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Well-known member
Am I right in thinking that for an OS 9 system or below, the only possibilities of accessing files on a RAID-10 system are:
1. from a Windows 2000/2003 system running Macintosh Services or
2. from a NAS that supports AppleTalk (such as the Synology box used by Danamania)
3. some sort of fibre channel setup

I have found no RAID cards that support RAID-10 (such as from Adaptec, FWB, ATTO and so on).
What about direct attached storage? Are there any SCSI boxes that support RAID-10 that could be directly attached to an OS 9 Mac.

I'm not thinking of this as backup storage, I'm just curious. For backup, I plan to start replacing my individual hard-discs with a NAS.
It would be nice to do something with my collection of SCSI hard drives.


Well-known member
Here are some links. They aren't answers to my initial questions, more links that I have found while looking online for more information:

1. Mac OS X RAID 10: Striped Mirrors and Mirrored Stripes, the best of both worlds

2. ATTO Express Stripe

3. SoftRAID
a. https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/softraid
b. https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/ap...g3-and-macintosh-server-g3-computers-691-2329

4. Apple RAID 1.x
a. https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-raid-102
b. Apple RAID (AWS 6150/8150/9150) - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-raid-aws-615081509150
c. Apple Workgroup Server 7.5.1 (For 6150, 8150, and 9150) - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-workgroup-server-751-6150-8150-and-9150

5. FWB Toolkits [Hard Disk Toolkit v1.7 + v2.0.6, RAID Toolkit 1.8] - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/fwb-toolkits-hard-disk-toolkit-v17-v206-raid-toolkit-18

6. CharisMac RAID v2.17 - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/charismac-raid-v217

7. Hard Disk SpeedTools 3.6 - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/hard-disk-speedtools-36

8. SilverLining Pro - https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/lacie-silverlining-pro

9. Formac ProRAID I & ProRAID II: 16-bit UW SCSI Adapter for the Mac. Includes hard disk driver for RAID Level 0 & 1. PDAC10.1
a. https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/formac-022001
b. https://web.archive.org/web/20010405133139/http://www.formac.com/2k/products/product_frame.html


Well-known member
I think that I have found what I am looking for — the Lacie TX8000 a behemoth from LaCie. The TX12000 also exists.

LaCie RAID behemoth.jpg

It seems to be unobtanium though. I can't find much about it online. Archive.org gives me Cold Fusion (remember that!) errors or 302s and the LaCie site just doesn't want to know.
Does anyone here have one? If so, what is there to report about it?

Here is one link to it: https://gcn.com/articles/1999/09/01/scalable-enterprise-raid.aspx
And another: http://www.lacie.com/scripts/raid/tx8.cfm
This link is to the TX12000: https://web.archive.org/web/20040219193243/http://lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10027
And another: http://preserve.mactech.com/content/lacie-shipping-flexible-ultra-160-raid-tower-0
And this is the datasheet (PDF) to it: http://www.lacie.com/download/datasheets/tx12000_en.pdf

LaCie on RAID — http://lacie.com/scripts/raid/raid.cfm
LaCie joule RAID — http://www.lacie.com/scripts/software/joule_raid.cfm
Joule RAID is a Macintosh RAID software. It is a simple, cost effective,and safe RAID solution for striping, or fault tolerance on a single server. It contains :
  • RAID 0 or striping.
  • RAID 1 or mirroring.
  • RAID 4 and RAID 5.
  • volume spanning (several hard disks seeen as one volume).
  • RAID 1,4 and 5 hotplug with d2 eXtract drives.
Joule RAID main features :
  • able to mix different brands of disks and different capacity levels.
  • controls Apple buses and added SCSI or Speed2 cards.
  • compatible with all backup softwares.
  • segment size selectable.
  • data restoration speed selectable.
  • several types of partitioning (i.e RAID levels) possible onto the same disks.
  • warning messages : via local server, through network or through pager (using Caravelle Networks software).
In order to respond to the specific Video editing demands, please consult us about the d2 RAID O configurations tested with the major video cards on the market.

The current version of Joule RAID is 1.4.1. If you any previous version of Joule RAID you may download the latest version now.
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Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Thank you for digging this stuff up! Seeing what people were willing to pay for, say, 200 gigs of storage 20 years ago is always wild. I suppose it's functionally equivalent to the way you see people building Storinators and stuff to get several hundred terabytes today.

Is this just for fun or are you looking for something specific, and, what machine do you want to use it with?

For practical purposes:
Mac OS 9 does have an actual 2TB volume limit. I haven't been able to test if that's a disk limit or a volume/partition limit. With that in mind, you can typically get fast enough results out of a machine that boots OS 9 by just hanging a single normal 2TB disk off a SATA card. Honestly it probably wouldn't even matter if the disk you connected was an SMR disk. (And the bigger cache on many SMR disks may make it feel more responsive than it really is, esp. for OS 9 which does very little background writing.)

