Well, since the DroboShare formats volumes itself, to ext3, I would imagine they have to support it, because their device supports it, engineered into the tools itself.
But whether or not they provide user-level support is another thing entirely.
I’ve had some discussions with some embedded developer colleagues, and the concensus is that it is possible to get console output from the Drobo, at boot time.
The device is capable of sending commands to the Drobo over USB, and receiving data back that is not data destined for the disk packs themselves (“Get Diagnostics” is one example of such a pathway). So the physical device and cable are capable of sending and receiving commands not directly related to the storage of date on the volumes.
Writing a simple “console” application to view the device’s output at boot time should not be an impossible matter. If all else fails, I’ll be chasing that possibility down.
In parallel, since DRI refuses to help me further at this point, and is completely ignoring my open incidents, I will be contacting WindRiver directly, for specifications on the underlying hardware used in the device, and building a custom serial connector to attempt to get lower-level diagnostics out of the device. I have a few friends in the WindRiver community that I may be able to call in some favors on to help me.
The good news is that my results, experiences and any code/tools/scripts and diagnostics that result from this will be made publicly accessible (outside this forum) for others to take advantage of, as they migrate their data away from being stored on these devices.
The data is the most-important thing, and when a vendor device locks me out from accessing my own data, it’s time to vote with my wallet (and my voice in the online community).