Mac Pro Issues (resolved for now)
I’ve not been able to spend a lot of time working on figuring out the SSD issues, but I’ve pretty much just settled back on my Mac Pro drive that came with the machine. I wish it had more space, but for now, I’ll just use external storage to keep things under control. I tried to see if I could use the 1 TB SSD as an external USB connected drive, but it’s not even seen when I plug it in. For the moment, I’ll set it aside and come back to it.
Time Machine Backups going to NAS
Yesterday, while off from work, I decided to see if I could use my Synology NAS as a target for my Time Machine backups. I found some instructions on line but couldn’t get it to work using another “user” account on the device. However, I did find a way to add a quota to the shared folder and I was able to use my existing account yet limit the TM data from extending and using too much space. I also decided to add the shared folder to my TM configuration instead of replacing which means I’ll have two backups for each machine. This will allow one to fail and I’m still covered.
Workload at Work
Work continues to pile up. Not a bad thing, I’m keeping busy, but it seems like every time I turn around there is something else to do. Yes, this is good, but at times I start by feeling overwhelmed and that is adding some stress. I’ll need to work on things to make it easier to handle and work through my last 10 or so years of work (if I’m lucky and can afford to retire some day). I’m still loving my job, just have to keep things in check.
I’ve been working at the Mac Pro for a while today and a few hours yesterday. My testing has been watching some Podcast videos while doing other things like moving files around and trimming up the content on the old SSD. So far, the symptoms faced before like stuttering and sluggish mouse cursor are not showing themselves. Not sure if this is a timing issue or not, but so far evidence is pointing to the OWC Aura 1 TB SSD.
I’m going to repeat some thing that have caused panic reports in the past while running on the other drive to be sure, but I need to stop using my machine long enough to do that. Once files have moved, backups have been done, I’ll reboot a few time.
I’ve put my original Apple storage back into the machine, temporarily removing the 1 TB Aura SSD from OWC. Not sure if it will resolve my issues, but it will tell me if the drive I’m using is at fault or if it is something else. I’m really hoping it is something else so I can take advantage of the Aura’s drive space. Otherwise I have to move things around which isn’t fun.
As I write this quick post, my Mac is being restored to a Time Machine back up from an hour or two ago. I hope I can determine things today so I can make some decisions soon.
I’ve added a new Synology NAS (network attached storage) to my network and so far I’m loving it. So far I’ve only add 3 hard drives to the system. A new 4 TB drive, plus an older 2 TB and 3 TB drives. Eventually I’ll have it loaded with all 4 TB or higher drives. Although I have about 9 TB of drives in it right now, only about 4.75 TB is available for use as I’m using some RAID for data protection. Basically when I’m ready to update a drive, i can just pull one of them out and plug in a new one. The system will incorporate the new drive and restore the data on it’s own. I also put in two 250 GB Samsung 960 SSD (solid-state drives) that act as cache. They help in writing and reading to the spinning drives and are setup as RAID 1 (mirroring). In case something happens, the data is safe. Today, I’ll attempt to take the 4 GB memory up to 16 GB memory – just have to shut it down and install it.
I chose to go with the Synology because of great reviews and it’s capabilities. I’ve already moved my Plex media server to it but I’ll also be able to setup and run virtual machines. There are also great number of applications from business, development and media serving.
For the last few weeks I’ve noticed that my Mac Pro (late 2013, cylinder style) has been sluggish, mouse skipping, video playback choppy. After a reboot it seemed to be fine for a while but then it slowly went back to this behavior. I couldn’t right out say what was the cause and there were several things that happened at once that it could have been. The storage replacement and new OS happened around the same time because one relied on the other. And to add to it, during a shutdown request (or reboot) the system would always reboot and show a shutdown error. Checking the logs gave me to the clues to try and resolve.
When trying to find out why NVME was causing a kernel panic on shutdown, I was lead to the solution – unfortunately it required a reformat of my main system disk. I did everything I could to avoid having to do that, but in then end it was the cleanest and so far the best solution. The issue was due to an error that was being reported when I check the APFS container. It would always say everything appears OK with the drive, but there was a line in the results that would indicate an over allocation. Basically the drive within the container said it had a bit more space than was physically possible. The only way to fix that was a reformat of the OWC Aura Pro X SSD. It was a bit of a pain, but with an up to date Time Machine backup, the worse part was the 2 hours or so it took to get back to a working system. Overall it was an easy thing (at least for me) and it seems to be much more stable than before. I’ll be putting a pretty big load on the machine today to test things out and see how much of the 64GB of memory I can use with running apps.