OWC Gemini (2.5GbE)

Support Manual

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Introduction

1.1 System Requirements

Operating System

  • Mac: macOS 12 or later
  • PC: Windows 10 or later
  • Other: ChromeOS (latest version recommended) & iPadOS 15 or later

Hardware

  • Works with any Mac, PC, or tablet with a Thunderbolt (USB-C) port
    • iPad requires a Thunderbolt connection

Supported Drives

  • 3.5”/ 2.5” SATA HDDs/SSD
  • 3.5”/ 2.5” NVMe U.2 SSDs/adapters
    • OWC U2 ShuttleOne sold separately: go.owc.com/shuttleone
    • Hardware RAID configurations are not supported. NVMe U.2 SSDs and adapters can be formatted as an individual drive.

    Supported Flash Media

    • SD (up to 4.0 UHS-II) Cards

    1.2 Package Contents

    • (1) OWC Gemini
    • (1) Thunderbolt cable
    • (1) External power supply
    • (1) Power cable
    • (1) 3 Years of SoftRAID Premium Access (License located on bottom of device)

    1.3 Front View

    A. (2) Drive Status LEDs – Solid red for SATA disk errors or missing disks. Blinks green during SATA drive activity. Blinks blue during U.2 drive activity.
    Note: Red LED indication for missing or failed drives is disabled for U.2 drives and drives used in Independent Mode

    B. (1) Power LED – Solid white when connected to power. Solid blue when connected to both power and an active system.

    C. (1) SD Media Slot – Supports SD 4.0 in UHS-II (Ultra High Speed II) with bus speed up to 312 MB/s (full duplex) or 156 MB/s (half duplex).

      1.4 Rear View

      A. (2) USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A hub ports – Supports USB devices with a Type-A connection

      B. (1) Ethernet port – Left LED will show Green for 10M/100M/1G connections. Left LED will show orange for 2.5G connection. Right LED will show green for an established link and blink green during network activity.

      C. (2) OWC ClingOn ready cable stabilizer mounts – OWC ClingOn can further secure Thunderbolt (USB-C) device cables(s). (Sold separately at go.owc.com/clingon).

      D. (2) Thunderbolt 3 ports – 40Gb/s, 27W Dynamic Power Delivery. 27W delivery to primary connected system or device. 15W delivery to secondary connected system or device.

      E. (1) HDMI 2.1 port – Supports a HDMI 2.1 display.

      F. (1) Kensington Security slot – Attach a Kensington Security lock.

      G. (1) DC IN power port - Connect the power adapter to power the device.

      H. (1) RAID Set button – Press and hold to confirm the selected RAID mode.

      I. (1) RAID selector dial – Select a desired RAID mode. See Section 2.4 “Hardware RAID Configuration” for more details regarding RAID management. NOTE: Only works with SATA drives

      Getting Started

      2.1 Device Setup

      This section describes the process of setting up the OWC Gemini if purchased with pre-installed drives. The OWC Gemini is available with several assembly and configuration variations.

      • If the OWC Gemini is assembled with (2) SATA drives.
        • Both drives are configured as a Hardware RAID 0.
      • If the OWC Gemini is assembled with (1) SATA drive and (1) NVMe drive.
        • Both drives are configured as an Independent RAID.
      • If the OWC Gemini is assembled with (2) U2 ShuttleOnes for a total of (2) M.2 NVMe drives.
        • Both drives are configured as an OWC SoftRAID RAID 0.
      • If the OWC Gemini is assembled with (2) U2 Shuttles for a total of (6) M.2 NVMe drives.
        • Both drives are configured as an OWC SoftRAID RAID 0.
      1. Plug the power cable into the OWC Gemini DC IN power port located on the back and into a power outlet. The Power LED will illuminate a solid white.
      2. Connect the included Thunderbolt cable into one of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports located on the back of the OWC Gemini and into a system. The Power LED will illuminate a solid blue.
        NOTE
        : The OWC Gemini has (2) 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports with 27W Dynamic Power Delivery. 27W of power is delivered to the first connected system or device. 15W of power is delivered to the second connected system or device.
      3. Downloading and installing the latest version of SoftRAID is recommended to experience the best performance.
      • NOTE: OWC Gemini devices come bundled with "3 Years of SoftRAID Premium Access". Please visit OWC SoftRAID Product Details for more information regarding SoftRAID and the bundled Premium Access.
      • NOTE: The OWC SoftRAID license is located on the bottom of the OWC Gemini.

