Drobo Gen 2 on Lion - ready to downgrade OS X!

I don’t mean to sound fatalistic, but ever since upgrading to Lion, I’ve been very unhappy with how it treats my dear Drobo. Snow Leopard was perfect.

To start, here are my specs at time of writing:
[]Mac Pro 1,1
]Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3
[]Drobo Gen 2 (Firewire 800 + USB 2)
]Firmware 1.4.1
[*]Dashboard 2.1.2
Basically, as up-to-date as I can get. Please note, I don’t use the drive for Time Machine, just for file storage (that is also shared on my network).

Although the latest firmware did help a little, it still happens that with Firewire 800, (large) data transfers, such as file copying or streaming to my Boxee Box, will stop at a certain point and my Finder will freeze. Unplugging the Drobo brings the system back to life, but then I have to power down the Drobo too, even after restarting the Mac. Not cool.

Another issue with keeping the Drobo plugged in with Firewire makes the login screen hang, so I have to wait a minute before it accepts any mouse/keyboard input, or just uplug the drive again. I’ve become very good at reproducing all these problems :slight_smile:

So I switched to USB. It works reliably to stream to my Boxee Box. The problem with this, besides the slower data transfer, is that when I wake my Mac from sleep, the drive tends to disconnect. Clunk, cue red lights and system dialog.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope other people share my experience as well. I’ve already been in touch with Drobo support, but it’s not of much help. Either Data Robotics or Apple (or both) need to get their stuff together, because I’d rather use a reliable system than the latest and greatest.

Let me know if you guys have any suggestions before I take the plunge! Especially if you’re testing Mountain Lion (which I may not be able to use on my Mac Pro anyway…).

Being a Windows guy, I’ve been conditioned to hold off on major updates until I’m comfortable they’re ready (read: other people have been guinea pigs and survived).

I’m happy to see someone in the Mac world also sees that upgrading to latest-and-greatest is sometimes not the best thing…
It’s like getting the fancy new car that runs on liquid hydrogen before there’s a local source for liquid hydrogen. :slight_smile:

Granted, I also believe Drobo should eventually get it sorted.

One thing touches my day job’s world is QuickTime - it keeps changing behavior between versions, and not all for the better… It’s almost as bad as Facebook. :frowning:

I had exactly the same issue you are describing, but on my C2D 2.33 MacBook Pro.

It got so bad I opened a case with Drobo, sent them the diagnostics file and the technician said I was getting near constant Firewire timeouts.

After much troubleshooting, it turns out the FW800 port on my MBP was going bad. The Drobo was rock solid on USB, schizo on FW.

I decided to ‘retire’ the MBP and replaced it with a Mac Mini Server.

BTW- Mountain Lion requires a 64-bit Processor (which your MacPro 1,1 has) and 64-bit EFI (which it does not).

Give this link a look if you are interested in trying Mountain Lion on your 1,1.

Thanks for the link. I think either Apple will end up figuring a way to support the 1,1 if enough people complain (video card should not be a deal killer - I got an ATI 5770, and I think there’s a way to work around the EFI limitation). At any rate, I probably could make do with Chameleon, but don’t know if it’s worth the effort.

I don’t believe it’s an issue with my rear firewire port, but I suppose I could always try the front-facing one.

Have you had a chance to run AHT on your machine?

Do the forward and rear FW ports connect to the same FW controller?

Do you have any other FW devices you can use to troubleshoot?

The kicker for me was using a known-good FW cable with a known-good FW HDD and then copying 4GB of data back and forth across the interface. I was able to replicate the problem I was seeing with the Drobo and almost identical to the problem you describe.

It also turns out that console.app was full of messages about ‘OHCI(firewire) timeout’.

Good luck. Problems like these can be maddening.