Posts Tagged ‘Drobo’

About the Mac OS X v10.6.3 Update

March 30th, 2010 No comments

Apple started to seed now the new Mac OS 10.6.3 update to their customers. One of the mentioned issues is maybe solving my ongoing troubles with my TimeMachine / Drobo setup:

Time Machine fixes and improvements provided for:

  • reliability from Time Machine-to-Time Capsule backups, including multiple computers.
  • an issue with Time Machine in which system backups could be restored onto unsupported Mac configurations.

I’ll keep you updated ๐Ÿ˜‰

Categories: Apple, Drobo, MacBook Pro, Storage

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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: ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 lostย  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

[polldaddy rating=”465216″]

Categories: Apple, Drobo, Storage

Drobo updates…

August 27th, 2009 No comments

The drobo dashboard told me today that there’s a update available for the dashboard itself – but not for the drobo. Johannes told me these days that there’s a new version 1.3.4 available for the drobo’s firmware… and he was right.

But the dashboard is not recognizing it automtically – so I had to install it manually. Not the first time, yes.

I downloaded the firmware, started the install process and seconds later the installation finished… without errors ๐Ÿ™‚

After a reboot the new version was shown up in the drobo dashboard:

Drobo Firmware / Dashboard update

First impressions:

Nothing special occured after the installation up to now. So now let’s see what happens during the next days…
Don’t expect that the drobo will go into standby now when connected to the AirPort Extreme via USB – nothing changed on this side.

Categories: Apple, Drobo, MacBook Pro, Storage

Weekend stuff… Drobo again & Philips Latte Select

July 26th, 2009 2 comments
Latte Select

Latte Select

And again I have troubles with two items in my flying circus.

The brand new Philips Latte Select failed now the second time – after it was delivered the first time by I had to return it immediately because the watertank was broken (the water indicator).

They sent me a new one and everything worked fine – until yesterday evening. We made two cups of Latte Macchiato – but then the machine stopped working. Normal coffee worked, but as soon as a ‘milky’ version was selected the start/stop button light was just flashing… not the fast flashing indicating that milk or water is missing – no a slower one which is not described in the manual…

Drobo 2TB

Drobo 2TB

But not enough – I started to move large files to my drobo (about 5 files each about 2GB). While the move was performed my MacBook Pro decided to start a backup via TimeMachine to my drobo. After 2mins the light indicators of the drobo where black. It just stopped working.

I disconnected the drobo from the Airport Extreme, pulled out the power line, waited some minutes and then re-powered the device. Re-connected it to the APE and tried again. Same procedure… this time much faster :-(… after seconds the lights where black and the drobo didn’t respond any more.

Because it was already two o’clock in the morning I decided that I wait until the next day to try it again.

This morning I connected the device directly to the MacBook Pro because it was not possible to restart the drobo again while it was connected to the Airport Extreme – and it worked.

So I think this time the Airport Extreme seems to be the device to blame. I restarted the device and then reconnected the drobo – and now everything worked. Strange behaviour….

The Airport Extreme was not dead during this time – everything else worked fine…

The Philips Senseo LS has been picked up yesterday (Aug., 3rd 2009) evening to take a little repair session… we’ll see how long this session will take.

Update 2:
As promised by Philips Support the Senseo was sent back within 10 workdays. And works great ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Apple, MacBook Pro, Others, Storage

Back on track with my DROBO 2nd. Gen.

March 25th, 2009 No comments

Seams to be a lucky day ๐Ÿ™‚
Today I restarted a trial on the backup of my MBP via AirportExtreme and the Drobo – and it works…

back on track again...

back on track again...

Categories: Storage

The Seagate issue…

March 15th, 2009 No comments

Barracuda 7200.11

Barracuda 7200.11

After recognizing that my drobo failed due to a problem (…a known problem at seagate…) I googled around and found that the problem will get worse on time.
Users reported that their drives (Barracuda 7200.11, 1TB cap. – Model …340AS) have been locked down after a while and they couldn’t get out data because the drives even won’t be recognized any more on BIOS level…
Yesterday I downloaded the firmware update for the drive – but have to organize an external SATA dock to upgrade. DROBO is not useable to update the firmware of drives…
… today the support page at seagate vanished… only a dead link remains on their knowledge page.
A friend of mine, told me he also had the problem with the drive and got an exchange via Seagate Munich – so maybe this would be the way I’ll go now.
Another friend of mine also has troubles with his drobo which are related to a Seagate drive out of this series…

Seems that they have a problem with the knowledge-DB at seagate. All links are not working…

Categories: Storage

No luck with my DROBO

March 12th, 2009 3 comments
Disk Error - DROBO

Disk Error - DROBO

Today I tried to reconnect to my Drobo via my MBP… but I had no luck – drives have not beenย accessible.