(Actually you would have to partition it to boot form it, 9 has a ~200GB boot partition limit, for weird reaosns that I don't know if they're completely documented, but other than that 2TB/partition is solid and I have a 9 machine with a 2TB USB data disk and it works great.)

There's USB/FW disk boxes that can do mirroring in hardware without management intervention from a host OS, which may be a good way to run backups or data disks.

Any bigger than that in a single volume and you are, in fact, better served by running a server (heh heh) -- Mac OS X 10.4 can address 16TB volumes, Windows 2003 should be similar, but there's some caveats there for how you have to set it up, Linux/BSD and Netatalk2 should be able to do the maximum modern versions of those OSes can do today, so that may be the easiest.


Well-known member
@ArmorAlley @Cory5412 The pretty darned rare Acard AEC-6885M will do RAID 0 + 1 out of the box.

I'm guessing, though, that RAID-10 is different from 0 + 1?

And it will support your RAID whether you're booted into Classic or OSX.

Good luck finding one -- and if you find a bunch of them, let me know. Also interested in the PC version 6885 (no M). I'm pretty sure they can be converted. But again, can't find them. I "purchased" a few on Ebay this year, but it turned out the seller's stock was phantom.


  • Manual_6885m.pdf
    947.1 KB · Views: 1


Well-known member
Raid 10 is the same as raid 1 + 0 combining disk mirroring with disk striping and you need a minimum of 4 disks.

Since you can only access 1 drive at a time because of master and slave on an IDE port you will need 4 ports for this to work.
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Well-known member
Being in the know, I know personally that Cory has a OWC RAID drive that can run off of FW800 and OS X 10.4. How do I know.....that is for you to guess...

Not sure if it would work under OS 9, but it is hardware RAID so it should work.

EDIT: Looks like it needs 10.2 at minimum.
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Well-known member
Raid 10 is the same as raid 1 + 0 combining disk mirroring with disk striping and you need a minimum of 4 disks.

Since you can only access 1 drive at a time because of master and slave on an IDE port you will need 4 ports for this to work.

According to this website, RAID 10 is the same as RAID 1 + 0, but RAID 1 + 0 is different from RAID 0 + 1. I don't know if that's true. I don't have the mental energy to devote to reading it in detail at the moment.


Also would need a more careful reading of the Acard manual as to whether they do 0 + 1 or 1 + 0 and whether Acard described it accurately. Sometimes their manuals were great and other times not so much. I had an exchange with one of their techs that was fantastic. Ridiculously helpful fellow for a product they weren't even selling any more.


Well-known member
One is more fault tolerant then the other while having the same speed.

People started using stripes to get more speed then single drives could do and used mirrors so their data didn't get lost from failure prone drives. Sooner or later they figured why not do both (especially when adding more drives in stripes made them much more subject to total data loss).

The only drives I have in stripe + mirror would be my Media Videoraid external boxes with SCSI interface using IDE drives and configured by the controller in the box.


Well-known member
@trag I might have the Acard AEC-6885M card. I'll have to go look for it.

@Cory5412 It is a whim. I did an inventory of my hard-discs and I discovered that I have over 20x SCA-80 hard-drives, another 5x or so with the 68-pin connection as well as another 30x 50-pin discs.

These various SCSI drives are my backups of old Mac software and I'm looking around at old Synology NAS drives to replace them. I will have to spend a week going through them all, sorting them out, removing duplicates and getting the old NAS up and running.

I am maxxing out my WGS 9150 at the moment and the ATTO SE-IV works with the 400MHz G3 Sonnet Crescendo/Encore card. I am impressed at the speed difference that striping gives me in my Mac Pro 3,1 and would be happy with that alone in the WGS 9150.

I have 6x 146GB SCA-80 drives, and these would fit nicely into a RAID-10 array. With the possible exception of LaCie Joule, there is no software RAID that supports anything beyond striping (RAID 1). Given how old these drives are (15-20 years), fault tolerance would be nice to have. The WGS 9150 probably supports 4x LVD drives but I am a little uneasy about taxing the power supply, which is where the idea of direct-attached storage came in.

My guess is that I have missed out on the big SCSI enclosures and that when I eventually find one on eBay, it will be $200 and another $200 shipping, and I don't want one that badly.


Well-known member
In 2005 I programmed an entire eBay replacement for a company, and it ran off of a dual core G5, with a Highpoint Rocket Raid. I used PCI brackets with eSata connectors, and then external drive cases to house the drives. I utiltized 4x 300GB Maxtor SATA drives in RAID 10 configuration, and I was able to obtain 600MB/sec transfer rates. Even the server I built in 2010 with a single SATA SSD wasn't that fast.

