Archive for OWC

OWC Announces SMART Alec Disk Utility For Mac

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 15, 2017 by itnerd

OWC has announced SMART Alec, an essential Mac utility that constantly monitors and checks your Mac hard drives, SSDs, Firewire disks, and USB drives, warning you in advance if drives are failing or about to fail, so you’ll have plenty of time to back up and replace a bad drive. SMART Alec can help you avoid losing years of sensitive, irreplaceable data from databases, word processing, Excel, PowerPoint and other business files, precious photos and videos, music compositions, and more. SMART Alec is currently available in beta at: The free final version of SMART Alec and $9.99 upgrade with additional features will be available in July.


Drives Frequently Fail — Why Wait Until a Disk Drive Fails to Take Action?

Although users expect hard drives to last forever, drives can frequently fail for numerous reasons, including overheating, power failures, surges from lightning strikes, water damage, and more. Once a drive fails, it can be virtually impossible or cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to reconstruct sensitive data through a computer technician or data recovery forensics company. Daily back-ups to a secondary drive are also risky, since unknowingly you may be backing up data from an already corrupted drive or to another drive with problems. Instead of waiting for the drive to fail or just hoping it won’t happen, users rely on SMART Alec’s continual background disk monitoring to protect sensitive data –Why wait until a disk drive fails to take action?

SMART Alec Free Version – Basic Features:

  • PREDICTED-TO-FAIL DISK: If your disk is likely to fail in the near future, you’ll get a “predicted to fail” warning.
  • FAILING DISK: If your disk is already failing, SMART Alec will tell you right away, giving you time to replace your disk and save your crucial data.
  • TEST YOUR DISK: SMART Alec will display a green bar by all disks that are healthy. Still worried? Get SMART Alec to re-test disks at any time.
  • KNOW YOUR DISK: All the information about your disk is readily available with a disk log to track your disk’s history.

SMART Alec $9.99 Upgrade – Additional Features:

• “SMART Over USB”: the free version is for SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) drives only, not USB/FireWire drives. The upgrade adds failure prediction for most USB or FireWire connected drives, including most USB 3 devices.
• Email Notifications: in addition to desktop alerts, notifications are also emailed to you about failing or predicted-to-fail disks in case you are away from your disks.

  • Blink Disk Light: a light blinks on the actual disk corresponding to the disk tile you have selected in the Smart Alec application.

Available through iTunes App Store

The free SMART Alec essential drive utility and $9.99 SMART Alec upgrade with USB/FireWire disk monitoring and other additional features will ship July 2017, with the free version available through the iTunes App store. A Windows version is in development. For more information, see or Facebook:

Free Beta Version Available Now

SMART Alec is currently in its final beta testing stage. To sign up as a beta tester, go to In future releases of SMART Alec, users will be able to opt-in to share data about disk reliability and performance with SMART Alec’s self-learning disk failure prediction system, an algorithm which will analyze disk data from users to more accurately predict likely disk failure. Once opted in, users will get access to the most up-to-date statistics about the safest—and least safe—disks available and the reliability of the disks they are using. The latest beta, SMART Alec 1.0 b26, offers support for OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).


OWC Ships A New Version Of SoftRAID — Now With SoftRAID Easy Setup

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 23, 2017 by itnerd

OWC has announced the launch of SoftRAID v. 5.6 RAID software featuring SoftRAID Easy Setup­, which now makes it super easy to create a RAID system (redundant array of independent disks) from scratch to keep your precious files protected against disk failure and achieve faster data access. SoftRAID’s software RAID system is ideal for everyone who needs to safely store and backup massive amounts of data, including photographers, videographers, editors, audio producers, database and media managers, advertisers, archivers, and more. SoftRAID’s Easy Setup guides less technical users through the process of creating SoftRAID volumes, automating the process of configuring disks and making recommendations to help users setup their SoftRAID system. All users have to do is decide what the RAID volume will be used for and how much space to use (with hints from the application) — SoftRAID Easy Setup does the rest.


