Read Only Mode

Just curious if I’m alone on this issue… No help from ‘support’, as they claim that RO will stop all rebuild activity and ONLY do what the description says: READ ONLY.

I placed a Drobo 4 drive v2 (USB & so called Firewire) in RO mode. It does show up as (RO) in dashboard 2.2.3. BUT:

The Drobo happily continues it’s file maintenance, wiping all the data, AND allows my USB driver/storage manager called Zentimo to write a marker file to the drive. The black box give no indication as to what is going on, BUT if I remove the front cover, that neatly hides the activity light, I clearly see the l/O light flashing.

SO, the bottom line, in (RO) mode only, the drive goes ahead and destroys (so called rebuild - to nil) the data. Poof, all gone forever. Maybe we have a Chinese plot to destroy American data??? And the beat goes on.

There’s nothing useful in this post for troubleshooting, so I’m writing it off as a pointless rant. No background of what’s going on, prompted the read only mode, why you’d want to do this, but plenty of ranting, conspiracy theories, and lovely gems like “so called Firewire” (so called, as that’s the name of the interface).

The internet doesn’t need more noise.

Hey guise, my Drobo isn’t working like they “said” it would. Does anyone else agree?

~what I heard when I read the OP.

Now read this>> I have a pack of 4 drives that are not accessible by the Drobo, and Dashboard reports the drives as raw.

Tech support was contacted, and I was advised that most likely the data is corrupt. A diag file was sent to support, and I was told that there is a possibility that the data is recoverable, but I was on my own or I need to go to a recovery service. I was given the method to place the drive in RO mode, which I did. I was told that certain people had success with certain recovery software, and these were verbally mentioned, but they were the same mentioned on the Drobo site FAQ section, but I was told that Drobo does not endorse any package.

At this point it should be noted that the Drobo was shut down, except to get the Diag file on Drobo Tech Support instructions.

I followed the instructions, and reinserted the pack once in RO mode. This is when I discovered that the Drobo continues to write and update even in RO. Tech claims that should not be the case. I ran several recovey programs. The first program found hidden system files, but no data. Later that same recovery program reported variations on these system files, thus indicating that even in so called RO mode the Drobo continues to do housekeeping. I was not able to write or add data, but able to delete the Zentimo file, which reinstalled upon another boot up.

So… what is happening here? Are we in LaLaLand? Ostrich behavior? Any query on data integrity or restoration is considered ‘rant’. I guess when you loose a more than a terrabyte of photographs, and there is no resolution, except to tell you to restore, maybe it is a rant, particularly when other raids can be recovered.

I did clone the drives, so I can try again, but I’m concerned.

BTW, so called Firewire, because it does not work! Constant loss of connectivity, and that may part of the cause, and later documented by users.

Oddly, I have a LaCie Quadra connected by Firewire, and never had a problem, and still running. Similarly, I had a WD Studio, and it worked fine with Firewire. Rant? or lack of support for an interface which is flawed and not properly implemented in Drobo.

Your first post was a rant. You didn’t ask about data recovery or say what had happened, you just launched into “read-only mode” and criticisms thereof. You had conspiracy theories and insults. There was no way to know what you were doing or why. Textbook rant.

Your only solution is to send your disks to someone at Drobo Inc who can do more advanced work on them. Or have backups, because as many people have said (and you seem annoyed at hearing), redundancy is not backup.

Honestly, I don’t know what you expect the denizens of this forum to do for you - the makers of the product have said what should happen, you’ve indicated that it doesn’t work as indicated; I don’t know what we can say other than “damn, it shouldn’t do that” and share your pain. We’re all aware that the achilles heel of a Drobo is that only another Drobo can read BeyondRAID - I was stuck for two months between selling my FS and buying a 5N with no access to data. In fairness, Drobo is far from unique in this - no hardware RAID system is readable by another. Only Linux software-based RAID tends to be, and that’s because multiple vendors use the same implementation - it’s not real interoperability.

So-called Firewire because it doesn’t work well with your machine.
Are you using a Mac? Most reports of Drobo FW working with Mac fine. But FW in Windows isn’t always working well. You should know that.
There are specific caveats about which FW card in Windows has been tested with the Drobo v2. Please tell me that you are using an approved/tested FW card in Windows, then I will support yelling at DroboInc. Why didn’t they universally test the Drobov2 with all manufacturers Firewire PCI/PCIe and other cards?

