Drobo FS problems under Mac OS X Lion

I’ve been very disappointed with my Drobo FS during the switch to Lion. I had been using the FS for Time Machine for 3 Macs, and it had been a stable operation for 6 months.

The Lion problems seem to stem from the tighter AFP requirements in Lion. Drobo was clearly not ready. The latest firmware update has made matters worse.

When I upgraded my first machine to Lion a week ago, Time Machine could not connect to the FS. I filed a support ticket with Drobo, and received this astounding response:

We are currently in the process of a firmware update to fix apple’s more stringent AFP requirements. This is just not an issue with drobo. Although we are working on a solutionto fix the issue I do recommend making a complaint to apple if enough customers complain about what they did they may roll it back.

Read that last sentence again. Drobo wanted their customers to ask Apple to change the low-level data communication specs on a major OS upgrade, after the upgrade was released. I was dumbfounded.

Anyone who is in the software business has missed a deadline. I was inclined to cut Drobo some slack for not being ready. But that request for me to lobby Apple on their behalf really left me wondering. Were they simply not able to write a driver that worked with the new spec? Were they planning to drop Mac support? Or were they just behind schedule?

There was one other funny thing happening. When I booted the Lion machine, the Accounts/Login screen appeared, and I could move my cursor around with the mouse. But mouse clicks were ignored. It was impossible to log in! If I shut down the Drobo FS, I was able to log in to the Lion machine. I suspect some background process was hung, waiting for the Drobo. This happened every single time I booted the Lion machine.

On Monday, 4 days after Lion was released, Drobo posted a new version (1.2.0) of the firmware for the FS. Their release notes claimed that it fixed the Time Machine incompatibility. I installed it last night, and things got much worse.

With the new version of the Drobo FS firmware, neither of my machines that are still running Snow Leopard can reliably connect to the Time Machine backup shares. One machine, a Mac Mini that sees very little filesystem activity, takes 20 to 30 minutes to connect to the Drobo. The 5 to 8 MB of data transfer takes about 30 minutes. The other machine, a MacBook Pro, has not yet managed to connect to the FS for a backup. I am seeing frequent Finder freezes (every few minutes) on both Snow Leopard and Lion, and occasional crashes that require a hard reboot.

If you have machines that will remain on Snow Leopard for a while, I suggest that you not install the latest Drobo FS firmware, because it will break Time Machine and make your Finder creep. If you’re in an all-Lion environment, then it doesn’t matter which version of the firmware you use, since neither of them works.

One Twitter follower suggested the Promise DS 4600 as a Drobo replacement. I’m going to give Drobo a few more days before I give up on them completely. I have Backblaze installed on all the machines too, so it’s not a crisis for me yet.

The creation date of the latest FS firmware is July 19, two days before Lion was released, and 6 days before the firmware was released. I have a hunch that things are very busy at Drobo right now.

UPDATE Friday, July 29

I just called Drobo Support. The technician acknowledged that the 1.2.0 firmware does not solve Lion compatibility. He gave me instructions for downloading and running the test suite at http://www.aja.com/ajashare/AJA_System_Test_v601.zip to measure network performance. I haven’t done that yet.

One commenter suggested downgrading the firmware to the previous version. The Drobo support person told me that that would require the datapack to be reset, resulting in total data loss.

My personal advice is still that you skip the 1.2.0 firmware update and wait for their next attempt.

57 thoughts on “Drobo FS problems under Mac OS X Lion

  1. Same problem here. I just got a MacMini for the purpose of running as a server in a few areas for my house (security cam’s, etc…). Am thinking of trading in the Drobo for a thunderbolt or firewire 800 equipped external drive + MacMini running Lion Server acting as a Time Machine server.

  2. I suggest you to downgrade to the 1.1.2 version (you can still manually download it from the support section, and you can “update” manually to it using the dashboard). At least everything will work as it did before.