        Mac OWC SoftRAID Setup

        Windows OWC SoftRAID Setup

        • If you are using the OWC Gemini with the Windows operating system, the pre-installed drives need to be reconfigured before they can be used. The following options will allow the Mac formatted OWC Gemini to work as a Windows formatted device.

        2.2 Assembly Options

        The OWC Gemini offers multiple drive and RAID configuration options. This device supports 3.5”/ 2.5” SATA and NVMe U.2 drives/adapters.
        NOTE: Hardware RAID configurations are not supported with NVMe U.2 SSDs. NVMe U.2 SSDs can be formatted as an individual drive. Installing only (1) NVMe M.2 SSDs via adapter per drive bay is recommended.

        • (2) SATA HDDs configured as a Hardware RAID 0, 1, Independent, or Span.
        • (1) M.2 NVMe SSD assembled in (1) U.2 adapter (ShuttleOne) formatted as an individual drive, and (1) SATA HDDs configured as a Hardware RAID Independent.
        • (2) M.2 NVMe SSDs assembled in (2) U.2 adapters (ShuttleOne) formatted as individual drives.

        2.3 Assembly Steps

        This section describes the process of installing drives into the OWC Gemini if purchased as a bare enclosure. For maximum performance install identical drives, then configure them using SoftRAID.

        1. Begin by placing the device on a static free work surface and remove the two screws from the back of the enclosure. Store the screws for reassembly. Pull on the front edge of the enclosure so the inner chassis slides out until fully removed.

          2. Set the inner chassis flat on the work surface and place a 3.5”/ 2.5” SATA or U.2 drive/adapter into the drive housing. The label should be facing upwards. Carefully seat the drive. Minimal force is needed.
          NOTE: If there is any data on the drives being installed, changing the RAID mode will result in data loss.

            3. Affix the drive to the inner chassis. Holes for 3.5” drive screws are circled in red, and the hole for a 2.5” drive screw is circled in yellow.
            NOTE: Only one drive screw is required for 2.5” drives, and (8) drive screws ((4) on each side) for 3.5” drives.

            4. Ensure the ports on the back of the inner chassis and the port cut-outs on the back of the outer enclosure are oriented the same way, then slide the inner chassis into the outer enclosure so that the chassis’ front plate is flush with the cover’s front edge.

            5. Secure the outer and inner chassis using the screws removed in Step 1.

            6. The installed drives are ready to be formatted. Please move onto Section 2.4 "Hardware RAID Configuration" or Section 2.5 “Software RAID Configuration Options” for instructions on how to format and configure the OWC Gemini.

            2.4 Hardware RAID Configuration

            This section describes the process of configuring or reconfiguring the OWC Gemini RAID mode.
            NOTE: If there is any data on the drives being installed, changing the RAID mode will result in data loss.
            NOTE: Hardware RAID configurations are not supported with NVMe U.2 SSDs. NVMe U.2 SSDs can be formatted as an individual drive.

