boot from drobo

So, I’ve got a Drobo. Now, I want to learn how to use it in emergencies. I’ve created three partitions. The first one I use for Time Machine backups. The second one is bootable and I use CarbonCopy to duplicate the mac main drive. I intend to use this partition to startup in case of the main drive fails. The third I use to store data.

Suppose my mac main drive fails. How can I startup the machine by the second partition on Drobo? I tried to restart the mac, pressed the Option key and the partition was not there.

Suppose I have another mac. Can I plug the Drobo on it and use the data stored? Will this mac see the three partitions?

try putting your CCC backup in the first partition and see what happens…

it might be that by the time the machine looks for bootable partitions, drobo hasnt finished starting up and isnt presenting any partitions?

Hello glxavier,

Most drives come set up for Windows, and while they’ll generally work with the Mac, they won’t work properly as startup drives.

A “partition scheme” is the low-level on-drive stricture that is used by the OS to find the “volumes” (the “drives” that appear in Finder—a physical disk can have one or more) on a physical disk. There are three different “partition schemes” that can be used on the Mac:

* Master Boot Record—this is the partitioning scheme used by Windows, and how most drives are shipped.
* Apple Partition Map—the original partitioning scheme used by the Mac, required for Power PC based Macs.
* GUID (aka GPT)—the new partitioning scheme used by Intel Macs.

So, here’s what you should do with a new drive.

  1. Start Disk Utility (it’s in /Applications/Utilities)
  2. Select the external drive hardware in the sidebar.
    You must select the drive hardware, above any existing volumes, or the Partition tab will not appear.
  3. Click the Partition tab
  4. Use Disk Utility’s controls to divide the drive as needed, even as a single large partition. Use “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format type and name appropriately
  5. Click the Options button
  6. Choose the proper partition scheme (GUID for Intel macs, Apple Partition Map for Power PC) and accept the page
  7. Click Partition.

I use the Drobo as a bootable backup and it works fine. You have to format the Droba via Disk Utility and not via Dashboard. Only in DU can you set it as “GUID”


I dont have a mac but…

I thought there was a problem with creating partitions using Disk Utility? they cant be seen by dashboard - it can only see partitions which it creates itself (the data is there still thought - it just doesnt show up in dashboard?)

When formatting via Drobo Dashboard I thought it did use GUID as it was necessary in order to create large (e.g. 16TB) partitions.

You are correct. Dashboard has a problem with partitions created using DU. I am experiencing this also. But in real life it does not really matter. It is a nuisance but the data is safe and that is the most important. I am still on version 1.5.1 and there it reports the correct total amount of data on the Drobo. I personally do not need to see the amount of data for each partition as long as the total is correct[hr]

I do not know as I have not tried it. The “instructions” above are a recommendation from the Superduper website.


it probably still worth mentioning before advising someone to take a course of action which will essentially “break” dashboard?

just because you “personally” dont see the point - maybe he does?

Also i’ve just read in another thread this does create the possibility for data loss while doing a firmware update as dashboard only gracefully unmounts the partitions it can see - the other partitions simply get rudely disconnected!

how can I do that? Should I have to format and create the partitions again?