Mac Pro with Apple RAID Card - useful bits

Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 6, 2008
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Just wanted to post a couple of bits here about the 2009 RAID Card you can install in the 2009, 2010 and '2012' Mac Pro, based on my limited experience so far.

- Don't worry about installing it, it doesn't mess with your current setup, and requires you to poke around in RAID Utility before it'll do anything.

- Raid Utility will keep launching at login so long as you have status messages you've not dismissed.

- Apple states that Apple HDDs are required. This doesn't appear to be true; I've set up an Enhanced JBOD single drive on a bog standard 2Tb Seagate drive bought seperately, assigned it a volume, repartitioned it and currently use it as a Time Machine backup. I'll be buying some more drives and testing them out in proper RAID configurations soon.

- Apple states this won't work in tandem with BootCamp. This is sort of true; you can't boot from a BootCamp partition with the RAID card installed, nor I imagine create a BootCamp partition in the first place. The issue is that the RAID card assumes control of HDD Bays 1-4, but for obvious reasons, leaves the ODD bays alone, so to get round this, create your BootCamp partition in Bay 1 as normal, turn off your machine, install the RAID card, and move the HDD in Bay 1 to your spare ODD bay. You can get 3.5 - 5.25in drive adapters very cheaply, and there are even spare screws hidden in the ODD mounting bracket round the back!

As a side note it's worth pointing out Windows won't recognise your RAID Card, so any partitions you might want to access from Bays 1-4 are rendered inaccessible.

- Sleep may act a bit odd. This is because the system won't sleep until the battery is conditioned properly, (and since mine seems to be dead, it'll never sleep properly until I remove it, or swap out the battery). For a list of less likely reasons, check here.

That's all I can think of at the moment, I'll update this post when I mess around installing more drives.
 
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wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
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Oregon
I had the 2009 Apple RAID Card for a while. You can definitely put WD RE-4 2TB drives in RAID5 on there. I ran those for quite a while until I built my Areca RAID.

Also, there will be no warning when the battery starts the conditioning process. I made a calendar reminder for mine, since it was so consistent every three months. (This requires a good battery, of course.) That way, I knew exactly when it would start conditioning. It always took the same number of hours every time... but I can't recall the number of hours. Seven? Fifteen? I kept working on it, but made sure to back up to external disks more frequently during that period every three months, or just took a day off.
 

Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 6, 2008
969
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Just wanted to update this page with a few more details.

I now have 4 2Tb non-Apple drives running in RAID 5, which gives me a 5.23Tb logical volume. Took a long time to initalise this (around 20 hours), and unfortunately the battery has failed, so it doesn't seem to shut down properly, so the system re-initalised on a reboot. :/ I have a replacement battery on the way.

I'm now using a 2Tb drive for BootCamp, and have installed it up in the ODD bay with my SSD which is my OS X boot volume. To provide ODD support if I need it, I bought an Apple USB Superdrive, and added a flag in com.apple.Boot.plist which enables support for it (bizarre you have to do this really).

On starting BootCamp off, I noticed an issue; I have a cinema display which the USB SuperDrive was running off of, BootCamp doesn't like this; you get stuck at a lovely DOS black screen. Fortunately, if you run it directly off of a Mac Pro USB port, it runs fine (albeit pretty slow initially).

Since I have RAID set up, I didn't really want to remove it all just to sort my new BootCamp volume out, so I tried installing it directly from the USB SuperDrive to the 2nd ODD Bay. Works perfectly :) It'd be interesting to see if you can BootCamp from a USB drive created using the Microsoft USB creator tool, but since I didn't have another machine running Windows, I couldn't test this out.

I hope this is helpful :)
 
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macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2012
848
71
Long Island, NY USA
Just wanted to post a couple of bits here about the 2009 RAID Card you can install in the 2009, 2010 and '2012' Mac Pro, based on my limited experience so far.

- Raid Utility will keep launching at login so long as you have status messages you've not dismissed.
I got one of these with a used machine and pulled it. Whenever I opened Raid Utility the list of status messages was there even after dismissing them. Is it possible to clear this list or is it designed to be a permanent record which just gets longer over time?
 

Acden

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2016
55
2
Russian Federation
The issue is that the RAID card assumes control of HDD Bays 1-4, but for obvious reasons, leaves the ODD bays alone, so to get round this, create your BootCamp partition in Bay 1 as normal, turn off your machine, install the RAID card, and move the HDD in Bay 1 to your spare ODD bay.
Great info I didn't get before!

So, i will think about upgrading my MacPro 2008 with RocketRaid card instead of Apple.
(I think, RR uses it's own cables for HDD, so HDD bays 1-4 stays intact and can give additional HDDs).
[doublepost=1471088354][/doublepost]
I had the 2009 Apple RAID Card for a while. You can definitely put WD RE-4 2TB drives in RAID5 on there. I ran those for quite a while until I built my Areca RAID.
What were the reasons to change?
 
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