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Julian Flores
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Why You Should Choose SoftRAID 5.7.3 over Hardware RAID for Your Mac or Windows PC



SoftRAID 5.7.3: A Powerful and Flexible Software RAID Solution for Mac and Windows




If you are looking for a way to store and backup your data faster, safer, and more efficiently, you might want to consider using a software RAID solution like SoftRAID 5.7.3. SoftRAID is a software that allows you to create and manage RAID arrays using your existing hard drives or SSDs, without the need for expensive or complicated hardware RAID controllers. In this article, we will explain what SoftRAID is, why you need it, how to use it on your Mac or Windows PC, and what's new in the latest version of SoftRAID.




SoftRAID 5.7.3


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What is SoftRAID and why do you need it?




SoftRAID stands for Software Redundant Array of Independent Disks, which is a way of combining multiple disks into one logical unit that can offer better performance, reliability, or both. There are different types of RAID levels that can achieve different goals, such as RAID 0 for speed, RAID 1 for mirroring, RAID 4 or 5 for parity, and RAID 10 for a combination of speed and mirroring.


The benefits of software RAID over hardware RAID




While hardware RAID solutions rely on dedicated controllers or cards that handle the RAID operations, software RAID solutions use the CPU and memory of your computer to do the same tasks. This has several advantages, such as:



  • Software RAID is more flexible and upgradable than hardware RAID. You can use any type of disk, enclosure, or interface that your computer supports, and you can easily move or switch them without losing your data. You can also upgrade your software RAID to newer versions or features without having to replace your hardware.



  • Software RAID is more cost-effective than hardware RAID. You don't have to buy expensive or proprietary hardware RAID controllers or cards that might become obsolete or incompatible with newer systems or devices. You can use your existing disks or buy cheaper ones that suit your needs.



  • Software RAID is more reliable than hardware RAID. Hardware RAID controllers or cards can fail or malfunction, causing data loss or corruption. Software RAID can detect and prevent such failures by alerting you to potential issues, repairing errors, or rebuilding volumes.



The features and capabilities of SoftRAID




SoftRAID is one of the most powerful, intuitive, and user-friendly software RAID solutions on the market. It has been developed by OWC, a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, for over 20 years. Some of the features and capabilities of SoftRAID are:



  • SoftRAID supports multiple RAID levels, including RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and 10 (the last two are available only in SoftRAID for Mac). You can create advanced RAID volumes that offer higher performance and/or redundancy depending on your needs.



  • SoftRAID is cross-platform compatible between Mac and Windows. You can use the built-in MacDrive technology to read and write SoftRAID HFS+ RAID volumes on both operating systems, and use them interchangeably without any hassle.



  • SoftRAID offers various tools to help you manage and protect your data. You can use the volume validation feature to ensure that your sectors can be read, parity is correct, and any potential volume failure is minimized. You can use the certify feature to check new disks for any defects or errors before using them in your RAID volumes. You can use the disk optimization feature to defragment your disks and improve their performance. You can use the disk health monitoring feature to keep track of your disk's temperature, SMART status, and error count.



  • SoftRAID has a simple and elegant user interface that makes it easy to create and manage your RAID volumes. You can use the SoftRAID application or the SoftRAID menu bar icon to access all the features and functions of SoftRAID. You can also use the SoftRAID Lite application or the SoftRAID Lite menu bar icon to create and manage RAID 0 and 1 volumes.



How to use SoftRAID 5.7.3 on your Mac or Windows PC




Using SoftRAID 5.7.3 on your Mac or Windows PC is very straightforward and simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:


How to install and activate SoftRAID




To install SoftRAID on your Mac or Windows PC, you need to download the installer from the official website of OWC. You can choose between SoftRAID for Mac or SoftRAID for Windows, depending on your operating system. You can also download a free trial version of SoftRAID that lets you use all the features for 14 days.


Once you have downloaded the installer, you need to run it and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to agree to the license agreement, enter your name and email address, and choose where to install SoftRAID. You will also need to restart your computer after the installation is complete.


To activate SoftRAID, you need to enter your serial number that you received when you purchased SoftRAID. You can enter it in the SoftRAID application or in the SoftRAID menu bar icon. If you are using the trial version of SoftRAID, you don't need to enter any serial number.