  3. Yep, same issues here. I can verify that either the new firmware or the new Drobo Dashboard is definitely wreaking havoc in both Lion and Snow Leopard. For me, however, Time Machine backups do work in Lion, but everything is super-slow in both Lion and Snow Leopard. An initial 35 GB Time Machine backup from my new Lion install literally took 48 hours to complete!

    I will probably try rolling back the firmware to at least get my Snow Leopard machine up to speed again, but I am curious whether you have tried that successfully or are just speculating. It is possible that upgrading to the new firmware made some irreversible changes to the data storage that might break things if it’s rolled back. Since I have nothing other than backups on my Drobo FS right now, I guess I’ll try it and report back.

    1. Hmm, Drobo support went beyond that to tell me that they “highly recommend against downgrading your firmware ,this can be rather dangerous to your Drobo beyond RAID Disk pack and or effect or damage your drobo hardware.”

  4. I have this problem too. I hooked a Drobo FS to my new iMac running Lion and Time Machine is not being able to run properly.
    I suppose (hope) that an upgraded firmware from Drobo will solve this asap.

  5. I reset my 400GB data pack and turned off Spotlight indexing as instructed by Drobo Support. I am now 29 hours into backing up my Drobo FS via ethernet not wireless. With 20GB to go, it has now slowed to a back up rate of 1gb per half hour. This is ridiculous. The product is unusable. If you have Lion and are thinking about getting a Drobo FS-dont!

  6. Took Drobo support 4 days (yes 4 days) to return a call with tier 3 support. The support tech was the most reticent, apathetic tech I’ve ever spoken to. There were several uncomfortable moments of silence during that call…like…Drobo tech:”Uh..yeah..well…what do you want me to do for you?” Me: “uh yeah…well..can you help me solve my problem?” Silence….Me: “Hello?” Drobo tech: “yeah?” Seriously!

    I think that you’re right that Drobo wasn’t prepared for this OS update, and that’s just shameful. We’ve known about Lion coming for 6 months. I’m sure Apple shares dev builds with Drobo. Shame on them for allowing this to happen.

  7. Considering pretty much every NAS vendor has been bitten by the AFP change, maybe Apple introduced the change very late in their development series? At least Synology had a beta firmware for their NAS devices available the day that Lion was released which worked without any problems.

  8. I strongly recommend that people not depend on NAS devices to correctly implement proprietary file systems (whether HFS+, NTFS or other), but rather block-oriented devices connected to a server running the appropriate operating system.

    I’m very happy with my Drobo hooked up by FW800 to an old and slow (but far faster than the CPU in Drobo FS) Core 2 Duo Mac running OS X.

    1. That’s great if you have an extra machine around to connect the NAS to. Drobo FS was designed to bypass the need of having a server. This was all working perfectly before the Lion debacle. This is an utter failure by DataRobotics to support their users.

  9. I’m not the only one! Thank you for the post. I have a MacBook Pro upgraded to lion and the iMac still on Snow Leopard.

    Lion = TM backup was munted. I actually ended up deleting the share on the Drobo FS and re-creating it, then restarting the backup. 3 days later it still had not completed and kept crawling. So I’ve gone with adding a 1GB HD to a PPC MacOS Server on a Mac Mini with a 100Mb interface – backup completed in less than 24 hours.

    Snow Leopard = constant finder freezes and hard restarts on the machine to free it up. Concluded it too was having issues with Time machine. Now I had installed Drobo Dashboard on this machine (latest version as well). I have now uninstalled it. And I have also now deleted the share and recreated it for the TM backup on this machine.

    Drobo Dashboard = I’ve logged a fult this afternoon – something else driving me nuts about this software. If you switch from Ethernet to Wifi the Drobo Dashboard software cannot find the Drobo. You need to reboot for the machine to find the Drobo. Stupid. Crazy…

    Seems to me like there is no test team … these issues should have been found prior to release.

  10. If Drobo really needed to get a release out the door, perhaps they should have advised all users to drop any usage of Time Machine to Drobo-FS implementations. It would have saved a whole lot of time.