The RocketRaid had a built-in web server, that was used to configure the RAID. You couldn't boot off of it, but it was really great otherwise. For booting, I used Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 Disk Utility, and 2x internal SATA drives in RAID 1 for redundancy. That was a rock solid setup.

In 2008 it needed to be moved inside a concrete vault, and the heat of the G5 and spinning disks required air conditioning to keep the vault from heating up. Before the AC was added, the vault was 40'c with ambient at 20'c outside the vault!

I still have that very same G5 in operation there, running 24/7 as a remote login machine for some HyperCard that is used. That machine has been a workhorse for 16+ years now.

Apple's built-in RAID in OS X 10.4 was pretty decent for a software solution, and easy to manage. I've had to replace drives a few times for failures. In G5s that I deploy for work, I always use dual enterprise-class drives in a RAID 1 for redundancy.

As for RAID 10, it's basically a dual RAID 0 with redundancy on top. Technically it can survive almost any two drives failing, except for two of the same data pair, I do believe.

Currently building a new Debian Linux server for that company. It will feature a variety of Intel data center SSDs in RAID 1 only for redundancy. There is 6TB of total storage, with performance around 10GB/sec, utilizing MDADM Linux software RAID 1, 128GB of ECC RAM, 18 core Xeon processors, triple gigabit networking, on a dedicated gigabit fibre connection. That is the 4th generation replacement for the G5 I deployed all those years ago.


Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member

Looking at outboard boxes like the LaCie is probably the best way to go, in the vintage Mac context. 68k, and even most PPC CPUs, aren't really powerful/fast enough for anything other than RAID 0, 1, or 10 in software. That's part of why most low end RAID solutions have those three options. (That's also why lots of PC IDE/SATA cards like the one trag mentioned are "RAID!" but only really 0/1/10)

W/re 10, 0+1 and 1+0: it's entirely semantics. (well, semantically speaking: it's about configurations and which disks are at which layer.) those two and 10 aren't officially "standard" RAID levels per wikipedia but I haven't met a RAID controller from the last 20 years that doesn't support them.

A 0+1 is a mirror of two stripes. A 1+0 is a stripe of two mirrors. With those two configurations, they're typically independently configured, whereas 10 is managed as a single unit by the controller/software.

In terms of overall capacity, and in terms of better statistical likelihood of safety. E.g. with RAID 6 you can have any two disks fail, and with a RAID 10 or 0+1 you can have a specific two disks die and lose the whole array. RAID 10 does typically get you some better speed and IOPS than RAID 5 and 6 and you can do it with cheaper hardware, because the compute on RAID 10 is trivial.

RAID 5 is a popular compromise especially for 4-bay systems because you get 1-disk worth of failure tolerance and a higher capacity than a RAID 10, but lower overall performance.

Which RAID level you use really depends on what goal you want to achieve.

Anyway, one other thing to look at is RAID boxes (like that LaCie may be) that have their own controllers. A point of comparison is the HP MSA 20, which is basically a 2u disk box with a U320 SCSI port on the back. On the inside of that port is a RAID controller going to twelve SATA ports, which can have 160-gig to 1TB disks attached. The device can present as a single SCSI ID with several LUNs each up to 2TB. (At least as of the newest QuickSpecs I was able to look at, it's possible it supports more but GPT wasn't in common use then so they just wrote 2TB for convenience.)

You'd manage it with serial console or a web site. I don't know why HP thought to build this, but if I'm remembering right it was sort of at the transitional era from USCSI to SATA/SAS so it was probably both as a high-capacity upgrade for existing systems and as a transitional tool. (web/BIOS/console management is extremely common with RAID cards, on the PC/x86 side of things you can configure a card without worrying about the OS that's running on top of it, most PC OSes can boot right from RAIDs on such cards, because the OS just sees it as a single big hard disk.

The other neat trick most raid cards can do is if you replace the HDDs involved one by one they can typically grow the volume afterwards, although not all OSes handle this well.

W/re the OWC raid I've got -- it should work in os9, it's just usb/firewire storage. The only downside is 4*3TB disks will format to bigger than OS 9 can really use.

If you've got a bunch of 146-gig SCA disks, the easiest way to use them might be to find a server or workstation that fits them. I have a ProLiant DL380 Gen4 with 6*3.5-inch bays on the front, and seven 10k 146 gig disks, and a second one with two 36-gig 15k disk, although those machines are kind of loud for a home environment so I don't actually run them.

The other option is ofc to run them one at a time in your other machines.