How to create and manage RAID volumes with SoftRAID




To create a RAID volume with SoftRAID, you need to have at least two disks that are connected to your computer via USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire, SATA, or any other interface that your computer supports. You can use any type of disk, such as hard drives, SSDs, or hybrid drives, as long as they have the same capacity and speed.


Once you have your disks ready, you need to launch the SoftRAID application or click on the SoftRAID menu bar icon. You will see a list of all the disks that are connected to your computer, as well as any existing RAID volumes that you have created with SoftRAID. To create a new RAID volume, you need to select the disks that you want to use and drag them into the empty space below the list. You will then see a window where you can choose the RAID level, name, format, and size of your new volume.


The RAID level determines how your data is distributed across the disks in your volume. You can choose between RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, or 10 (the last two are available only in SoftRAID for Mac). Each RAID level has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance, reliability, and capacity. Here is a brief overview of each RAID level:



RAID Level


Description


Advantages


Disadvantages


RAID 0


Data is striped across two or more disks without any redundancy.


Offers the highest performance and capacity.


Offers no data protection. If one disk fails, all data is lost.


RAID 1


Data is mirrored across two disks with full redundancy.


Offers high reliability and data protection. If one disk fails, the other disk continues to work.


Offers half of the capacity and performance of RAID 0.


RAID 4


Data is striped across three or more disks with one disk dedicated for parity information.


Offers high performance and reliability. If one disk fails, data can be recovered from the parity disk.


Offers less capacity than RAID 0 and less performance than RAID 5 due to parity overhead.


RAID 5


Data is striped across three or more disks with parity information distributed across all disks.


Offers high performance and reliability. If one disk fails, data can be recovered from the remaining disks.


Offers less capacity than RAID 0 due to parity overhead and less performance than RAID 0 due to parity calculations.


RAID 10


Data is striped across two or more mirrored pairs of disks.


Offers the best of both RAID 0 and RAID 1. Offers high performance, reliability, and data protection.


Offers half of the capacity and performance of RAID 0 and requires at least four disks.


The name, format, and size of your volume depend on your preferences and needs. You can choose any name that you like for your volume, as long as it is not already taken by another volume or disk. You can choose any format that is compatible with your operating system, such as HFS+ for Mac, NTFS for Windows, or exFAT for both. You can also choose any size that is within the limits of your disks and RAID level.


After you have chosen the settings for your new volume, you need to click on the Create button to start the creation process. Depending on the size and speed of your disks and the RAID level you chose, this process might take some time. You can monitor the progress of the creation process in the SoftRAID application or in the SoftRAID menu bar icon. You can also cancel the creation process at any time if you change your mind.


Once the creation process is complete, you will see your new volume in the list of volumes in the SoftRAID application or in the SoftRAID menu bar icon. You can now use your new volume as you would use any other disk on your computer. You can store, copy, move, delete, or edit any files or folders on your volume. You can also rename, resize, or delete your volume if you want to.


How to monitor and protect your data with SoftRAID




One of the main advantages of using SoftRAID is that it offers various tools to help you monitor and protect your data on your RAID volumes. These tools include:



  • Volume validation: This feature allows you to check the integrity and consistency of your data on your RAID volumes. It verifies that all sectors can be read, parity is correct, and any potential volume failure is minimized. You can run a volume validation manually or schedule it to run automatically at regular intervals.



  • Certify: This feature allows you to test new disks for any defects or errors before using them in your RAID volumes. It writes and reads patterns of data to every sector of the disk and reports any problems it finds. You can run a certify manually or schedule it to run automatically at regular intervals.



  • Disk optimization: This feature allows you to defragment your disks and improve their performance. It rearranges the files on your disks so that they are stored in contiguous blocks and reduces the amount of disk head movement. You can run a disk optimization manually or schedule it to run automatically at regular intervals.



  • Disk health monitoring: This feature allows you to keep track of your disk's temperature, SMART status, and error count. It alerts you to any potential issues that might affect your disk's performance or reliability. You can view the disk health information in the SoftRAID application or in the SoftRAID menu bar icon.



What's new in SoftRAID 5.7.3?