    Given that my backup was taking 3+ days even to complete, the thought of ever having to use it in full and suffer a 3+ day restore became quite a concern.

  11. I’m using a Synology NAS. They had a beta version of their firmware, that worked with Lion, available the day that it was released. It’s worked flawlessly for me. Once upgraded, it works on any Mac without needing any weird filesystem plugins, and it has the same easy drive expansion behaviour as a Drobo. I’d highly recommend Synology if you do decide to move away from Drobo.

  12. Drobo’s support is horrible. Based on the indifferent (and sometimes hostile) help I’ve received it has completely turned me off buying or recommending their products.

  13. I am running Lion on my macbook pro and am using time machine to back up onto my Drobo FS. It wouldn’t even connect until I upgraded both the Firmware and drobo dashboard. Now the backup rate is hours/Gb on Ethernet. Let’s hope this issue is resolved soon.

  14. Same issue here. 5 Macs talking to a Drobo FS running as a Time Machine server.

    All connected on hard wired gigabit ethernet switch ports.

    Failing exactly as described above – thanks very much for writing this down as it helped to confirm that its not somehow ‘me’ (also verified by a trial backup to a ‘real Time Capsule under my Lion system – which worked fine).

    Its the fact that the Time Capsule device worked fine that makes me wonder about the claim related above from Drobo that its somehow Apple’s fault.

    But regardless – what steams my glasses is that there is nothing on the Drobo site about this, just a Lion FAQ that reads as if all you need to do is an update and you’ll be fine.

    This sort of issue needs the transparency of a clear statement on both the Drobo main home page (“Important notice for Lion users”) and on the Drobo Support main page (“Important notice for Lion users – do not upgrade to Lion at this time”).

    Clearly, the ‘do not upgrade’ advice is the best for now – and if they did this, they wouldn’t be getting slammed with people submitting the same (obviously known) issue in the meantime – and they wouldn’t be letting the resulting grief spread.

    I’ve spent maybe $20,000 on Drobo and related hardware over the last 5 years and somehow I always wind up getting impacted like this.

    Bought DroboShare’s and had to appreciate they were really a dog. Pity I’d bought several at once.

    Have had multiple Drobo systems fail over the last few years due to power supply faults (reduced current output on a rail, not total failure) that look like hard drive faults (and cost me data working that out).

    Have got two DroboPro FS units (8 bays full of drives, x 2) at work that I bought to run DroboSync on and act as a small business file server with backup, and to this day I can’t use them because DroboSync has a dumb bug when used with routed subnets (which is what I have at work) and Drobo have been totally disappointing in terms of fixing this pretty trivial issue.

    I wonder why I keep bothering. These things look so good on paper – and so consistently disappoint in practice. Half of yesterday wasted on this Lion related issue alone, let alone the thousands of bucks idle and wasted at work.

    Software quality, guys. Sure, the latest dashboard is pretty. But the outcome sucks. I’d prefer the other way around (ugly dashboard, rock solid outcome) any day of the week.

    I have filed a bug report with Drobo directly – because absent of any direct reassurance from the sort of page they should have the courage to post on their site (as noted above) I have no choice.

    But based on the helpful information in this thread – I don’t expect to be backing my machines up for a while (and this issue HAS stopped me backing up any of my non-Lion systems too).

    What a monumental stuff up. Its not as if Lion wasn’t available to Drobo as a developer to figure this out sooner. Argh.

  15. Just to maybe save anyone the couple days turnaround time on submitting a ticket with Drobo, here’s the reply I got, so at least you can include the diagnostics with the initial ticket (as it if isn’t already abundantly clear what the problem is):

    Thank you for contacting Drobo Technical Support. I am very sorry for the issues you are experiencing concerning performance after the update and migration to the new 10.7.x lion distribution of OSX. Without further adjure i would highly recommend against downgrading your firmware ,this can be rather dangerous to your Drobo beyond RAID Disk pack and or effect or damage your drobo hardware. What we can do is get a diagnostic file generated and uploaded to this support ticket along with run a Kona performance test on your Drobo FS as to get some bearings concerning through put TX/RX values from your computer to the Drobo FS NAS device. Please follow the bellow instructions exactly.


