Raid For Mac Mini

admin 12/13/2021
Raid For Mac Mini
  1. DataTale RACK M-100 & M-120 Mac Mini RACK enclosure is the best solution for adding one or two Mac mini server and computer to a standard rack chassis, supporting one or two Mac mini side-by-side with easy access to its main ports.
  2. CineRAID CR-H458 Hardware RAID 0, 1, 10, 3 and RAID 5, Support 4 x 3.5' Hot Swappable.

RAID 0 is a popular disk setup solution to achieve the fastest possible read and write disk speeds by splitting data between two or more hard drives. The latest version of Mac OS X High Sierra (10.13) does not allow you to simply install to any kind of RAID configuration. This has frustrated a lot of the Mac community. Until Mac OS X High Sierra officially supports RAID configurations, follow the steps below to setup a fully functional RAID 0 configuration.

*You will notbe able to install system updates from the App Store on your live RAID volume. However, see our workaround at the end of guide. *

In order to install the latest version of Mac OS X onto a RAID 0 slice, you must clone a copy of your Mac OS X installation straight to the RAID 0 drives (not a restore, such as Time Machine, which will not work). To accomplish this, you need an external hard drive and a copy of SuperDupersoftware in addition to your RAID 0 drives. We will use the same Mac machine (that will use RAID 0) to perform all the steps below. This method uses hardware RAID and is not a software RAID.

Note: We strongly recommend taking a full backup (Time Machine) to another drive just in case when performing these steps! Save yourself from an accident!

Server
  1. Use SuperDuper to clone your existing copy of Mac OS to the external drive.If you want to a fresh copy of Mac OS High Sierra instead, clone a copy of a fresh install of High Sierra to the external drive using SuperDuper.

Mac-fusion has a new Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. It ships with (2) 500GB hard drives but it’s not configured as any kind of RAID. We wanted to know how the redundancy and reduced capacity of a RAID 1 compared to the speed and size benefits of running a RAID 0. We also wanted to find the baseline speed of a non RAID setup.

Note: Be sure to complete your SuperDuper clones on the same type of Mac you will install the RAID 0 configuration on. This is important because your Mac OS High Sierra clone will have drivers and system files specific to that machines hardware.

  1. Next, boot from the cloned external drive we created. Plug in the drive and hold down the option key and choose the external drive install media.
  1. Now that we booted up from our external hard drive, we can manage our Mac’s internal hard drives and create our RAID 0 array. Remember to only create a RAID 0 array with the same model and capacity size drives.

Open Disk Utility in Applications -> Utilities and create your RAID 0 array shown below.

Go to File -> RAID Assistant

Select Striped (RAID 0)

Select your 2 internal hard drives to create the RAID array from

Name your single RAID drive. For Chunksize, choose a lower size if you will be using the RAID for regular needs (email/browsing/word processing.) For video editing, choose a higher chunk size.

Success screen appears

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  1. Open SuperDuper and copy the external drive to your new RAID 0 drive.

The copy will complete successfully. Finally, go to System Preferences -> Startup Disk and select your new drive and restart. The first restart may take a little time as your boot files load for the first time.

You can confirm your successful RAID 0 in Disk Utility.

If system updates are available in the app store they will appear, but do not attempt to install them. Your computer will fail installing them and you will likely damage your OS installation! App Store Application updates will install OK. See below workaround.

Install Mac OS 10.13 System Updates on RAID drive

  1. Time Machine backup your current RAID Mac OS System.
Raid for mac mini keyboard
  1. Boot to recovery mode. Destroy your RAID drive configuration and reate 2 separate Mac OS Journaled disks.
  1. Time machine recover to one of the two disks, boot up, and install updates from App Store.
  1. After updates are installed, create a new Time Machine Backup.
  1. Use SuperDuper to create a clone of your Mac OS with installed updates.
  1. Finally, boot from a different Mac OS High Sierra install disk. Create your RAID configuration and restore (using Disk Utility) or copy (Using SuperDuper) back to your RAID drive configuration.

Now you have the latest Mac OS X system updates installed on your RAID O configuration drive again. The entire process took us under 1 hour using SSD drives and USB 3.0.


If you’ve purchased a Mac mini Server you’ll realize that the default configuration is two 500GB hard drives. If you do not need more than 500GB of storage you can use that second drive to add redundancy. By mirroring the two drives together you have the ability withstand a drive failure and not lose any data. However, it does not replace a standard backup policy! You mirror the drives by setting up a software RAID. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, and there are many levels of RAID configuration. The one we are focusing on is RAID 1 or “mirroring”. Heres how to easily make the change over to RAID 1:

Note:These directions are not intended for OS X 10.7 Lion.

First things first. We have no DVD drive in a Mac mini Server. You can easily remedy this by using a USB DVD drive (hold down “C” while turning your mini on). The other option is to use another computer’s DVD drive. To do that, follow the steps in the Apple Knowledge Base Article link below. We want to boot off the OS X Server disk that was included with the mini.

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Once we’ve booted the OS X Server disk and selected your language, you’ll want to use the Disk Utility program under the Utilities menu. Use the RAID tab and drag both drives over to create a new mirrored set. Warning, you will lose any data on these drives.* Create a standard Mac OS Extended Journaled volume. Apply your changes and exit the Disk Utility. Continue installing OS X to the destination drive (RAID Volume) you just created. See the following Apple Knowledge Base Article for details more details.

[appleKB]HT2559[/appleKB]

Important! Monitoring the status of your RAID is important. We offer a discount to our customers to purchase RAID Monitor 3

Raid For Mac Mini Keyboard

*Update: If you are brave and your data is backed up (we always recommend you have a good backup policy) – you can try to use the Terminal after booting off the OS X disk instead of the Disk Utility to build the array without destroying data:

Raid For Mac Mini Hard Drive

You can then reboot and add the second drive to the RAID and kick off the rebuild.

You can open Disk Utility and click into the RAID volume and use the rebuild button under the RAID tab to kick off the rebuild process. You can check up on the status of the rebuild by re-running the checkRAID command: