Boot Mac from Drobo=no go?

I read a support FAQ that states that the Mac can indeed be booted from the Drobo (2nd Gen), but mine fails to do so. I have 4 1TB drives in my Drobo, formatted as two 2TB partitions. One is for backup purposes and the other stores a duplicate of my boot drive to use for running diagnostics and repairs from if need be. When trying to boot from the valid filesystem on the duplicate partition (made with Super Duper), the boot fails and reverts back to the main boot drive. I’m on a dual 2GB G5. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.


Just by way of update: I have cloned my boot volume to the partition on the Drobo using both SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner and the Drobo is connected directly to the back of the computer with a FW800 cable. Still no joy booting from the Drobo either by changing the Startup Disk preference pane or by holding down “option” at boot time. The only option given (using the option key at boot) is the main startup drive.

I’ve never had another external drive fail to boot my machine. Obviously, the Drobo isn’t just another drive, but the FAQs say it’s possible.

Works for me … … So if you press the “Option” key at the boot chime … the cloned partition does not show up? Was this partition created as a GUID partition? This is required for Intel Macs

Nope, it’s a Apple Partition Partition Map, as I’m not on an Intel Machine (G5).

Just for the record. I am booting an Intel Mac mini from a 2nd generation Drobo since January 2009. Once a week I SuperDuper the Drobo to another RAID array and boot from it. After validation of the copy I go back to Drobo boot. Never had a problem with that. Got confused by statement from Jennifer recently. She stated that booting from a Drobo is not recommended by DRI.

Apple’s OS X supports booting from external drives, including Drobo or DroboPro. Windows, however, does not.

The bootable backup on Drobo is meant to be used in emergency situations where you cannot access your main internal hard drive. We do not recommend this as a permanent solution since Drobo Dashboard will launch but does not display the Drobo or volume information correctly in this configuration.

Note that the Intel-based Mac must be connected to your Drobo or DroboPro via FireWire or USB in order to boot. Mac does not support this function using the iSCSI connection (on DroboPro only). Also PPC-based Macs do not support booting with USB drives.

In other words, it’s not recommended!

HI, Jennifer,. Thank you for chiming in. That’s exactly what it says in the FAQ. It sounds like I’m following all the rules then. I AM attempting to boot from the Drobo for emergency repairs of my boot drive. The Drobo has a valid filesystem installed so I’m a little confused as to why my attempts to boot from it have been failing. Is there anything else you can recommend me trying?