    Dashboard v 2.0.0 Any platform.

    1) From dashboard on the left side select the Capacity and Tools menu

    2) on the right side click the wrench icon, form the drop down menu select the First Aid icon “Diag”

    >>> Upload Diagnostic file through Support Portal Account:

    1. Login at http://support.datarobotics.com/app/account/questions/list

    2. Click on My Support Account on the left

    3. Click on Questions

    4. Click on the subject description to the left of this Incident

    5. Click the black “Update Question” button

    6. Put “DIAG” in the Thread box

    7. Under “Attach Additional Documents to Question” select Browse to select your attachments

    8. Click the black “Submit Update to Question” button


    *** A) Follow this procedure to disconnect your Drobo FS from your network and directly connect it to a NIC card on your computer.

    If you only have 1 NIC card in your computer, before you take your computer off of your network, make sure you download AJA Kona System Test Version 6.0.1 which is required for Step E) below.

    If your Drobo FS is configured with a Static IP address, make sure you assign, to the computer’s NIC card, an IP Address in the same range as the IP address of the Drobo FS and a Subnet Mask that is the same as the Subnet Mask of the Drobo FS.

    If your Drobo FS is not configured with a Static IP address, make sure you select “Using DHCP” on the computer’s NIC card.

    1) Go into Drobo Dashboard – Advanced Controls – Tools and Shutdown your Drobo FS.

    When all lights on Drobo FS go out, including power light, proceed to next step.

    If you are unable to Shutdown the Drobo FS through the Drobo Dashboard, toggle OFF the power switch on the Drobo FS.

    2) Disconnect Ethernet cable from the network.
    3) Disconnect power from Drobo FS.
    4) Connect Ethernet cable from Drobo FS to NIC card in computer.
    5) Connect power to Drobo FS.
    6) Toggle ON the power switch on the Drobo FS.

    *** B) Follow this procedure to generate a Diagnostic file:

    1) Click on “Drobo Dashboard” in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, next to your Apple
    2) Select “Get Diagnostic Information”

    *** C) Follow this procedure IMMEDIATELY after generating the Diagnostic file in order to reboot your computer and your Drobo FS:

    1) Shut down computer
    2) Toggle OFF power switch on Drobo FS
    3) Restart computer
    4) Toggle ON power switch on Drobo FS

    *** D) Once the Drobo FS is booted up, click on the Apple and select “Force Quit” then Force Quit ALL applications except the Finder and including the Drobo Dashboard!!!

    *** E) Download, install and run AJA Kona System Test Version 6.0.1 and generate a screen shot of the Graph and Text Log results:

    1) Go to http://www.aja.com/ajashare/AJA_System_Test_v601.zip
    2) Download AJA Kona System Test Version 6.0.1
    3) Once installed, double-click on Mac HD
    4) Double-click on Applications folder
    5) Double-click on AJA System Test

    In the AJA System Test Window:

    1) Click on AJA System Test next to the Apple in the upper left-hand corner of your screen
    2) Select AJA System Test Preferences
    3) Select the radio button next to “MBytes/sec”
    4) File I/O API: Macintosh
    5) Check box next to “Round frame sizes to 4 KB”
    6) Check box next to “Enable network volumes”
    7) Close the AJA System Test Preferences window by clicking on the red dot in the upper left-hand corner of window
    8) Test: Sweep File Sizes
    9) Volume: Volume Name of Drobo FS
    10) Video Frame Size: DVCProHD 1080i60
    11) Make sure “Disable file system cache” is checked
    12) Click Start
    13) Once the Write AND Read test completes running on “File Size: 8192.0 MB/s” which is located in the upper right-hand corner of the Window click the STOP button
    14) Click on the Graph button at the bottom of the window and take a screen shot of your Desktop by holding down the APPLE (Command) – SHIFT and 3 key
    15) Click on the Text button at the bottom of the window and take a screen shot of your Desktop by holding down the APPLE (Command) – SHIFT and 3 key