            1. Plug the power cable into the OWC Gemini DC IN power port located on the back and into a power outlet. The Power LED will illuminate a solid white.
            2. Connect the included Thunderbolt cable into one of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports located on the back of the OWC Gemini and into a system. The Power LED will illuminate a solid blue.
              NOTE: The OWC Gemini has (2) 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports with 27W Dynamic Power Delivery. 27W of power is delivered to the first connected system or device. 15W of power is delivered to the second connected system or device.
            3. Select the desired RAID mode by rotating the RAID dial using a paper-clip or flat-head screwdriver. You should feel al slight click each time the arrow is aligned with a new RAID mode.
              • The RAID mode is controlled by a dial near the bottom-right corner on the rear plate, in combination with the RAID set button which is just to the left of the dial.
            4. Once the RAID mode has been selected, using a paper-clip or pin, press and hold the RAID Set button for 3-5 seconds. The RAID mode will be set after releasing the button and the volume(s) are ready to be formatted.
              NOTE: The button should remain pressed until the new volume(s) appear on the Desktop and/or a notice is displayed to format the new volume(s).
              • PC Users: The new volume(s) should appear in Disk Management.
              • Mac Users: The new volume(s) should appear in Disk Utility and a notice will be displayed to format the new volume(s).
            5. Formatting information is available by visiting go.owc.com/storage/formatting.

            RAID 0 “Drive Striping” Mode

            • The two drives show up as a single large disk with a size equal to the combined capacities of both drives. RAID 0 is used when speed is the primary objective; it does not provide data redundancy for protection. The reading and writing of data files are spread across both drives to gain speed by distributing the workload. This allows for the fastest data transfer rates, but if one drive fails the whole array becomes corrupted. The data will be lost.
            • Identical SATA drives (model, capacity, firmware) are required.
            • Not supported with NVMe U.2 drives.

            RAID 1 “Drive Mirroring” Mode

            • The two drives show up as a single disk with a size equal to the capacity of a single drive from the array. RAID 1 copies (or “mirrors”) the data from the first drive to the second drive. This is useful when reliability and redundancy are more important than capacity or maximum speed. When one drive fails, it can be replaced, and the data can be rebuilt automatically from the other functioning drive. See Section 2.5 “Replacing Drives” for more details on the drive replacement and rebuild process.
            • Identical SATA drives (model, capacity, firmware) are required.
            • Not supported with NVMe U.2 drives.

            Span Mode

            • Both drives show up as a single large disk, but one which functions differently than RAID 0. The total size will depend on the drives installed; unlike RAID 0 or RAID 1 you can use drives of different capacities. A span is an array (but not a RAID) in which the data is written sequentially across the drives. When one drive becomes full, subsequent data is written to the second drive. This combines the capacities of the drives, but it does not provide any performance or data redundancy benefits.
            • Not supported with NVMe U.2 drives.

            Independent Drive Mode

            • Each drive will appear individually without being combined. If you are using U.2 SSDs, drives of differing capacity and model, or if you are using only one drive, this is the mode to use. The Red LED indication for missing or failed drives is disabled for U.2 drives and drives used in Independent Mode.

            2.5 RAID Configuration Options

            OWC SoftRAID RAID Configuration

            • Downloading and installing the latest version of OWC SoftRAID is recommended to experience the best performance from the OWC Gemini.
              • NOTE: OWC Gemini devices come bundled with "3 Years of SoftRAID Premium Access". Please visit OWC SoftRAID Product Details for more information regarding SoftRAID and the bundled Premium Access.
            • SoftRAID will assist with formatting the installed drives and setting up a RAID volume.
              • NOTE: The OWC SoftRAID license is located on the bottom of the OWC Gemini.

