I recently ordered a Drobo 5D with 5 Seagate 2TB NAS drives (a bundle offered by Tiger Direct), and also added a Crucial M500 Series 240GB SSD (mSATA) for cache.
My intent was to use the Drobo 5D to replace the plethora of USB attached drives that I use for Norton Ghost backups, VM images, software installers, etc…
My computer is a Lenovo ThinkPad W530 laptop with a Mini Dock Plus Series 3 with USB 3.0 - 170W docking station. The machine is running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, and is as patched as possible. I have a number of USB 3.0 drives that all seem to work fine through this setup.
From day 1 when the Drobo arrived, I had problems. On my kitchen table, using the laptop only, I assembled the Drobo and connected it to the laptop for setup and had problems where it appeared that only one of the two USB 3.0 ports would allow the Drobo to be detected. I finally managed to configure it and put it aside until I could properly find the time to install it on my desk with the rest of the equipment.
I have tried to connect the Drobo daisy-chained off of an Ultra USB 3.0 hub which was attached to my docking station’s only USB 3.0 port. No joy, windows reported that the “USB Device Not Recognized”.
I attached the Drobo directly to the docking station’s USB 3.0 port. Again, windows reported that the “USB Device Not Recognized”.
I attached the Drobo directly to the laptop using one of the USB 3.0 ports (which I remember now was the one that didn’t work when testing on my kitchen table). Again, windows reported that the “USB Device Not Recognized”.
Finally, I attached the Drobo to the USB 3.0 port on the laptop that HAD worked before, and up she came. I was irked by having to connect not through my docking station, but thought to see where this took me.
I attempted to copy several virtual machine files (about 30GB each) from my WD My Passport USB 3.0 drive to the Drobo. Each and every time that I do, the connection gets reset and the copy fails. Once, I decided to watch the copy, and I watched the throughput drop down to 65MB/Sec… considerably slower than USB 3.0 speeds.
I have read that there are known issues with USB 3.0 drivers and chipsets with Drobo 5D, and am hoping this does not mean I have to return it. The hardware is nicely designed and I like the idea of the Disc Pack and extendable storage, but it has to be a reliable solution. I am an enterprise software development consultant, and I simply MUST be able to rely on my backups.
Has anyone else seen this behavior? Do you have solutions?