    *** F) Follow this procedure IMMEDIATELY after running the Kona Test above in order to generate another Diagnostic file:

    1) Click on “Drobo Dashboard” in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, next to your Apple
    2) Select “Get Diagnostic Information”

    *** G) Follow this procedure IMMEDIATELY after generating the above Diagnostic file in order to gather a System Log from the computer to which the Drobo FS is directly attached:

    1) Double-click on the Mac HD
    2) Double-click on the Applications folder
    3) Double-click on the Utilities folder
    4) Double-click on Console
    5) Click on View
    6) Select Show Log List (if it is available)
    7) Select system.log
    8) Click on File
    9) Select Save a Copy As …

    *** H) Upload ALL FIVE of the above files – Diagnostic File, AJA Graph Screen Shot, AJA Text Screen Shot, 2nd Diagnostic File and System Log, into this Incident through your Support Portal Account by following this procedure:

    1) Login at http://support.datarobotics.com/app/utils/login_form/

    2) Your Username is XXXXXXX

    3) Select “My Support Account” on the left side of the webpage

    4) Click on the “Questions” link in the middle of the webpage

    5) Click on the subject description to the left of Incident # XXXXXX-XXXXXXX

    6) Click the black “Update Question” button

    7) Put “performance files” in the Thread box

    8) Under “Attach Additional Documents to Question” select Browse to select your attachments

    9) Click the black “Submit Update to Question” button

    Considering how slow the Finder gets whenever I power the Drobo FS on after the firmware “upgrade,” I wonder when I’ll have time to complete this… Still, if you could all file similar reports with Drobo, at least it will help them to understand the breadth of this issue.

  16. The DroboFS/Lion AFP issue hit me as well. Seemingly small and simple operations literally took minutes to hours. Interestingly, SMB dide not appear to be affected and was quite snappy. Because I had only upgraded one laptop to Lion, I decided to try rolling back the DroboFS firmware.

    First, I copied all the backup data off the DroboFS via SMB to a local firewire disk. Then, I grabbed the previous version of DroboFS firmware from ftp://ftp.drobo.com/drobofs/firmware/ Lastly, I “upgraded” the DroboFS to version 1.1.2 and rebooted everything. Amazingly, it worked without incident. YMMV.

    Hope this helps.

    1. No, the old DroboFS firmware does not work with Lion. I only have one laptop upgraded to Lion; the rest are Snow Leopard. My priority was to get all my Snow Leopard Macs that backup with Time Machine to work on my DroboFS, which they do with the old firmware.

      Hopefully Drobo will catch enough flak that they fix this. I have to imagine a good chunk of their business comes from customers using their gear to backup via Time Machine.

  17. On my side, same problems and Drobo said 3 times in a row that “Drobo Firmware is not in any way the problem” referring to an article somewhere on the internet…

    What I see is that the firmware 1.2.0 makes my FS not working as expected for my Lions and Snow Leopard macs.

    But the problem only occurs with Time Machine Shares.
    With the normal shares it works fine. Even with AFP.

    What I saw is that I’m not able to mount at all a TM share, from the Finder nor Drobo Dashboard (a thing you should never use anyway). But finally I discovered one thing : it’s because there is a LOT of data in mac sparse bundle image file. So I made a new empty share, with TM activated, and it mounted in a second ! Amazing !

    Actually I’m testing a thing : I named my TM share to same name_OLD, created a new share, with the name I wanted, then applied settings (all on the dashboard). Then I go to my drobo in the finder, open the TM share that is empty, and then go to TM preferences and select the new disk. This way it was doing the backup quite fast. But I wanted to try to reuse my previous one !