            Mac OWC SoftRAID Setup

            Windows OWC SoftRAID Setup

            Mac RAID Configurator

            1. Open the “Disk Utility” application on your Mac.
            2. Choose “File” and select “RAID Assistant”.
            3. Select a set type:
              • Striped (RAID 0) set: A striped RAID set can speed up access to your data. You can’t create a RAID set on your startup disk; you must first start up your computer from another disk.
              • Mirrored (RAID 1) set: Protect your data against hardware failure with a mirrored RAID set. When you create a mirrored RAID set, your data is written to multiple disks so the information is stored redundantly. You can’t create a RAID set on your startup disk; you must first start up your computer from another disk.
              • Concatenated (JBOD) set: Increase storage space with a concatenated disk set. If you need one large disk, but you have several smaller disks, you can create a concatenated disk set to use as one large disk.
            4. Select the checkboxes of the disks you want to include in the set.
            5. For each disk, click the pop-up menu in the Role column and choose “RAID slice” or “Spare” to designate the disk as a standard member or spare in the set, then click Next.
            6. Enter a name for the RAID set in the RAID Name field.
            7. Click the Format pop-up menu, then choose a volume format that you want for all the disks in the set. (See File system formats available in Disk Utility.)
            8. Click the “Chunk size” pop-up menu, then choose a disk chunk size that you want used for all the disks.
              1. When you create a striped set, chunks of data from the same file are distributed across the drives. Ideally, you want data distributed across drives evenly and at an optimum size so that it can be efficiently accessed. If you want high data throughput from your set, choose a smaller chunk size so that data is spread across the drives and one drive can be accessing data while another is seeking the next chunk. With mirrored disk sets, choose a chunk size that matches the data you’re accessing. For example, when working with video files, your Mac is accessing large chunks of data, whereas when using a database of many small records, your disks may be accessing smaller chunks of information.
            9. If you are creating a mirrored RAID set, select the “Automatically rebuild” checkbox to allow the set to be automatically rebuilt when member disks are reconnected
            10. Click "Create" and then click "Done".

            Device Management

            3.1 Drive Failure

            • If one of the SATA drives in RAID 1, 0, or Span fails (or is missing or not connected properly), the corresponding drive LED on the front of the device will light up a solid red.
            • If the OWC Gemini was configured as a RAID 0, the data on the array is lost and the disk is no longer usable.
            • When in Span, only the data stored on the failed drive is lost, although data recovery software will be required to retrieve the data from the other drive.
            • If the drives were configured into Independent mode, then the data on the drive that did not fail will remain intact.

            3.2 Replacing Drives

            • If the Gemini is set up as a RAID 1, a drive that has failed can be replaced to rebuild the array. The data will remain accessible via the functioning drive until the array is rebuilt with a new drive.
            • Drives being used as a RAID 0, Independent, or Span don’t have a rebuild option as the data is loss. If the enclosure was purchased with drives and it is still under warranty, contact OWC technical support for assistance (see Section 4.4 “Contacting Support”). If the unit is outside its warranty or was purchased without drives, follow the assembly instructions to access and replace the failed drive.
              NOTE: A failed drive must be replaced with an identical drive (model, capacity, firmware)
              NOTE: The OWC Gemini needs an active data signal to remain powered on. If it is disconnected from the computer, or if the computer goes to sleep or turns off, the device will power off. To minimize the rebuild time, it is recommended to keep the device connected to the computer (with the computer powered on), and disable any drive sleep settings on the computer for the duration of the rebuild. While rebuilding, the Drive LED indicator of the original drive has a slow pulsing green light, and the Drive LED indicator of the new drive will light up a solid red. The Drive LED indicator statuses will return to normal once the rebuild process is complete.

            3.3 OWC Disk Performance

            As of Windows 10 v. 1809 the default Disk Removal Policy is ‘Quick removal’ instead of ‘Better performance’.

            NOTE: OWC storage solutions that are experiencing slow read/write speeds should consider checking and changing the Windows disk removal policy. Changing from "Quick removal" to "Better performance" can increase disk performance. OWC offers the application OWC Disk Performance to help change the Disk Removal Policy. Changing from "Quick removal" to "Better performance" can also be changed through OWC SoftRAID or manually through the operating system.

            Please review the support article Storage Solutions: OWC Disk Performance for additional details.

            3.4 Manually Unmounting Volumes

            To ensure no data is lost during normal use, always eject or unmount the corresponding volume(s) from the operating system before powering off and disconnecting the device. Unmounting options are provided below.

            macOS

            1. Drag the icon for the device you wish to unmount to the trash can; OR
            2. Right-click the device icon on the desktop, then click “Eject”; OR
            3. Highlight the device on your Desktop and press Command-E.

