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MacOS compatible RAID Controller

Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
268
Motherboard
HP 14-CE0501NA
CPU
i5-8250U
Graphics
HD 620
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS, Other
I have found myself in need of a RAID array and my macOS install is suffering as a result.

Let's just make this clear: I don't want to boot off of a RAID. I need one for storage.
In an ideal world I would have a RAID that all 3 of my OSes will read. (macOS, Windows, Ubuntu).

I have switched my motherboard from AHCI to RAID mode and created a RAID using the integrated Intel controller. Windows and Ubuntu seem to be OK with this and are (now) booting just fine.

However, macOS doesn't seem to be seeing eye to eye with RAID mode. So I guess my question here is:

Would it be enough to buy a controller card (Marvell anyone?) hoping I can configure it to AHCI mode, leaving the current RAID-mode connected devices in RAID so I can boot up macOS? Also, if this works (which I doubt a little bit) - would macOS be able to read my exFAT partition off the RAID-mode Intel controller?

If not - should I just bite the bullet and buy a PCI-E RAID controller and put my RAID drives there and call it a day?

RAID controller in mind: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/2-port-highpoint-rocketraid-620-internal-pci-e-v2-x1-to-sata-6gb-s-raid-controller-card

SATA controller in mind: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AZ9T3OU/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Has anyone tried this before?

Else, can Sierra boot off a single drive when the controller is set to RAID? Clover sees the boot disk, but gives me the forbidden sign half-way through the booting sequence.

Thanks,
littlegreen
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
18
Motherboard
ASUS Prime H270M microATX
CPU
i5-7600
Graphics
Intel HD 630
Mac
iMac
Classic Mac
Centris, iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook, Quadra
Mobile Phone
iOS
I have found myself in need of a RAID array and my macOS install is suffering as a result.

Let's just make this clear: I don't want to boot off of a RAID. I need one for storage.
In an ideal world I would have a RAID that all 3 of my OSes will read. (macOS, Windows, Ubuntu).

I have switched my motherboard from AHCI to RAID mode and created a RAID using the integrated Intel controller. Windows and Ubuntu seem to be OK with this and are (now) booting just fine.

However, macOS doesn't seem to be seeing eye to eye with RAID mode. So I guess my question here is:

Would it be enough to buy a controller card (Marvell anyone?) hoping I can configure it to AHCI mode, leaving the current RAID-mode connected devices in RAID so I can boot up macOS? Also, if this works (which I doubt a little bit) - would macOS be able to read my exFAT partition off the RAID-mode Intel controller?

If not - should I just bite the bullet and buy a PCI-E RAID controller and put my RAID drives there and call it a day?

RAID controller in mind: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/2-port-highpoint-rocketraid-620-internal-pci-e-v2-x1-to-sata-6gb-s-raid-controller-card

SATA controller in mind: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AZ9T3OU/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Has anyone tried this before?

Else, can Sierra boot off a single drive when the controller is set to RAID? Clover sees the boot disk, but gives me the forbidden sign half-way through the booting sequence.

Thanks,
littlegreen
I purchase an Areca RAID card on eBay for a reasonable price with internal and external ports. Good Mac drivers updated for High Sierra. I had it working very well on Sierra until I tried upgrading to HS. Now that Unibeast is here I don’t anticipate having problems getting it working again.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
268
Motherboard
HP 14-CE0501NA
CPU
i5-8250U
Graphics
HD 620
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS, Other
I purchase an Areca RAID card on eBay for a reasonable price with internal and external ports. Good Mac drivers updated for High Sierra. I had it working very well on Sierra until I tried upgrading to HS. Now that Unibeast is here I don’t anticipate having problems getting it working again.
Would you care to share a model for the card?

Also, can you describe the RAID behaviour? Is it visible from OSes outside of macOS? How do you setup the array - via OS or via BIOS? Or a third-party(manufacturer's) utility?

It's important to me to be able to mount it in both Windows and macOS (hence my leaning towards exFAT fs)
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
18
Motherboard
ASUS Prime H270M microATX
CPU
i5-7600
Graphics
Intel HD 630
Mac
iMac
Classic Mac
Centris, iBook, Power Mac, PowerBook, Quadra
Mobile Phone
iOS
Would you care to share a model for the card?