So I decided to connect it not via the Airport Extreme – i connected it directly via Firewire.

This trial showed me the error-dialog you can see on the left side.

But I was a little bit happy about the fact that I was able to backup my data stored on the Drobo back to my MBP.

Well – I bought the Drobo to store data in a save way on an external disk – but it seems that the Drobo was the wrong choice – instead of backing up data to the Drobo I’m now backing up data to my laptop —> definitly the wrong way it goes…

I gave now the Drobo support a try – waiting what happens next…

Update: 13th March, 2009
What a perfect support by Drobo Inc. ๐Ÿ™‚
Just opened a support case I was contacted in a perfect way – direct questions related to the issue, fine communication between different contacts at Drobo Inc Support and a fast result for their analyses about the issue itself.

It looks like I’ll have to blame Seagate and not Drobo – the problem seems to be a 1TB seagate disk which is used in my drobo:

Seagate drive with error...

Seagate drive with error...

There’s a knowledge base entry with several tools to check your drives at the seagate page – thank’s to Steven Ponder (Drobo Support) for providing the link.

Categories: Storage

DROBO – new issue

March 11th, 2009 No comments

I powered up my DROBO about two days ago and recognized that the noise issue I had before (running fan, not going into standby) seamed to be not so a problem any more (it was really quiet…)…

But today I wanted to store some files on the DROBO and in the background TimeMachine tried to backup my MacBook Pro – the result I got was a loss of network connection due to a reboot of the DROBO.

I re-powered the DROBO and checked the system LEDs —> showing me now that there is a thermal (overheating) problem with the black box in front of me… I’m now a little bit disappointed!

What the hell should this damned error message tell me – of course the box is too hot…. but it IS NOT too hot. It’s pretty cool – so what’s about this error… have to examine over the next hours… to be continued

Categories: Storage

DROBO – a update…

February 2nd, 2009 2 comments


After almost two month now I want to give a short overview about the ‘new’ DROBO 2.0 box.

Well – it’s a up and down… with more ups, I think ๐Ÿ˜‰

I found several problems on using / setting up the Drobo and some (one) of them are showstoppers.

First of all – here’s my installation in detail:

DROBO 2.0 USB/Firewire, Airport Extreme, MacBook Pro and Sony Vaio

1 – The standby-issue

I thought that it is possible to connect the Drobo to the Apple Airport Extreme via USB 2.0 as external Disk. The Airport is able to host HDDs connected as Airdisk and share them over the network so that every linked computer would be able to connect.

Well, it IS possible to connect the Drobo to the Airport… BUT

The problem is very simple – connecting the Drobo to the Airport will prevent the Drobo from going into standby mode. That results in a really noisy black box. Because the Drobo is situated right under my flat-TV that is absolutely unacceptable. And – of course – there’s also the point that it will consume much more power than being in standby…



The question here is now if the DROBO SHARE component would resolve that issue…
Anyone out there having tested it? In combination with the Airport Extreme?

How did I resolve the problem?
Also very simple – I disconnect the Drobo every time I do not use it from the Airport Extreme – within seconds the Drobo switches into standby-mode and is much quieter from this point on. But it is not completly quiet – sometimes the Drobo comes alife by powering up the fan – so if you want it really to be quiet you will have to disconnet the Drobo also from the powerline.

2 – The TimeMachine issue

There’s not really a issue here. Not on the Drobo side, but on the TimeMachine.
TimeMachine always is using the whole HDD capacity you are connecting to the Mac you are using. So if you don’t like to fill up the whole drive with TM backups you will have to create a separate partition to be used for backing up your Mac via TM.

It’s working great and no problems are found so far – I think there will be no issues because both – Apple and Data Robotics – are reffering this functionality. At the Data Robotics you can find a detailed description how to setup an additional partition on the Drobo.

Update, 02-02-2009:
There is a DroboApp called ‘Time Tamer‘ available to limit the appetite of TimeMachine by using a Drobo. I thought that DroboApps only work in combination with DroboShare… but some of them are also working ‘normal’ via AppleScript (Automator in detail)… seems to be worth to check it out…

Categories: Storage