Drobo

eSATA doesn't work

So I got my Drobo S on Friday, migrated all my disks over and expanded to maximum capacity. Firewire speeds are faster now which is great, but I decided to buy an eSATA card to maximize the potential of the Drobo S.

Here arises the problem I have OS X 10.6 Server which runs the 64-bit kernel; subsequently, driver support is sparse and none of the 4 adapters listed on the Drobo “supported page” work (due to lack of 64-bit drivers). And the one I had intended to buy that would have drivers unfortunately is listed in the KB article under not recommended.

So after a lot of research, I finally got a card that I know has driver support on Snow Leopard, supports hot swap and booting, and supports the port multiplier functionality… which which are listed as needed for the Drobo S.

After hours of testing and trying different things, I cannot get the Drobo to mount onto my computer. I’ve tried all my other enclosures and none of them have problems with my new card. With all the other enclosures, I can boot and everything. The Drobo just boots up all green and then it goes to sleep. Never gets detected in Dashboard; if I connect via Firewire 800, everything is normal. I’ve tried different cables and now I’ve pretty much am out of solutions.

The card I have is the Highpoint eSATA for Mac card (AKA Highpoint RocketRAID 2314).

Please advise what I should do? I’m also willing to return the card if someone can suggest a card that will definitely work.

Thanks in advance!

I’m not sure why port multiplier functionality is required… as that’s generally for RAID boxes where the system handles the RAID. Was it a knowledgebase article or something?

You may have to put your card in JBOD mode to properly see the Drobo, if it’s trying to define an array, that’ll hide the Drobo from the system and hence Drobo Dashboard. It’s just like how your system can’t “see” the individual disks in the Drobo because Drobo is managing them as an array.

These are the 2 cards recommended for macs:

Apiotek eSATA II 300 (one or two external ports, depending on model) See http://www.apiotek.com/Global/Product/Add-on_Card/EC-0003S.htm and http://www.apiotek.com/Global/Product/Add-on_Card/EC-0003D.htm for more information.

Sonnet Tempo SATA (two external ports) See http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_express34.html for more information. Note: For Snow Leopard support, please see this site’s FAQ.

I think the reason port multiplier is required is if you create smaller than 16TB volumes, in order for multiple volumes to be displayed you need the port multiplier functionality. Yes this is stated in the KB article #332.

The problem isn’t JBOD mode… the problem is the Drobo isn’t even detected by the card. All my other eSATA drives show up with no issues whatsoever.

Thank you Jennifer, but as I have already stated in my original post, of those 2 cards, the former is an ExpressCard which doesn’t work since I have a Mac Pro, and the latter does not have 64-bit kernel drivers. I already called Sonnet Tech regarding the latter and they told me they will be making said drivers; they recommended that I buy the E4P which according to the aformentioned KB articled #332 explicitly states is not recommended (though the actual reasons are not stated).

I have already contacted Drobo support regarding the matter, so a canned response really won’t do, which is why I’m posted here hoping someone has any recommendations or can help.

[quote=“ran, post:4, topic:1064”]
I think the reason port multiplier is required is if you create smaller than 16TB volumes, in order for multiple volumes to be displayed you need the port multiplier functionality. Yes this is stated in the KB article #332.[/quote]
Ahh, that makes sense… there would be multiple LUNs (or whatever the equivalent is in SATA world) on the device. Thanks!

I honestly was just posting the 2 cards we recommend for Macs in case anyone wanted to know.

@ran: If you’re really determined, you can use the ExpressCard in your Mac Pro with something like this SIIG ExpressCard to PCIe adapter

ExpressCard is based on PCIe so there’s minimal “translation” involved.

This is such a bummer; I bought a $230 card on top of my Drobo S and I can’t even use it.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

I know, I can use the adapter, but I was hoping for a direct solution, but looks like I will have to just use a card that is simple as possible.

Did you ever find a card/solution for the Mac Pro and Drobo that worked in Snow Leopard and supported port multiplier technology?

Hi Guys,
I thought I was the only person having so many problems & time wasted on this DroboS eSATA box. Glad to know the Macsters are having similar issue w/ eSATA compatibilty w/ the “S” and I guess I know what & why the “S” stands for now! I ordered an IOGear card from IOGear directly and that’s one of the 3 cards that DRI says they will work but I don’t have to tell you the result. My “S” is now sitting under my desk gathering dust. Guess I could use it like a Drobo w/ USB 2.0 but I need to auction off my Adaptec, IOGear and Vibe eSATA HBAs. Btw, including my Dell PE 840 Dual-core server w/ onboard SATA cuz that didn’t work either. Last but not least, sell my DroboS & get another Pro. :frowning:

Hey, I finally got my DroboS working now but only 4TB instead of 16TB. Anyway, I’m using the IOGear Silicon Image chipset eSATA controller. I was struggling w/ the setup at the beginning. My Dell server kept hanging during POST. So, I changed the PCI-e slot and it booted up nicely and recognized my DroboS and even let me format it to 4TB but not 16TB. I’m even tempted to swap out the IOGear and put back an Adaptec eSATA controller just for fun but I’m glad it’s finally workig for me on our Windows Server 2008R2.