No longer able to search Drobo FS

After applying the latest firmware “upgrade,” I am no longer able to search for files on my Drobo FS. With more than 2 terabytes of data stored on the thing, it’s almost impossible to find files without being able to perform a search. UGH!

I’ve already filed a customer-service request with Drobo — but one week later, they still haven’t responded. (I have a ticket number, which I would be happy to provide should a real live Drobo employee read this and care to intervene.)

In the meantime, do any of the users here know what I might be able to do to make this brick searchable again? I’m running OSX 10.7.1, and have already tried to force Spotlight to reindex the thing. Nothing happens, though.



Spotlight won’t index network volumes - or at the very least, it doesn’t keep the index up to date across mounts. In other words, you might be able to force it to index once, but next time you mount it, it won’t keep indexing. A large part of this has to do with the fact that it can’t track changes being made while the volume is unmounted.

(By the way, I’d love to be shown wrong on this, as I’ve long had a need to Spotlight search my DroboFS-hosted volumes, and never found a workable solution.)

Interesting. But before applying the firmware upgrade, I definitely was able to search my shares on the Drobo FS. It was slow, with the results sometimes taking several minutes, but it did work. I searched them all the time.

I should clarify, however. I was searching them via the Finder, which I don’t believe relies on Spotlight. But now, I can’t even get the Finder to show any search results of my shares.

The Finder most certainly uses Spotlight - but if all you’re doing is searching within a given folder, then perhaps it falls back on old, non-Spotlight searching.

In my case, I desperately want to use Smart Folders with content on my DroboFS. But that’s just not going to happen.

I guess I misunderstood the purpose of the Drobo FS when I purchased it. I mistakenly believed that a device designed to hold several terabytes of data could be index and searched.

I like your idea of using Smart Folders. Too bad it can’t work that way either.

Well, the problem isn’t the Drobo - there’s simply no way for Spotlight to know what changed on the drive when it’s not connected. Even when it is mounted, I don’t believe it will be notified if you make a change from another computer.

That’s just the nature of the beast. The only reliable way for search to work is the indexer lives on whatever is being indexed, so that it’s aware of all changes. Sadly, there’s no way to do that on a DroboFS. The closest workaround would be to hook a standard Drobo to a Mac Mini and let it handle indexing, sharing, etc. Obviously not something for the faint of heart or pocketbook.

“The closest workaround would be to hook a standard Drobo to a Mac Mini and let it handle indexing, sharing, etc. Obviously not something for the faint of heart or pocketbook…”

That’s actually a very easy workaround, but as you said it’s a question of expense - both of the additional machine to host the volume, as well as the added electricity.

I had the same problem - Drobo FS, 1.2 firmware, search just wouldn’t work on my 10.5 and 10.6 Macs. I downgraded to 1.1.2 and search now works like a charm. I’m using a freeware program called EasyFind to search the Drobo FS, and it works great. Hopefully 1.2.1 will come out soon with fixes for this issue.