DorboPro Boot Time

My DroboPro (with 5 * 1.5 TB WD Caviar Green Drives) takes almost 20 minutes from power on to being accessible under Windows 7.

I am trying to gather data on this - could you give me a rough idea of

a) The size of your array
b) the time it takes from a cold boot of your PC/Drobo for it to be fully readable

I would have thought 1-2 minutes was plenty…my drive lights all come up in this time, but the drive says ‘local disk’ in explorer for about 20 minutes until it finally switches to Drobo and becomes responsive.

You should also collect what the connection method is (USB/Firewire/iSCSI)

and x86 or x64?

and the speed of your computer (which can make a HUGE difference to how long it takes to mount a large drobo!)

another add… if it’s eSATA (Drobo S), whether the system’s SATA controller is in IDE (aka Native IDE or IDE Emulation) or SATA mode.

Ok well in my case it is iSCSI but the time with USB is about 18 minutes as well, it doesn’t seem to make much difference.

The computer is a Core2Duo 2.4GHz with 4GB Ram running Win 7 32 bit.

You’re right, I should ask for all that - who cares to kick it off with some actual info?

These are all Gen 2 Drobo units (I actually only have two, but one spent time between two machines)
1st set:
a) 4 x 2 TB (WD20EADS)
b) 30 minutes
c) USB
d) Vista x64
e) Athlon64 X2 4400+, 4GB RAM

2nd set:
a) 4 x 2 TB (WD20EADS)
b) 5 minutes
c) USB
d) Windows Home Server x86, 4GB RAM
e) Atom 230 (single-core)

3rd set:
a) 4 x 2 TB (WD20EADS)
b) 3 minutes
c) USB
d) Windows 7 Professional x64
e) Atom 330 (dual-core), 4GB RAM

im now experiencing this problem… wasnt before the dashboard and firmware updates…

takes like 30 min to show up, with usb or iscsi

the system just hangs until then

win 7 64-bit

What has Drobo Support said about this?

Their current theory, after abotu 20 back and forth form letter type responses, is that it’s the Windows 7 inbuilt back up tool (particularly the system image) that causes the issue.

Their only offered solution is to take ALL the data off, blank and reformat the Drobo, and put it all back on, and never run the Win7 backup tool again (they recommend Acronis). Just taking off the actual backup data has not solved the issue. I haven’t had time yet to wipe it outright (4.5 TB of data takes rather a while to deal with…)

Seems ridiculous to me that this might be the issue - i.e. that a device inherently targeted at back ups can’t cope with the inbuilt windows backup tool. I presume the system image tool somehow bypasses the filesystem structure and this messes with Drobo somehow.

Also seems ridiculous that it took some 20 emails to get this response.

So - I am guessing you might recently have used the backup tools like me?

windows 7 backup seemed to work fine on my 'pro…

Drobo isn’t specifically targeted at back ups - it’s just fault-tolerant storage.

That said, my Gen2 Drobo works fine on my Win7 machine - no boot delay. This experience is contrary to Docchris’s experience tho. Funky.

Windows Home Server backup works OK for me, but I am not trying to back up the Drobo volume, and I’m not running Volume Shadow Copy on it either (mainly because the Shadow Copies would be large if not limited down, as they are based on a percentage of the volume’s size, so a thin provisioned 16TB Drobo would make HUGE shadow copies).

bossanova808 - you are not booting off your Drobo, correct?

No not booting off it.

It’s specifically the system image part of backup that causes the issue (apparently) - if others are using this on their Drobo and not having this issue then I’ll have to get back to support and won’t waste the time blanking it - can you confirm you’re using the ‘image’ part and not just the general files backup?

(This is Windows 7 back up, nothing to do with Windows Home Server)

Sorry, can’t confirm Windows 7 backup just now, but will give it a try when I get a chance.

i thought it did only make an image? its not bootable, but it just appears as on giant funky looking folder/file.

if you mean did i also tick the box to backup the system image as well as the user data, then yes, i am backing up both, and it appears to be working flawlessly

We just posted a KB about Win 7 and their back up tool.


Hi - i have some follow up questions to your KB article.

  1. i have a drobo pro with 1,8,8 TB volumes. Since i am backing up using windows 7 backup tool to the 1Tb partition - i assume this is ok? your KB article doesn’t make it clear if its the individual volume you are backing up to, or the total size of the volumes etc?

  2. if you have a drobo pro or elite. rather than copying everything off drobo and then formatting and putting it back on. would you be able to create a new volume on your drobo. copy everything to that new volume, then delete the old volume which was previously used with windows backup and causing the issues?

From KB: "Data Robotics has investigated this issue and determined that these system hangs occur most likely when your Drobo device volume is greater than 4TB and you have used the Backup/Restore utility included in Windows 7. "

  1. Not sure about volumes less than 4TB, I can ask to see if that was tested.

  2. KB mentions that the Win7 copy “marks” the drobo. Not sure if that means the whole drobo or just the volume you used for the backup. I can see if creating a new volume on Pro/Elite and deleting old volume was tested or maybe we can test it.

You will have to wait a bit for this testing to be done.

  1. its not just volumes less than 4tb, its that i have some larger and some smaller,. but i am only backing up onto the small one, so i want to check thats ok :slight_smile: i would imagine it should beok, thanks :slight_smile:

Just confirming I finally found a free weekend to go through the very painful take it all off, format it and put it all back on fix (and never use Windows backup again!)…and I can confirm the Drobo boots in a minute or two now.

So, all fixed - only took 3 months and more than 20 emails and 4 logs to support to get the right answer (and 3 solid days of copying)!

Microsoft makes a bug and Drobo (and others) get the blame and work. We have seen it before and will see it again.