    So I just select the disk, in TM preferences, then while it says I have 120 seconds before backup I went into a terminal window and connected to my drobo. I used the mv command like :
    mv Shares/iTimeOLD/MyComputer.sparebundle Shares/iTime/

    It took a nano second to move the file there.

    Now my backup is mounting the share, and it took time but I know from the past the my big backup (1.5TB) needs a lot of time to be read the first time so I’ll let it work some hours and see. But at least, my system works, my TM preferences aren’t freezer, and my finder did not crashed… One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind …

    1. How do you have your old Time Machine share iTimeOLD mounted when you do this. Are you mounting it via Dashboard for Finder. Do you have it mounted using smb or afp?

  18. I got a Drobo satisfaction survey on Saturday and had to enter mostly negatives due solely to this issue. Macbook Pro / Time Machine / Drobo FS with updated firmware and dashboard. No go at all.

    Are there any other good software alternatives out there that others are using with Drobo FS in lieu of Time Machine?

    And to the folks who are finding Drobo’s tech support less than enthusiastic, I have to echo the same sentiment. It’s like they’re mad at ME for bringing this obvious F up to their attention.

  19. I currently have 3 macs in the house, 2 running Lion (iMac and MacBook) and 1 still on SL (MacBook Pro). I had originally done a clean install of Lion with the MacBook, installed the new firmware and Dashboard, and ran a Time Machine backup with absolutely no issues.

    On the iMac however, my initial upgrade to Lion failed miserably so I had to do a clean instal, but now I can’t connect to my previous backups for the life of me resulting in a wonderfully empty computer.

    I haven’t tried any sort of backups with the MacBook Pro, but after reading all of this I am seriously skeptical of doing anything on that computer short of disconnecting it from my Drobo Shares.

    I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one having an issue, but I am seriously surprised that Drobo has not gone further to get their house in order.

    1. I have the problem, and I have a Brother networked laser printer. Do you think there is some connection?

    2. yes try using the local ip of the printer not the name, in printer settings it works then.

      i have Drobo FS and brother printer, Drobo works in lion 10.7.1 but not in 10.7.2

  20. After the drobo survey call I got today, I’m guessing they were highly considering getting out of the mac backup device market. They wanted to know just how many of their current customers were really using the TM/afp features.

  21. More of the same, here. After upgrading to Lion and upgrading the Drobo firmware on my Drobo FS my backup speed dropped to around 17K/sec (that really is K!)

    I’ve just tried using my gen 2 Drobo on FireWire with much the same result. Estimate: 2 days to backup 800G.

    I’ve abandoned the Drobos for the moment and pulled out an old Lacie drive. Getting a much more respectable estimate of 5 hours to backup 400G

  22. !Unfortuneately! I’m glad I’m not the only one that has experienced extremely unprofessional phone support from Drobo.

    When calling in for support for the compatibility issues with Lion, both times when I told the tech my OS was Lion, he became very condescending and impatient.

    Has anyone tried to bring these failing interactions to the attention of someone at Drobo that actually cares about quality of service with customers and positively representing the company?

  23. I just lost all my data (among which all my life’s photos). I’m devastated.

    I´ve got Drobo FS connected to MacBook Pro with SNOW LEOPARD.
    Just yesterday night, Auto-Update prompted me to update to 1.2.0.

    SINCE I DID the Drobo connects to the computer as usual, but When I open a FINDER WINDOW for the Drobo, it is EMPTY, like there was nothing in my DroboFS (even waiting for 10-15 minutes the window does not populate any files or folders… it´s just empty). So It´s like data was lost. Also Finder gets irresponsive, and Drobo Dashboard doesn´t let me shutdown the DroboFS. I have to manually switch it off.

    – Drobo Dashboard (v1.7.3) is however telling me there is 1.6TB of data on the DroboFS, and that it is healthy.
    – Drobo blue lights show it´s full at about 50%.

    If anyone has a clue how to get back my files, please drop me a line. I´d really appreciate.