Additional new features in SoftRAID include the ability to monitor USB and FireWire disks for failure and impending failure and translation to Simplified Chinese (for both the application and documentation), in addition to the 5 other languages SoftRAID already supports: English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. SoftRAID is available to purchase from for SoftRAID lite at $49 and the full SoftRAID at $179.  A 30 day fully functional Free Trial of SoftRAID or SoftRAID Lite is available to download immediately from

New Features in SoftRAID 5.6:

  • SoftRAID Easy Setup: helper application guides less technical users through the process of creating SoftRAID volumes.
  • SMART over USB proprietary driver: extends disk checking and monitoring to most USB drives, including most USB 3/3.1 and many USB 2 drives, FireWire enclosures and FireWire 400/800 connected drives.
  • Supports 6 languages: now translated to Simplified Chinese, in addition to English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.
  • Supports Thunderbolt 3 devices: with sustained throughput of over 2.5GB/s on a single Thunderbolt 3 bus. You can even use two ThunderBolt 3 buses at the same time and create a volume which can read and write at over 4 GB/s.
  • Email Notifications: updated to support recent security enhancements in SMTP servers, includes support for almost all third party email servers.
  • Quick Start Guides: updated for both SoftRAID and SoftRAID Lite to include an entire section on using SoftRAID Easy Setup.
  • Features improved failover handling: in the event of Mirror (RAID 0), RAID 4, RAID 5, and RAID 1+0 disk failure scenarios.
  • Extends disk certification: to all 4Kn (4 KB sector) drives.
  • Compatible with all versions of Mac OS X: from 10.6.8 through the latest release of Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra).
  • Includes bug fixes: details of which can be found in the release notes.

General SoftRAID Features:

  • Support for all Intel based Macs with Core Duo 2 processors or later.
  • Supports Thunderbolt 1, 2 & 3, eSATA, SAS, FireWire and USB 2.0, 3.0, 3.1 and USB-C.
  • Converts AppleRAID stripe (RAID 0) and mirror (RAID 1) volumes to SoftRAID.
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 1+0 (and non-RAID volumes) – (RAID 4, 5 and 1+0 volumes not available with SoftRAID Lite).
  • Supports TRIM (for SSDs) on all SoftRAID RAID levels.
  • All SoftRAID volumes can be startup volumes.
  • Supports volumes up to 4 petabytes (4,000 TB).
  • Supports up to 16 disks per volume and up to 32 volumes per Mac.
  • Automatic rebuilding of out-of-sync RAID volumes.
  • Fast Rebuilds for accelerated rebuild times.
  • Disk error reporting: SoftRAID monitors and logs all disk errors (often ignored by Mac OS).
  • Email notifications (not available with SoftRAID Lite).
  • Predictive failure analysis: gives advance warning of imminent disk failure on all disks which support SMART, most USB 3, 3.1 and USB C disks (enclosures) and also many USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and 800 disks.
  • Certify Disk: guarantees disk reliably read and write data (destructive, ideal for new disks).
  • Verify Disk: ensures entire disk can be read (non-destructive test for any-time use).
  • Validate volume: confirms your entire volume is readable and all parity data is correct.
  • I/O and error counters for every SoftRAID disk and volume.
  • Extended disk information, including hours of use, reallocated sector counts and media wear for SSDs.
  • Disk labeling and LED blinking to aid in disk identification.
  • Extensive logging of SoftRAID events.
  • Command line interface with dedicated man page (CLI not available with SoftRAID Lite).
  • Built-in recovery tools for recovering severely damaged partition maps.

SoftRAID version 5.6 is available now as a fully functional 30 day free trial at, with pricing at just $179 through, Apple Certified Consultants, and retail outlets worldwide. It includes one year of free technical support via email. In addition, SoftRAID Lite is available for just $49 and includes support via online forum. SoftRAID Lite supports only non-RAID, stripe (RAID 0) and mirror (RAID 1) volumes. Users of SoftRAID version 4 can purchase an upgrade to version 5.6 for $89.SoftRAID requires Intel running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later. Support for TRIM commands on SSDs require Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later. SoftRAID is known for their exceptional tech support, available nights and on weekends, in addition to standard hours.

See customer comments at: For more information, see the website: and, Facebook:


OWC Wins NAB 2017 Best of Show Award for Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Posted in Commentary with tags on May 4, 2017 by itnerd

OWC announced today that the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock has won the NAB 2017 Best of Show Award presented by NewBay Media’s Video Edge. With an amazing 13 ports, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock brings exceptional connectivity through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, delivering unprecedented power and speed to laptops and other devices.


Best of NAB 2017 Awards Given for Innovation, Feature Set, Cost Efficiency, & Performance

The NAB 2017 Best of Show Awards are selected based on innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry. Thunderbolt 3 Dock was chosen because of its exceptional flexibility, connectivity with 13 ports, bandwidth of up to 40Gbps, with the capability to power the new 2016 MacBook Pro — with an elegant industrial design.For creative and business professionals concerned with the limited port options on new Thunderbolt 3-equipped Macs or PCs, the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock is the ideal solution for connecting a wide variety of existing and future devices, including external hard drives, webcams, audio interfaces, Ultra HD displays, wired networks, and more.

The highly-anticipated OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock will be shipping this summer. For more information, see