SoftRAID 5.7.3 is the latest version of SoftRAID that was released on June 8, 2023. It includes some new features, bug fixes, and improvements that make SoftRAID even better than before. Some of the highlights of SoftRAID 5.7.3 are:


Support for Akitio Thunder3 Quad X and Quad mini enclosures




SoftRAID 5.7.3 adds support for Akitio Thunder3 Quad X and Quad mini enclosures, which are external storage devices that use Thunderbolt 3 technology to connect to your computer. These enclosures can hold up to four 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA drives each and offer high-speed data transfer rates up to 40 Gbps.


With SoftRAID 5.7.3, you can use these enclosures to create and manage RAID volumes with SoftRAID's features and capabilities. You can also use them interchangeably between Mac and Windows computers with MacDrive technology.


Bug fixes and improvements




SoftRAID 5.7.3 also fixes some bugs and improves some aspects of SoftRAID's performance and stability. Some of these bug fixes and improvements are:



  • Fixed an issue where some disks would not be recognized by SoftRAID after waking from sleep mode.



  • <li Fixed an issue where some disks would not be ejected properly by SoftRAID.



  • Fixed an issue where some disks would not be certified correctly by SoftRAID.



  • Fixed an issue where some volumes would not be validated correctly by SoftRAID.



  • Improved the compatibility and performance of SoftRAID with macOS Big Sur and Windows 10.



  • Improved the user interface and user experience of SoftRAID.



Conclusion




SoftRAID 5.7.3 is a powerful and flexible software RAID solution that can help you store and backup your data faster, safer, and more efficiently. It offers multiple RAID levels, cross-platform compatibility, various tools to manage and protect your data, and support for Akitio Thunder3 Quad X and Quad mini enclosures. It is easy to install, activate, use, and update, and it has a simple and elegant user interface. If you are looking for a software RAID solution for your Mac or Windows PC, you should definitely give SoftRAID 5.7.3 a try.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about SoftRAID 5.7.3:


How much does SoftRAID 5.7.3 cost?




SoftRAID 5.7.3 has different pricing options depending on the version and the license type you choose. Here are the current prices as of June 13, 2023:



  • SoftRAID for Mac: $179 for a single license, $249 for a three-license pack, or $499 for a ten-license pack.



  • SoftRAID for Windows: $49.99 for a single license, $99.99 for a three-license pack, or $199.99 for a ten-license pack.



  • SoftRAID Lite for Mac: $49 for a single license, $69 for a three-license pack, or $139 for a ten-license pack.



  • SoftRAID Lite for Windows: $19.99 for a single license, $39.99 for a three-license pack, or $79.99 for a ten-license pack.



You can also upgrade from SoftRAID Lite to SoftRAID for Mac or Windows for $129 or from SoftRAID 4 to SoftRAID 5 for Mac or Windows for $89.


How can I get support for SoftRAID 5.7.3?




If you have any questions, issues, or feedback about SoftRAID 5.7.3, you can contact the OWC support team via email, phone, chat, or online form. You can also visit the OWC website to access the SoftRAID user guide, FAQ page, forum, blog, and video tutorials.


What are the system requirements for SoftRAID 5.7.3?




To use SoftRAID 5.7.3 on your Mac or Windows PC, you need to have the following system requirements:



  • A Mac running macOS 10.9 or later or a PC running Windows 8 or later.



  • A minimum of 4 GB of RAM and 100 MB of free disk space.



  • A minimum of two disks that are connected to your computer via USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire, SATA, or any other interface that your computer supports.



Can I use SoftRAID 5.7.3 with other software RAID solutions?




No, you cannot use SoftRAID 5.7.3 with other software RAID solutions such as Apple's Disk Utility or Microsoft's Storage Spaces. SoftRAID uses its own proprietary format and algorithm to create and manage RAID volumes that are not compatible with other software RAID solutions. If you want to use SoftRAID 5.7.3 on your disks, you need to erase them first and format them with SoftRAID.


Can I use SoftRAID 5.7.3 with Time Machine or File History?




Yes, you can use SoftRAID 5.7.3 with Time Machine or File History to backup your data on your Mac or Windows PC respectively. You can use any RAID level that is supported by SoftRAID to create a backup volume that can store your Time Machine or File History backups. dcd2dc6462


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