Well, I still do not know from others, if the RO function is unique to my situation (Windows user) or my configuration problem…

The bottom line is still the fact that regular NAS/DAS Unix/Linux/Win Server OS RAIDS can be recovered, but not Drobo.

As far as Firewire, yes indeed I’m on a Windows 64 box (have access to 32 box), but NEVER had serious issues after configuring with LaCie drives and a WD Studio two drive RAID. Personally, and this is only an observation, I think the Firewire claim & implementation was a marketing scheme, and USB is the only serious connection to the older Drobo v2.

So I’m out there in the Drobo world, and do not know if the RO mode is my problem, a software issue, or a hardware issue.

Maybe I’ll post a mini picture of part of the power connector issue on the v2’s so users can be warned and resolve impending disasters. (BTW, the power connector issue is resolved on the FS).

And, YES, I’m using an approved Firewire card, and an approved 3rd party driver (Unibrain).

[quote=“equifoto@embarqmail.com, post:7, topic:42896”]…
As far as Firewire, yes indeed I’m on a Windows 64 box (have access to 32 box), but NEVER had serious issues after configuring with LaCie drives and a WD Studio two drive RAID. Personally, and this is only an observation, I think the Firewire claim & implementation was a marketing scheme, and USB is the only serious connection to the older Drobo v2…
And, YES, I’m using an approved Firewire card, and an approved 3rd party driver (Unibrain).
[/quote]

I found the FW issue on Windows box to be humbling, myself. On XP, FW800 only ran at FW100 at first, before tweaking some setting. Then the best it ever ran was FW400 speeds. After Unibrain. With approved FW card.
Under XP and Vista, I never got better than FW400 speeds, but it worked stable. I agree that it was a PITA, so you have my condolences. The USB connection was primary that I used with the Drobov2, unless I was making backups from my other USB external HD. THen I put the Drobov2 onto FW, because it relieved congestion on the USB bus.(Is USB bus redundant?)[hr]
Upon reading further through your post #4, I would regard that your Drobo is doing somehting bad. And I would request a replacement unit from DRI. You mention that you have cloned the disk pack, so now you have some back up (obligatory “this shouldn’t be the only copy of your data” mention).
If the Drobo is doing something in RO mode that the techs confirm that it shouldn’t be, then I would demand further help.
Your description is that for whatever reason, the Drobo thinks the diskpack is corrupted and is starting cleanup-deletion of files it no longer recognizes. When you put into RO mode, the Drobo should quit all processes, but you are finding evidence that it hasn’t quit. And fear it will continue whatever data remains in your diskpack is fully overwritten to zeroes.

This sounds unique and I hope that you get more help from Drobo. Failing that, you could always try to borrow a Drobo from Costco/Fry’s and see if you can put RO mode on that model and see if it works?

Under XP and Vista, I never got better than FW400 speeds

Watch the cables (that’s assuming you have the MS patches to correct their lapse after the major upgrade, see Wiki). I ordered so called FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b) cable, but in fact they did not work at full speed, but at 400. I guess most users may not notice, or blame themselves. They were advertised to be a particular reputable brand, but in fact were counterfeit. I had to go to Best Buy, buy two pairs, and keep the one that worked. The problem is that this is the wild west with no recourse, and the vendors know it. It’s a nickel and dime market. People are not going to sue, and with Amazon, it’s a PITA to return and try to get a refund for bad merchandise, albeit, Amazon, as an entity is excellent, their 3rd party vendors, not so.

However, with Drobo, there is something else lurking in the box.

FW400/800 has worked perfectly on every FW device on every Mac i’ve ever owned (including Drobo v2).

FW has been problematic on every flavor of Windows.

Here is the last time I recall discussing FW slowwire
http://www.drobospace.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=7260

While I have had problems with daisy-chained Firewire bridges in XP, Firewire 400 and 800 have been stable on my Win 7 64-bit box. No problems using my Drobo v2, and it’s definitely faster for me on Firewire than on USB, though my USB bus is pretty heavily loaded (14 devices).

I’m using an obscure 64-bit PCI Conventional Firewire 400/800 combo card now (not sure who the original vendor is, it was CompUSA branded).

Cables definitely can be an issue, as can power, for powered devices. Relying on bus power for Firewire is a mistake. Always get a card that has a socket to connect directly to the power supply.
Adapters can also be a problem, especially 4/6-to-9-pin (Firewire 400 to Firewire 800) adapters…