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SOFTRAID USER STORY: 3½ YEARS AFTER INITIAL SETUP, SOFTRAID SAVES CRUCIAL DATA AT FUTUREPROOF RECORDS

August 23, 2017

Background:

Futureproof Records, a UK music distribution company, needed a system to store and protect a large amount of crucially important files and applications. So, in January 2014, they installed OWC’s SoftRAID RAID 4 software on a Mac Pro 5.1 running Mac OS 10.8.5 Mountain Lion. FutureProof had essential applications running on their Mac Pro, which required them to keep the older Mountain Lion Mac OS instead of upgrading to the latest OS. Their original configuration with the initial install of SoftRAID 4 has been running continuously since setup.

Two or three times after January 2014, Futureproof’s Mac Pro crashed. After each crash, SoftRAID 4 alerted them that due to the crash, their mirror volume was out of sync. Then SoftRAID successfully rebuilt the mirror volume to restore their data. The Mac OS was never updated and neither was the version of SoftRAID.

How SoftRAID Predicted Disk Failure Before Any Evidence Appeared:

SoftRAID - Disk Predicted to Fail Based on SMART Data
Fast forward to July 9, 2017: three and a half years after initial setup, SoftRAID 4 popped up a dialog box, saying: “Disk predicted to fail” even though the system appeared to be running fine. Futureproof President Phil Legg was concerned. He was advised by SoftRAID’s online help to generate a technical support file and send it to SoftRAID tech support. When he launched SoftRAID to create the file, he discovered that one of the disks had a “Failure Predicted” alert -- a much more critical issue. Disk sectors were being reallocated at an alarming rate. Legg immediately emailed SoftRAID for a solution.

“ No matter how old the version, we stand by our software and its ability to protect the user against the disaster of disk failure” —SoftRAID Team

Futureproof was using an older, unsupported version of SoftRAID v. 4.5.4 (the current version is 5.6.1). There are not many companies who would rush to help someone using older unsupported versions of their software, but SoftRAID stands by its software and its customers. Mark James at SoftRAID technical support got back to Legg right away, telling him that his disk urgently needed replacing. James explained that when a disk starts reallocating sectors that quickly, the disk is in a death spiral and may not last even a few days. Futureproof ordered new disks on the spot.

James also noted that the RAID 0 mirror disks Futureproof were using for their SoftRAID volume had over 30,000 hours of use each and were at the end of their expected life. In addition, the system’s older Hitachi boot disk had over 50,000 hours of use — well past the expected lifetime of that drive. The disks have now been replaced and the Mac Pro is still in service and still running Mountain Lion. Futureproof has upgraded its version of SoftRAID to 5.6.1—the latest version—to take advantage of the even greater protection and extra features it offers, such as displaying reallocation sector counts directly in the disk tile.

“It was very reassuring when the SoftRAID warning popped up letting us know of an imminent problem before it happened. I’d advise all small companies to consider SoftRAID for their data-storage needs. Many thanks!” said Phil Legg, President, FutureProof Records.

SoftRAID Believes in Happy Endings:

A story with a happy ending and a satisfied customer is due to the SoftRAID team’s belief that no matter how old the version of SoftRAID, they stand by their software and its ability to protect the user against the disaster of disk failure. SoftRAID also believes in providing amazing technical support with virtually round-the-clock service to ensure that their customers get the help they need and keep their data safe. For more information on SoftRAID, see: www.softraid.com or visit SoftRAID on Facebook: facebook.com/softraid.

About SoftRAID & OWC Holdings, Inc.:

Based in Mill Valley, California, SoftRAID was founded in 1996 by a team of Mac software engineers to provide high quality storage solutions for Mac OS. The company’s founders have worked with disk drives on Mac OS since the Mac Plus shipped in 1986. Available for Mac OS X since 2003, SoftRAID has earned its reputation as a rock solid product with great technical support -- the first to market with many key features, including fast mirror rebuilds, full email notifications, bootable RAID volumes, disk certification, RAID volume validation, TRIM support on all RAID Levels, disk failure prediction, and more. In 2014, SoftRAID was acquired by OWC, the leading manufacturer and upgrade provider for Apple and PC enthusiasts, and renamed OWC Holdings, Inc. SoftRAID is included with all preconfigured OWC ThunderBay RAID enclosures and will power the upcoming OWC Mercury Viper SSD that offers read speeds of 4.6 GB/s and write speeds of 4.0 GB/s. For more information, see the websites: www.softraid.com and www.macsales.com, Facebook: facebook.com/softraid.

Photos:
SoftRAID Disk Error: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/softraiddiskerror.html
SoftRAID Disk Predicted to Fail: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/softraidsmartdata.html
Screen shot: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/softraideasysetup.html
Lifestyle: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/softraidlifestyle.html
Logo: http://www.thomas-pr.com/136/photos/softraidlogo.html
Video: https://www.facebook.com/SoftRAID/videos/324347741284991/