    Why did auto-update prompt me to update, if there is so much problems with v1.2.0, and I don´t have MacOS Lion!
    They really should have blocked auto-update for this problematic version, or at least offer further info on the update before you commit to it.

    I´ve had Drobo Dashboard v1.7.3 and auto-update did not alert me of new versions (I just realised there is v 2.0.3 out there!). however it made me update the firmware to v1.2.0 without really needing it.

    I´ve filed in a ticket for Drobo Support. I´ll post if there´s anything interesting from them to share.

  24. I have the same issues, only I would like to restore my os to snow leopard but cannot as I can’t connect to the drobo-fs to get to TimeMachine. So I’m stuck, don’t want to go forward as I have several powerpc apps that won’t work(Adobe CS, Entourage) that I’m not ready to give up.

  25. FYI – For normal shares, you can mount the Drobo via SMB. The speed kicks way up for transfers. Not a permanent solution, but for general file-server stuff (like your media files, etc.) it is a good workaround.

    Just go to the finder, hit CMD-K and type: smb://your.drobo.ip.here/ and click connect. Enter your normal credentials, (you’ll have to enter them again, because the keychain won’t recognize it as the same mount) and you will see your normal shares available.

    You won’t be able to do time machine backups, but for everything else, it will at least speed things up while we wait for the AFP fix.

  26. Hi, so glad (in a worrying kind of way) that others have had sme problems as me where after upgrading my DroboFS to version 1.2.0 I had endless issues including CNID DB corruption, System Resources in Use disallowing dismounting of shares and appalling performance.

    I reverted to firmware version 1.1.2 by downloading the file from Drobo’s FTP server and forcing downgrade (CTRL+click Check for Upgrades in the Dashboard). I am still using Dashboard 3.0.2 ok.

    Cheers for the discussion Hal and for extensive comments by Simon and others.

  27. Same problems with my Drobo FS/Lion.
    When my backup-scripts run even my Lion OS keeps freezing. My system has become useless. I had to shut down the Drobo FS to keep using my iMac. When I start up the drobo, and it is connected to the network my iMac behaves strange or even freezes.

    The Drobo is too expensive if you can’t use it!

    This disappoints me:
    On the support site from Drobo they keep telling that everything will work when you use the new firmware an dashboard software. So, thats where you start to investigate you own system and network. THIS TOOK ME HOURS AND HOURS last weeks! Why don’t they honestly admit that it doesn’t work 100% yet? This could have saved a lot of us very much time!

    Thanks to this blog I stopped looking for the problem on my other hardware. I hope Drobo gets it fixed soon so I can use it again.

  28. I’m in the same boat here. I’ve always had pretty slow connections on my Drobo FS, but it’s terrible now after Lion. I do pretty large Time Machine backups on multiple machines in the 2TB range. On one of my machines it says it will complete in 150 days over Gigabit Ethernet.

    I may be asking too much out of this Drobo FS. I was doing a search for other solutions when I came across this post. I’m leaning towards the Synology DS1511+. It’s gotten great reviews and as another commenter has posted, they have a beta version that works with Lion and also an estimated release date for the final which I can’t get any information from Drobo support.

    Hopefully there’s a fix soon for Drobo FS users or a lot of us are left with expensive paper weights.

  29. After the update and no longer being able to connect to the existing Time Machine, I abandoned it and now rsync backups. There’s no fix at this point that would give me enough confidence to rely on Drobo’s Time Machine implementation in the future.

  30. In the meantime, has anyone just direct connected their DroboFS until this is fixed? This flakiness killed a two day MCMC run on a cancer genomics dataset—rather demoralizing when a scheduled backup to the DroboFS crashed my MacPro.

  31. 2 Macs still running Snow Leopard — 2 weekends and a full week of evenings gone — fighting this same problem. Time Machine volumes wouldn’t mount after “upgrading” to firmware 1.2.0. It was definitely a file locking issue. Not on;y would TM not work, both Macs would freeze at random times with a DroboFS mounted — didn’t have to be a TM volume. Did everything suggested in the article and things kept hanging. I did everything Sébastien talks about (above) and more and I never got it to work. Let one system run TM for 8 hours and it never got past “Comparing Differences.” The other machine got to scanning files, but locked up after 6 hours.

