Hope its appropriate to add to an old thread, but it was relevant to me:
Thanks tommiemel, this was very helpful, and took me quite a while to find. Command line disk util features are so more 'commanding' than the diskutity GUI in this regar, that concept shouldn't keep surprising me.
All I could ever get out of the disk utility app was an "unnamed pipe" when trying to retore to the raid volume. This way I could at least build the raid volume in place.
Was struggling with this tonight. Made the Recovery USB and followed the instructions. Managed to get the RAID1 made, but the OS recovery failed as others indicated earlier in this thread. Tried to delete the RAID on the Mini, and that was failing...the first device would never unmount in Disk Utility. Rebooted thinking that would help, and now the Recovery USB was no longer working...neither copy that I made (I had two). It would sit on the Apple logo forever, then finally end on the improper boot device logo (crossed out circle).
Tried resetting the PRAM and SMC. Nothing. Single user mode looked like this. We're a self servicing account, so I grabbed the EFI service diagnostic, and thankfully that booted and passed just fine. I was almost stumped.
My last ditch effort was booting in Target mode (so glad it's still available...Thunderbolt as an option too!). Connected the Mini up to my Mac Pro running Lion, launched Disk Utility and I was able to delete the RAID. Reformatted the two SSDs just to be sure then shut down and tried the Recovery USB.... Voila! It works.
So now I'm going to try Installing on one drive, Super Duper a copy, then rebuild the RAID and try to push it back. Starting to think it's not worth it, but would really like to have the RAID1 for uptime.
Anyway...figured I'd post this here since it seems to be the most complete thread.
p.s. Lion's no install media policy just bugs the **** out of me. I can sort of see it for consumer products (and Apple is definitely a consumer company), but it's such a hassle for servers and corporate environments.
Yesterday I had something corrupt on my Mac Mini Server and tried to do a recovery. Yes, I had created a Raid1 array and ignored the warning about the Recovery partition not working because I thought I was smart and was able to find a work around with a bootable Lion disc or drive. As some people may have found out, the bootable image won't work on a mid 2011 Mac Mini. I thought I would post my findings in this thread because I DID find a way to create a recovery partition on the internal drive and STILL have a Raid array.
Essentially I followed the various steps to create the Raid 1 installation of Lion on my Mac Mini, however, when creating the partitions to use in the software raid, I left some space at the end of each drive.
For the steps below, I'm going to assume that you have already cloned your original Lion install to an external disk that is able to be booted from. If not, use the internet recovery option to re-install Lion to an external drive before following the steps below.
1. When creating the partitions for raid, partition each drive to have 2 partitions each.
2. Set the second (or last) partition on each drive to 2gb and let the first partition use the rest of the space.
3. Name the partitions anything you'd like during the formatting process.
3. Now create the Raid 1 array in the normal fashion using the first 2 partitions of each drive
4. Don't touch the second 2 partitions at all at this point.
5. After creating your Raid array, either clone the Lion install from your external drive to the Raid1 Array using an app like SuperDuper or CCCloner
- OR -
Complete a new install using the Recovery HD from the external copy of Lion to install on the Raid array
- OR -
Do a new install using Internet recovery to the Raid array
Note: I jumped around a little, you can use Disk Utility from Recovery Mode to create the Raid array as well. There is many sources for information on how to create the Raid array. My information is mostly for creating the Recovery partition on the internal disks to use with the Raid setup. Keep reading to see that part.
6. Once you have your Lion installation up and running on your Raid1 array, connect your external hard drive (with Recovery HD partition) and use the instructions found here: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20083166-263/managing-the-os-x-10.7-lion-re store-drive/ to make the Recovery partition visible and use the instructions also found on that site to restore the "BaseSystem.dmg" image file to 1 or both of the 2gb partitions you created during your initial Raid configuration.
(I recommend restoring to both as it only takes a couple of minutes to do and if one of your 2 disks fails, you'll have the recovery partition on the working disk to use still.)
7. Now that you have restored the BaseSystem.dmg image, if you hold down 'alt/option' at boot time, you should see 1 or 2 "BaseSystem" partitions (depending on which you did) that you can boot from. Either one will boot to Recovery mode and allows for all the normal recovery options.
Now if you're like me and picky about the way things look, you won't want those "BaseSystem" partitions floating around in Finder, so you may want to hide them. I used these instructions: http://michael.grunewalder.com/2011/09/30/hiding-a-partition-in-os-x-lion/ for both partitions to hide them.
I much prefer using a little space on the internal drives to have a recovery option than having to worry about keeping an external device available at all times. Yes, it is still recommend that you keep the external installation as another method of recovery and you do still have the online recovery option too.
I'm also sure that some people will debate my choice of creating a partition on a disk with a Raid Array like this, but I can assure you that I HAVE in fact created multiple partitions with software raid in the past. I had some 1TB drives that I setup in software raid which I split into 3 separate Raid arrays and ran for quite some time. After much reading and some testing of my own, I never did determine whether there was benefit to do that (not up for debate here), but it did work without causing errors or corrupt files. So these 2 little recovery partitions will not afffect your Raid Array or cause problems for you.
I have been using software raid for about 6 years. 2 years of that has been on Macs. 2 Years ago, I purchased a Mac Pro and have been using software raid since day one. Initially the main system was on a Raid 0 with 2 sata drives. It has since received an upgrade to use 2 SSDs in a raid o for the system drives and now has 4 sata drives in a raid 5 for backups and other data.
I have also been running a Macbook Pro with 2, 120gb SSDs in Raid 0 for everything for over 6 months now. Super super fast this way. I have been using Raid 0 for performance and then keep backups with other drives via time machine for security. Previous to my macs, I was using various software raid arrays with linux on multiple PCs and had no problems other than 1 drive failure, but if you're using a redundant raid setup, you can replace the drive and it will rebuild the array.
I have been running my SLS Mac mini with Software RAID 1 for many many years. Recently, one of my 500GB internal drives failed. I only discovered this by accident when checking the configuration in DiskUtility. I exchanged the faulty drive and modified the RAID 1 by deleting the the old drive and including the new one and it rebuilt itself without any issues.
Since 2006, I am running a RAID 0 in my Mac Pro without any problems.
Apple's software RAID is doing the job for me. The only improvement I could see is an automatic notification if a RAID 1 slice fails - for RAID 0 you will know immediately. Ultimately, your RAID 0 is only as safe as the quality of the HD you are using.
Anybody else who went RAID 0 having the EFI firmware update problem?
It started about a year ago, I suspected that the missing recovery partition had something to do with it, and settled in to wait for a fix. But it hasn't arrived.
It would also be useful to know if anyone who did the RAID 0 mac mini server mod has successfully installed EFI firmware update 1.6 or later.
Thanks, that helps - at least the missing partition does not by itself cause my problem.
I'll assume for now that the problem is unrelated to my RAID setup - but if I find that it's a factor, I'll report back.
You're at the correct version (per http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1237), I'm behind:
Model Identifier: Macmini5,3
Boot ROM Version: MM51.0077.B0E
SMC Version (system): 1.77f0