Drobo

Reformatted Drobopro with Disk Utility Need to Undo

Hi, My Drobopro was intermittently failing to mount on my Mac desktop, so I copied the data to a different external hard drive and reformatted the Drobopro. Unfortunately, I absent mindedly reformatted the Drobopro using Mac’s Disk Utility instead of generating the reformat using Drobo Dashboard. Although I was able to reformat the drobopro, because it wasn’t done using the Dashboard, the dashboard doesn’t even detect the Drobopro, probably because I formatted it as Mac OS (journaled), which I assume Dashboard doesn’t recognize. I assume I’m going to have to reformat the Drobopro again, this time using the Dashboard. Only problem is, how do I get the Dashboard to reformat a Drobopro that it doesn’t even recognize?

Great you have a backup!

Turn off the Drobo, and remove the HDD - I would even remove the power cord, give a respectful nod upwards to the tech gods and then reconnect.

Open the Mac and Drobo Dashboard and then start your Drobo and it should appear.
If not, do the same but insert a spare HDD into the Drobo and let it reformat it itself.

You should be able to then repeat this with your intended HDD pack.

Let us know how you get on?

Thanks, Twin Tiger!

I did as you suggested–or at least some close approximation–by shutting down the Drobo and then restarting it with a single drive from my array installed, which allowed Dashboard to see the Drobo. Dashboard couldn’t make much sense of the single drive, and all the lights on the Drobo showed red, while Dashboard instructed me that too many drives had been removed and asked to replace them. I then shut the Drobo down again, replaced the other seven HDDs in the original array, and restarted the Drobo. After a bit of suspense as I waited for the dashboard and Drobo to sync up, the Dashboard did finally recognize the Drobo, which showed up with all eight drives visible. A few minutes later, my second partition of the Drobo–which I use as a dedicated Time Machine Back Up drive of the content of my home MacBook–showed up on the desktop.

As best as I can tell from the disc status reports on my Dashboard, the Drobo has reformatted the drives as HFS+, miraculously, without wiping out the 7.79 TB of files I had on it.

My only question is, can I assume that the double disc failure redundancy that I originally assigned to the Drobo is still functioning?

As you may be able to see from the four attached screen shots, the Dashboard shows

  • 8 drives installed with total capacity of 21 TB
  • Backup Partition (Time Machine) is using 1.27 of 2TB
  • Drobo Partition is using 7.08 of 16 TB
  • Total disc use is 8.35 TB used and 5.20 TB free
  • General Settings shows double redundanc in effect

List item

Based on those screens, does it appear that the Drobo will allow for double redundancy, i.e, as many as 2 drives can fail before I lose data?

I’m a little confused as to why the screens show only 13.56 TB total when I have 21 TB installed – which reflects a difference of 7.44 TB between what the dashboard graphic shows on my drobo and the actual capacity of 21 TB. But perhaps that 7.44 TB represents the overhead that Drobo sets aside to “store” the data in case one or two of the primary HDDs fail?



Firstly - I’m glad to read that all is well with your data and Drobo!

It appears from your screen shots that you have dual disk redundancy capacity in operation. I did a quick virtual check using the Drobo Capacity Calculator webpage based on your HDD pack build, and clicked the Dual Disk Redundancy option on and off, and it correlated with your screenshot of your total Drobo capacities.

You can check this out as well at:

So yes, your available space is due to the dual redundancy configuration you have chosen.

That’s quite helpful, thanks. Although I’m not quite out of the woods on my original issue of the Dashboard refusing to recognize my Drobo! I booted up my MacBook pro this morning, only to find that the Drobo drive icon was once again a generic orange icon and not the Black Drobo icon it’s supposed to be. Weirdly, when I open my MacBook using an older OS on a different drive partition, the Dashboard installed on that OSX set up DOES recognize the Drobo as a Drobo.

As an experiment, I went back to my home drive, the one that is suddenly no longer recognizing the Drobo drive as a Drobo, and I uplugged the Firewire cord from the Drobo and inserted an ethernet cord, and plugged the other end into my MacBook. Alas, under this arrangement, the computer couldn’t see the Drobo drive at all, let alone as a Drobo drive. I then went back to the old Firewire connection, and once again the computer saw that drive, although Dashboard once more is unable to recognize it.

Could it be that my ten year old Drobopro is just getting unreliable in its old age?

That’s hard for me to comment on your drobo’s age!
However the on-again off-again recognition of your Drobo could also be your cable and the connection ports playing up. Perhaps a new or proven cable and some dry brushing of the ports may just do the trick?

EDIT: Also run Disk Utility over the Drobo when you have it visible. I get a few directory issues now and again and run Disk Utility and Disk Warrior (if you have it) over my Drobo which has returned the icon to my desktop on a few occasions, and smartened up the response.

Thanks for the added info, TwinTiger. I swapped out the firewire as a precaution, although the issue continued.

I finally found a workaround that seems to be working: with the computer on and the dashboard active in the background, I dragged the generic orange Drobo icon into the trash, and then rebooted the physical Drobo by turning it off and then a few second later, turned it back on. A moment later, the Drobo showed up on my desktop with the desired black Drobo icon, indicating that the Dashboard was now able to recognize it.

As far as I can tell, the issue seems to be that Dashboard only recognizes the Drobo drive if I start it up once the computer is already on with Dashboard active in the background. That’s a little less convenient than simply allowing Dashboard and the Drobo to start up at the same time when I boot up the computer, but, hey, if starting the Drobo separately is what it takes to allow the Dashboard to protect my data with Drobo redundancy, I guess I can live with it until someone suggests a better approach.

Thanks again for all your help!