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We have 3x4TB 3.5" HD's in RAID 5 (SoftRAID) in a 2012 MacPro tower.

Is it possible to physically remove them and insert them into a larger enclosure and it will continue operating?

  • The Apple RAID you have set up (it IS Apple RAID?) needs to be plugged into the SATA bus in the MacPro. That is a question you may want to ask the manufacturer of the RAID enclosure if they support a pre-existing Apple RAID using internal drives. – Steve Chambers Dec 10 '18 at 2:16
  • It's using SoftRAID – alexh Dec 10 '18 at 5:21
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    Hence the vital importance of putting ALL of your configuration in the original question – Steve Chambers Dec 10 '18 at 13:38
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Yes, it is possible to move a SoftRAID array of disks from the internal drive bays of a MacPro and into an external enclosure connected to the same computer. You might have to do a small reconfiguration to ensure that it "finds" the array, but if you have used proper disk labelling it should be pretty much automatic.

Note that it is important that the external enclosure supports JBOD - i.e. it must be able to present the drives to macOS as seperate, single drives. If the enclosure only supports its own form of RAID, it is still possible to use the old disks - but the data on them will be overwritten.

Another thing to observe is that the 2012 MacPro tower by default hasn't got Thunderbolt or any of the newer, faster external busses. You might find an external enclosure too slow if it is connected via USB 2.0 for example.

Before you embark on anything, remember to take backups!

  • Yes - We've added 3x USB3 ports to the 2012 MacPro but are thinking of adding a 2019 Mac Mini to crunch some 4K video tasks. Good to know we can point the mini at the RAID 5 removed from the MacPro. – alexh Dec 11 '18 at 0:17
  • Turns out SoftRAID RAID's are portable. Thank you for your insights jksoegaard. – alexh Dec 11 '18 at 0:18
  • @alexh No problem :-) Please mark the question as answered if you’ve got what you needed :-) – jksoegaard Dec 11 '18 at 6:49

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