            Windows

            • Windows 10 build 1809 (October 2018) or later:
              • Eject the drive by clicking the ‘Show hidden items’ menu in the Taskbar, then clicking ‘Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’, and last select the ‘Eject’ option for this volume.
            • Windows 10 build 1803 and earlier:
              • Go to the System Tray (located in the lower right corner of your screen). Click on the “Eject” icon (a small green arrow over a hardware image).
              • A message will appear, detailing the devices that the “Eject” icon controls, i.e., “Safely remove...” Click on this prompt.
              • You will then see a message that says, “Safe to Remove Hardware.” It is now safe to disconnect the device from the computer.

            3.5 OWC Innergize Software

            • A software application included with OWC Atlas media cards that currently provides three basic functionalities to the user: Health, Sanitize and Field Firmware Upgradability.
              • The Health function allows the user to know how much life is left on their OWC Atlas media card
              • Sanitize removes ghost data on OWC Atlas media cards which will allow the media cards to perform at their peak and out of factory condition performance in matter of seconds
              • Field Firmware upgradability allows OWC to deliver live updates to our memory cards without the hassle of sending them in for an update.

            Installing OWC Innergize

            3.6 Usage Notes

            • Identical SATA drives (model, capacity, firmware) are required for RAID 1 and RAID 0 configurations.
              • Hardware RAID configurations are not supported with NVMe U.2 SSDs. NVMe U.2 SSDs can be formatted as an individual drive.
            • U.2 drive performance will depend on the used drive bay.
              • U.2 interface in Drive Bay A is PCIe x1 (770MB/s benchmarked performance).
              • U.2 interface in Drive Bay B is PCIe x2 (1512MB/s benchmarked performance).
            • Requires 2.5Gbs Ethernet compatible hardware components and cabling (Cat 5e cable minimum, Cat 6 or later strongly recommended).
              • The cable type, i.e Cat5e, Cat 6a, is a silkscreen located physically on the cable. Inspecting the cable will help you identify the cable type.
            • Use of HDMI display via thunderbolt port requires USB-C to HDMI adapter. (Sold separately at go.owc.com/nwt/usbchdmiadapter.).
            • USB ports on the back of the OWC Gemini are backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.
            • Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 device compatibility requires a certified Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 (mDP) adapter and a Thunderbolt 2 cable.
            • Compatibility and performance will be at Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 speeds. (Sold separately at go.owc.com/apple/tb3tb2adapter).
            • Experienced display support will vary among systems. Please consult the system manufacture specifications to determine the maximum supported resolution, refresh rate, color depth, and number of external displays over Thunderbolt.
            • The OWC Gemini has (2) 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 ports with 27W Dynamic Power Delivery. 27W of power is delivered to first connected system or device. 15W of power is delivered to the second connected system or device.
            • 1229MB/s write, and 1512MB/s read peak performance with 1 x 2.0TB Western Digital U.2 SSD in OWC Gemini PCIe x2 bay connected to a 13-inch MacBook Pro 2016 (MacBookPro13,2) with 8GB RAM and 2.9GHz processor running AJA System Test (4K-Full resolution, 16GB file size, 16 bit RGBA codec, single file test).

            Support Resources

            4.1 Troubleshooting

            • Begin by verifying that the power cable is connected to the Gemini and to a power source. If the power cable is connected to a power strip, make sure that the power strip switch is in the ON position. Next, verify that each end of the data cable is properly plugged into the computer and the Gemini, respectively. If you are still having trouble, try connecting a different Thunderbolt 3 cable and see if the Gemini works properly; you can also connect the device to a different computer.
            • If one of the drive LEDs (Drive 1 or Drive 2) lights up a solid red, then that drive has failed, is not fully connected, or is missing. If you purchased the Gemini as an empty enclosure, or the enclosure shipped with drives installed but is past the three-year warranty period, unmount the disk from the OS, power off, and replace the drive as outline d in Section 2.3 “Assembly Steps”. If the Gemini is configured as a RAID 1 and the rebuild LED is pulsing, please wait for the rebuild process to complete. If the rebuild LED is still blinking after more than 48 hours, or if you still need assistance for other reasons, please contact our Support team.
            • If issues continue to occur, please know that OWC support is here to help. Contacting support information can be found in Section 4.4. Please have your serial number ready which is located on the bottom of the OWC Gemini and printed on the original packaging

