Win7 64-bit, Drobo S 2nd gen, latest firmware & Drobo Dashboard…
Background: I’ve got a bunch of external HDs, some USB 2.0/3.0, some eSATA, a couple Firewire. With all of them, I can “hot plug” them, then use Windows’ “Safely Remove Hardware” (little plug icon with green checkmark) to safely “disconnect” the hardware before unplugging. A subsequent plug sees the drive again, and I can do this forever. Life is good.
Now let’s talk about the Drobo S, plugging & unplugging.
With the Drobo S, the manual CLEARLY states that to disconnect / shutdown / remove the product, you use the Dashboard, and tell it to shutdown. NOTHING about Windows “Safely Remove Hardware” first. Well, I did that, and it really pissed off Windows. The drive icon (i.e., E: Drobo) remained in “My Computer”, but my entire computer became unresponsive… screens just went white, etc. Eventually I had to perform a hard power-off, even CTRL-ALT-DEL didn’t work. Nice.
I have a feeling if I’d explicitly first said “Safely Remove Hardware”, everything would have been fine (except that then the Dashboard probably wouldn’t have seen the unit, and I would have been violating some protocol per the Drobo S documentation.) In fact, I think I saw somewhere than somebody said that this approach (first do the Windows safe-remove) is of course the right thing to do. But I would have thought that the engineers at DR are more competent than an end-user & would have put this in the documentation.
Can someone at DR please tell me the proper procedure for plugging & unplugging my Drobo S while my computer is on? Is an $800 product really more temperamental than a standard $80 2TB hard drive? (Yes I know it’s a bit of apples-to-oranges comparison, but it’s not a big stretch.)
If the answer involves shutting down my computer each time I want to disconnect the Drobo S, I will be tweaked. This isn’t 1999 with USB just starting, and Windows 98 as the most recent operating system. We can do better.
If the answer is “you did it right, just tell the device to shutdown via Dashboard, and then the drive should automatically disconnect, and everything should be fine”, then I’d ask “Well then why does that basically lock up my computer?” Again, please don’t blame the victim (or his computer) here. I’ve had NO problems with anything else. No, my computer isn’t messed up.
I don’t mean to sound angry, but come on, we’re not putting a man on the moon here. If using the Drobo S is significantly more cumbersome than using an external HD, I might as well just stick with them (yes, I know all about BeyondRAID, etc.)
If I’ve missed something in the documentation which outlines a foolproof way to disconnect (and presumably re-connect) the Drobo, then absolutely a mea culpa is forthcoming. Otherwise, I’m starting to re-think this purchase. Uncertainties like this have kept me from even trying eSATA, for example.
P.S. The whole “unboxing” experience was a 2-hour ordeal to begin with, maybe I’ll post more on that later. Very attractive & professional packaging & documentation, but the experience was disconcerting. 2 firmware updates, 3 Dashboard updates, 1 3rd-party Firewire driver installation, 1 drive incorrectly marked as “failed replace immediately”, etc…