night before a software release is always an exciting time. This is not because we are still changing the code up until the last minute, I usually freeze the code (stop making changes) a week before we ship as this gives us plenty of time for final testing. It’s exciting because we finally get to release what our team has spent so many months designing, coding, and testing. This release is no exception.
Not currently using softRAID? Download a free 30-day trial!
A couple of months ago, we decided to start a SoftRAID News email subscription. We will be sending out two types of email – a newsletter with tips about SoftRAID features you may not know about (and ways to take advantage of them) and a Critical Alert email. We know it would be better to alert you via email when we discover critical problems instead of hoping you stumble upon our blog posts – which we publish whenever we find a problem with macOS that affects SoftRAID volumes.
Two examples of critical problems that we have covered in the Rocket Yard blog over the past several months are:
- Why Is My Mac Hanging When Copying Files After Upgrading to macOS Catalina 10.15.4?
- Investigating & Preventing Kernel Panics in the 2019 Mac Pro
Both of these blog posts include workarounds to prevent these specific problems from occurring. Why should you have to go hunting on the web for this information when we could just email it to you when we discover it? This latest release of SoftRAID allows you to subscribe to both versions of the SoftRAID News email.
New Features in softRAID 5.8.4
We are always trying to prevent you from encountering problems with SoftRAID volumes. Version 5.8.4 adds two new features of this type.
1. 4Kn HDD & USB Enclosures
Several months ago, we were contacted by a user who was always getting a kernel panic when creating a SoftRAID volume. Our main support engineer, Mark, worked for several days to isolate the conditions which cause this problem. It turns out that if you are using a hard disk that uses 4 KB sectors (known as a 4Kn HDD) and the disk is in a USB enclosure (USB 3 or USB-C), then you will get a kernel panic every time you create a new volume. This is a bug that was introduced in macOS 10.15. This new release of SoftRAID includes a code that avoids the conditions where this bug occurs.
2. Disabling Secure Boot
As much as we find Apple’s implementation of Secure Boot cumbersome, it is here to stay. From what I’ve read on the web, the new Macs using Apple silicon won’t even load 3rd party drivers unless you disable Secure Boot. Having Secure Boot enabled also prevents the currently installed version of the SoftRAID driver from loading. This version of SoftRAID detects when Secure Boot is enabled and sends you to the Apple support page, which contains details on disabling it.
Tomorrow we will start getting feedback from users who have downloaded and installed this new version. If it is like past releases, the feedback will be overwhelmingly positive. And this is a testament to what a great software team we have here at OWC!