    Out of pure desperation I decided to try to downgrade the firmware as described at the bottom of the post. I’m glad I hadn’t read all the warnings above before trying this. It seems to have worked. As soon as the DroboFS rebooted with the 1.1.2 firmware TM found the new TM partition I had built and started backing up.

    In the time it took for me to write this post TM has already mounted the disk, scanned for changes and is 400 MB into the backup.

    I’m generally so disappointed with my DroboFS that I’m contemplating buying a Mac Mini and attaching a DroboS (or other cheaper RAID case) to go from a NAS to a SAN configuration.

  32. hi,
    i haven’t even manage to connect both macbook pro(both lion) neither via ethernet cable nor via network, it did show up but after restarting from dashboard gone for good.
    any idea how to make it connect at all?

  33. Same problems here…. I’ve now had to deal wiht Drobo support on two seperate occasions, it’s without doubt the worst support I’ve recieved from a supposedly respected company.

  34. With the last firmware update my time machine backups are working again. but i had to erase the time machine volume on the drobo over the dashboard and create a new one.

  35. Seriously, September 20th and still they have not sorted this out. Very poor for a company that offers a high end product like this.

    Customer service reps have been nice enough to deal with but three months to fix a major issue like this is testing my patiences.

  36. I have a Drobo S and upgraded to Lion. Everything worked fine in Snow Leopard worked. I use the Drobo Dashboard (the latest) and only use Drobo Copy for important data from my master hard drive. It no longer worked under Lion. Drobo of course makes no mention of this anywhere that I can find. Their ted-support here in the Netherlands was aware of the problem and said it would be fixed in the next Drobo Dashboard release. I have waited and waited and today got the following email. Seems that the simple solution for Drobo is to drop the copy option since it no longer works. Too bad the Drobo has no competition.

    Response Via Email (Thomas B) 09/30/2011 04:44 AM
    Dear Customer, coming back to you in this issue.

    With the new up coming Dashboardversion we decided that the DroboCopy Option will be not longer aviable. So we would kindly ask you to use another Back Up utility.
    Such as
    Time Machine (included in the OS)

    SuperDuper (free)

    Carbon Copy Cloner (free)

    Data Backup by Prosoft eng. (free 30 day demo)

    Kind Regards,
    Thomas B
    Drobo – Support Agent

  37. Hi,
    I have detected the Finder freeze or slowdown problem after 10.6.8 update and reported it to Drobo. Firmware updates have not solved really the problem. I can imagine that AFP changes with Lion added a stack to the mess…
    The only thing I have done that helped somehow was to delete and recreate the TM volume on the Drobo FS.
    But I am sure that Drobo needs to improve seriously the firmware to get back performances.

  38. I just wanted to follow this thread. I’m having the same problems with my DroboFS and it sucks. I too also have Backblaze though and it’s amazing that my entire machine backs up faster over my cable modem to Backblaze than to the Drobo, which is now GBs behind.

  39. Did you ever get this issue resolved? I’m having the same issue with Drobo FS and Snow Leopard. Just causes my finder to crawl, backups never complete, etc. I invested a bunch of $$ in this drobo this spring and it worked great until I did the firmware update. I have not upgraded any of the workstations to Lion yet for other reasons, but I’m wondering if I update it will correct this.

  40. Too bad the problem still seems unresolved. The timemachine backups to a DroboFS takes forever. I’m now trying CarbonCopyCloner because the transfer speeds seem to be a bit better. But for the next NAS, i’m defintely moving away from Drobo. In theory the Raidsystem is perfect, but the actually performance is no where near what you would expect. The same goes for things like wake-on-lan support and such. The drobo apps, even though a nice idea, are extremely difficult to get working, and basically offer things that should have been supported out of the box by a NAS.

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