Also, can you describe the RAID behaviour? Is it visible from OSes outside of macOS? How do you setup the array - via OS or via BIOS? Or a third-party(manufacturer's) utility?

It's important to me to be able to mount it in both Windows and macOS (hence my leaning towards exFAT fs)
The card I purchased on eBay was the Areca ARC1880IXL-12. It has Windows, Linux, and Mac drivers all available from their website. There are several ways to setup the array--onboard Bios, Windows and Mac desktop utility, and also via the internal card web server, either from a local browser or over the network. So far it's worked great. Think this model is the oldest version that supports PCIe, the older versions are PCI-X. Newwer models will cost closer to $1,000 used, but the one I got was only $200. It supports SAS drives and SATA drives. Good luck!

I'll let you know when I have it working again and send some screenshots. Should be later this week.

-John
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
268
Motherboard
HP 14-CE0501NA
CPU
i5-8250U
Graphics
HD 620
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS, Other
Thank you for the info!

That card falls heavily out of my budget though.

Has anyone tried booting off a different controller to see if the integrated controller in RAID mode is readable in OSX?
Or the other way around?

Or anything below $100 that works? I only need two ports for mechanical drives, so even SATA-2 will do. It definitely will not bottleneck the transfer.

EDIT: Just found this gem: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LSI-3ware-9650SE-PCIe-2-Port-SATA-RAID-Controller-Card/291939992555?epid=2038199324&hash=item43f8fac3eb:g:WjgAAOSwXyVYJe3O

The Owner's manual says it is fully compatible with OSX - just trying to find out which versions it supports - and I might be ordering it.

I'll let you know how it goes!

happy hacking!
littlegreen
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
268
Motherboard
HP 14-CE0501NA
CPU
i5-8250U
Graphics
HD 620
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS, Other
Well,

After all said and done I opted for this little thing here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AZ9T264/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Sierra reads and writes to the RAID array just fine formatted in exFAT.
The controller is recognized as Marvell Raid Controller - OS sees one drive only, autmounts no problem.

All in all, considering the price of the board - I am very happy with the results!!!

Happy hacking!
littlegreen
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
52
Motherboard
HP 8300
CPU
I7-3770
Graphics
GTX 1030
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
iBook, iMac, Plus, Power Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
Well,

After all said and done I opted for this little thing here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AZ9T264/?tag=tonymacx86-21

Sierra reads and writes to the RAID array just fine formatted in exFAT.
The controller is recognized as Marvell Raid Controller - OS sees one drive only, autmounts no problem.

All in all, considering the price of the board - I am very happy with the results!!!

Happy hacking!
littlegreen

Any idea on one with a low profile mount option?
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
268
Motherboard
HP 14-CE0501NA
CPU
i5-8250U
Graphics
HD 620
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS, Other
Any idea on one with a low profile mount option?
The one I linked above actually arrived with a low profile bracket included in the package.

Mind you, this is the UK-based amazon warehouse. If you're buying somewhere else it might be worth asking before ordering.

EDIT: Also, it's very important that the Marvell controller on the board is exactly 9230 and not 9235 or any other number. That's what I gather from my research online. Plus it works :)

Also, note that this is PCI-E x2 - so have a good look at what slots you have available on your mobo - I had to use my secondary x16 slot intended for CrossFire graphics. Kinda sits in front of one of the GPU fans, but not a major issue.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
290
Motherboard
Thinkpad T61-Clover
CPU
T9300/ICH8M
Graphics
Quadro NVS 140m, 1280x800
Mac
MacBook Pro
I'm currently using the card below (< $33 USD at Amazon) in non-RAID mode and it works fine in Mojave 10.14.6 (with AHCI_3rdParty_Sata.kext). I haven't tried a RAID configuration yet, but would love to hear anyone's experience with this card in a RAID configuration.

I/O Crest 4 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x2 HyperDuo RAID Hard Drive Controller Card
 
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