            4.2 Online Resources

            4.3 About Data Backup

            To ensure that your files are protected and to prevent data loss, we strongly suggest that you keep two copies of your data: one copy on your OWC Gemini and a second copy on either your internal drive or another storage medium, such as an optical backup, or on another external storage unit. Any data loss or corruption while using the OWC Gemini is the sole responsibility of the user, and under no circumstances may OWC, its parents, partners, affiliates, officers, employees, or agents be held liable for loss of the use of data including compensation of any kind or recovery of the data.

            4.4 Contacting Support

            4.5 About This Manual

            The images and descriptions may vary slightly between this manual and the unit shipped. Functions and features may change depending on the firmware version. The latest product details and warranty information can be found on the product web page. OWC’s Limited Warranty is not transferable and

            General Use Precautions

            • Read this user guide carefully and follow all recommended usage steps and precautions.
            • To avoid damage, do not expose the device to temperatures outside the following ranges:
              • Environmental (Operating)
                • Temperature (ºF): 41º — 95º
                • Temperature (ºC): 5º — 35º
              • Environmental (Non-Operating)
                • Temperature (ºF): -4º — 140º
                • Temperature (ºC): -20º — 60º
            • Always unplug the device from the electrical outlet if there is a risk of lightning or if it will be unused for an extended period of time. Otherwise, there is an increased risk of electrical shock, short-circuiting or fire.
            • Do not use the device near other electrical appliances such as televisions, radios or speakers. Doing so may cause interference which will adversely affect the operation of the other products.
            • Protect your device from excessive exposure to dust during use or storage. Dust can build up inside the device, increasing the risk of damage or malfunction.
            • Do not block any ventilation openings on the device. These help to keep the device cool during operation. Blocking the ventilation openings may cause damage to the device and cause an increased risk of short circuiting or fire.

            Safety Precautions

            • Read this user guide carefully and follow the recommended steps for assembly.
            • Use proper anti-static precautions while installing drives into this enclosure. Failure to do so can cause damage to your drive mechanisms and/or the enclosure.
            • Do not attempt to disassemble or modify the device. To avoid any risk of electrical shock, fire, short-circuiting or dangerous emissions, never insert any metallic object into the device. If it appears to be malfunctioning, please contact technical support.
            • Never expose your device to rain, or use it near water or in damp or wet conditions. Never place objects containing liquids on the drive, as they may spill into its openings. Doing so increases the risk of electrical shock, short-circuiting, fire or personal injury.

            Caution!

            User proper anti-static precautions

            1. Discharge static electricity before beginning
            2. Work on a static free surface

            Terms & Conditions of Sale

            Warranty

            OWC’s products are subject to OWC’s Terms & Conditions of Sale located at Terms of Sale or other applicable terms. The OWC Gemini comes with a 3-Year Limited Warranty when sold with drives, and a 1-Year Limited Warranty when sold without drives. Additional warranty information can be viewed by visiting Hardware Warranties.

            Changes

            The material in this document is for information purposes only and subject to change without notice. While reasonable efforts have been made in the preparation of this document to assure its accuracy, OWC, its parent, partners, affiliates, officers, employees, and agents assume no liability resulting from errors or omissions in this document, or from the use of the information contained herein. OWC reserves the right to make changes or revisions in the product design or the product manual without reservation and without obligation to notify any person of such revisions and changes.

            FCC Statement

            Warning! Modifications not authorized by the manufacturer may void the user’s authority to operate this device.
            NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference with radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

            • Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
            • Increase the separation between the equipment and receiver.
            • Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.

            Copyrights and Trademarks

            No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of OWC.

            © 2023 Other World Computing, Inc. All rights reserved. Gemini, OWC and the OWC logo are trademarks of New Concepts Development Corporation, registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. Mac and macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Thunderbolt and the Thunderbolt logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other marks may be the trademark or registered trademark property of their owners.

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