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Posts Tagged ‘Airport Extreme’

TimeMachine & DROBO

January 4th, 2010 No comments

TimeMachine IconOn Jan. 1st my TimeMachine Sparsebundle which is hosted on my DROBO 2TB via a Apple Airport Extreme AirDisk crashed. The directory of the SB showed several issues when I checked it with ‘Disk Utility’. I then tried to repair the image several times – under different conditions. So I tried it connected via AirDisk, accessed locally via FireWire connected DROBO, via USB connection… I also copied the image to an additional USB drive other than the DROBO… but it didn’t work.

I googled a little bit and found that ‘Disk Utility’ is not the right choice to repair images which are showing such issues. Mostly users refer then to ‘DiskWarrior’ – this piece of SW should be able to correct the errors. But is it really worth $ 99.95? There’s no trial version so I couldn’t test it – and by the way: the things stored on the TM-image are only things I’ve already wiped out of my MBP. And the other things are perfectly stored securely on my DROBO. So I just loose some convenience on deleting the corrupt image if I’m not able to repair it – but nothing which is worth $99.95 to spend 😉

So it was clear for me what to do: delete the sparsebundle TM-image and check what I can to to prevent further issues.

I checked the DROBO-Support pages – and hoped that since my last visit there they realized that there is a problem by using the DROBO in such a constellation like I do.

And yes – they have checked their user-discussion-board and come up with solutions now:

  1. There is now a document showing how to setup the DROBO correctly
    (yes, I know – there was one in the past too… but this one now is different)
  2. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is now supported
  3. a new DROBO Dashboard version 1.6.6 (release notes) is available (firmware is uptodate:  1.3.5)

The new point is that you have to partition the DROBO into two segments. One – the FIRST one – for TimeMachine use, the second for all your other data. In the past this was not supported and recommended.

How to proceed here is really simple – just follow the documentation. What’s not really clear on this document: keep in mind that the FIRST partition is the one you will use for TimeMachine and it’s new Sparsebundle image. This partition will keep it’s fixed size (e.g. 200GB out of 930 GB with a 2TB setup of DROBO).

So – if you expand your DROBO (e. g. with one additional disk, cap. 1TB) later on with new drives the FIRST partition will not change – only the SECOND partition is expanding then:

Partition A (for TM use): 200GB
Partition B (for data): 1.6TB

Following this guide I realized one thing: DROBO Dashboard again is only recognizing ONE single partition. But that’s not the problem at all 🙂

I also found now several documents at their knowledge base showing how to handle the DROBO in case of disk-problems… and – yes, you can believe it – now you are not only allowed to maintain you DROBO with third party tools (DiskWarrior, Disk Utility, TechTool Deluxe / Pro) – it’s now recommended!

Categories: Apple, Drobo, Storage

Drobo – a one timer

September 21st, 2009 No comments
Drobo 2TB

Drobo 2TB

I’m using my drobo 2nd gen. now for exactly one year and was facing multiple problems during this time.

First of all I had troubles with the vents – they are too loud to use the drobo in a ‘silenced’ area like my living room.

Since the first weeks of usage the firmware of the drobo has now been updated several times and the vents are now blowing not as much as at the beginning… but:

The main problem here is still unresolved because the drobo still doesn’t go into standby (drives are, drobo not) when used as airdisk in combination with a airport extreme. So in addition you are also vasting energy because the system is ALWAYS available.

Second issue I had was drive and not drobo related – I bought my drobo preconfigured with two seagate 1TB drives – and one of these drives failed.

What I was missing here are two things:

  • The problem was known at Drobo support, but customers have not been informed automatically – so I ran into a problem here and lost  really time because I had to organize ANOTHER drive to backup my data (had to reinitialize my drobo!).
  • I was not able to find out what happened – Drobo Dashboard told me the drives are fine…

You shouldn’t copy too much files at once to your drobo – I’m still facing freezes here. Here again it’s not really visible for the user what exactly is freezing… But after a while and dozens of freezes I found out that the problem is that the drobo is not really interacting well with my airport extreme —> the USB hub of the airport extreme freezes on pushing too much files there.

And another really big problem in my eyes can be read at www.suitetake.com

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Categories: Apple, Drobo, Storage