Drobo Mini Won't Mount on OS X When Using NTFS

I immediately switched from the FS to the Mini. Over the past week I have been transferring all my data over my slow network. I formatted the drives as NTFS and have been using NTFS for Mac to write to the partitions. I’m an animator and working in on OS just isn’t an option for me. I have used this same setup for I don’t know how many years and it has worked flawlessly.

So enough back story. My problem is the Drobo Mini won’t mount on OS X for 15 mins - 1 hour?!?? It mount immediately in Windows via USB. It takes equally as long to mount on OS X via USB or Thurnderbolt. This is driving me nuts and I have been trying to diagnose the situation. Here is what I have tried so far:

  1. Repair disk in Windows (no serious errors all fixed)
  2. Repair disk in OS X (no serious errors all fixed)
  3. Tried Thunderbolt
  4. Tried USB
  5. Rebooted laptop multiple times.
  6. Rebooted Drobo via dashboard.
  7. Manually rebooted Drobo.
  8. Tried renaming my volume through the dashboard (set to 16TB).
  9. Also, I should note that prior to using the new Drobo Mini I uninstalled and deleted the old dashboard in both OS X and Windows.
  10. I have the newest dashboard version for the mini.
  11. I have the newest firmware.

Please help if you have a way to fix this. When I spend this much on a portable storage device I expect it to, absolutely not matter what, be plug and play out of the box with no problems. I often have to bring up work for clients on the fly and cannot chance having to wait 45mins to see their files… or for that matter to begin work on a production.

On a completely separate note. This is very frustrating for me because the FS never ended up being everything that was promised. It never had all the apps Drobo promised. It also averaged 15MB transfer rates over my gigabit network while boasting it had Gigabit connectivity (VERY MISLEADING). I highly considered Qnap devices and was going to get one until Drobo mentioned the Mini. Since I was already using a similar device from OWC (the Elite Pro Dual which I would give 5 stars any day of the week) and syncing with my FS, I decided to go with the Drobo Mini. I checked my benchmarks and made sure there were no promised features that hadn’t been delivered. The only downfall I saw was that Thunderbolt is yet supported by Windows. Knowing that I made the purchase. I’m happy with the device other than the fact it takes forever to connect on OS X.

Closest, similar, example I could find of my problem on the web:

Thanks everyone!

Drobo devices are extremely filesystem dependent to do their magic, so it’s more surprising to me that it works at all when formatted NTFS and used through a third-party driver. To say you’re in unsupported territory is putting it mildly.

As for the FS, I share your frustration at times, although I’d just note that the DroboApps situation has largely been alleviated through the dedicated efforts of ricardo. It’s not the in-house support we’d always wanted, but he’s done some amazing things. Also, while my write speed to the FS is still usually in the neighborhood of 15MB/sec, I get 65-70MB/sec reads with large files - no jumbo frames, NFS, or anything special - but only as long as the destination disk isn’t a bottleneck. That still might not be the performance you needed, but 15Mbps is strangely low.

hi fuzz, just wondering a few things…

  1. when you had the fs working, was it connecting quickly and fine with usb on both pc and mac?
  2. was the fs formatted in the same ntfs as what you have for the dMini?
  3. was the fs also set as 1 single 16TB volume, or was it in smaller volumes before?
    (i’ve heard of larger volumes taking longer to boot up or be located - i stuck with 2tb per volume for my drobo’s partly for that reason, partly to minimise any loss in case of volume problems, and partly as still use XP).

(kudos to you for doin anim work) i dabbled back in the day :slight_smile:

The FS is a different beast - it’s only on the network (no USB) and it’s internally formatted as an EXT3 16TB volume, which is then shared over AFP, CIFS/SMB, etc. There’s no real concept of “formatting” a volume when it’s over the network, so the dMini is going to work very, very differently from an FS.

(thanks diamond, i’ll let fs experts continue with this one - my droboshare is still in the box) :slight_smile:

Sounds like it might be something between NTFS for Mac and the Mini, especially since it happens on all interfaces and mounts fine in Windows.

Can you try mounting it without NTFS for Mac?

Possibly NTFS for Mac is getting confused by Drobo’s Thin Provisioning. If that’s the case it might work better with a smaller volume size, though that will leave you with multiple drive( letter)s to manage.

Ok, so I have narrowed it down a bit. The drobo will mount and function fine after the drive is done scanning. Basically every time I plug the ntfs drobo into my mac and scan the whole 16TB partition it then mounts. this takes ~30mins. Is there a way to speed this up? I’m currently using paragon and have for the last 3 years. Should I try Tuxera? Any help would be awesome. Thank you!

I’ve only used the free NTFS (NTFS-3G). That is based on the Tuxera product.

Since it’s a non-native FS to OS X, there are going to be some quirks. I think you are running into a few.

The larger the volume, the longer it takes to mount on startup. I saw this behavior when I had NTFS-3G/MacFUSE installed and it was trying to mount my Boot Camp partition. It would always show up 60-90 seconds after the rest of the desktop.

Removing the 3rd party driver and using the read-only driver in OS X works fine.

It’s also a good idea to disable Spotlight on non-HFS+ volumes. Put your Drobo in the ‘privacy’ list. Apple in typical ‘don’t tell anyone anything’, fashion hasn’t documented Spotlight thoroughly for 3rd party developers.

Did you know that Apple has made full HFS+ read/write drivers available on Windows? They are part of the Boot Camp support files.

Which platform does the Mini spend most of it’s time attached to? That should be the native format.

ExFAT is also a good, portable alternative, but I have no idea if it’s supported on a Drobo.

I tried using tuxera instead of paragon and it mounts the device in 2:15 which I can live with. I may try to use HFS+ on windows if this doesn’t work out. I honestly think it is the partition size of the drobo that makes it take so long. I’m definitely considering transferring everything off and reformatting to like a 6TB drive. If anyone else experiences similar problems or ahs a better solution please let me know. Thanks!

I ended up formatting my Mini with EXFat. Works OK in both windows and Mac.

Only issue I have contrary to their marketing, Thunderbolt is not supported in Windows.

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