Have had 2 v2 Drobos running on Vista 32 for a long time. Over the weekend updated to Windows 7 Ultimate x64 RTM. Below is the list of issues I ran into with the Drobo and the solutions / work arounds I have found to get things working. This post is here only to help those who may have similar issues.
System Specs: Dashboard at 1.5.1 and firmware at 1.3.5 pre-install of Win 7. FW card is SIIG FireWire 800 3-Port PCIe Card, NN-E38012-S3. (This worked fine for me in Vista 32, around 20-25 MBs with Windows native drivers.)
Post Win 7 and dashboard install: Both Drobo’s detected fine by dashboard, all lights look normal. Explorer does not see folder structure on the Drobo’s and only shows a Root folder and setup file. Joy!
Solution: Run chkdsk /F command on both Drobo’s. It fixes file system errors and replaces orphaned directories. Win 7 now sees everything that was on the Drobo’s pre-install. (No clue why the folder structure was not there to begin with, but at least chkdsk can fix it…)
Next…Fun with transfer speeds: Test copy 4GB iso file from local HD to Drobo. Top speed is 2.5 MBs… I think you can guess my reaction. This was using the drivers installed by Win 7. Device manager showed everything installed and working properly.
Solution: Installed UniBrain ubCore FW drivers for x64. Reboot and test again produces 30-35 MBs transfer speed. Better than I was getting in Vista 32.
Drobo Standby and file fun: After some time of inactivity the Drobo’s power down completely. All lights off, nobody home. Note: Win 7 is NOT asleep or hybernating and all power settings have been changed so that the only thing that turns off automatically is the monitor after 120 minutes. Accessing the drive letter wakes the Drobo, normal 15-30 seconds for drives to spin up and lights to come on. Check the drive in explorer and lo and behold all my folders are gone again and I have a root directory and setup file… Run chkdsk again and it recovers orphaned directories and files on both Drobo’s. Dashboard and lights never indicate a problem. Rebooting or resetting the Drobo’s does not cause any data loss and everything works fine. I only experience the problem when the Drobo goes into Stanby for power saving. Of course there is no way to change this setting in the dashboard, that would make too much sense.
Solution (actually workaround): Found a program called HDrive Awake. Designed to keep external drives from sleeping. This works for me and keeps both Drobo’s from going into Standby. http://www.canelasoftware.com/freeware/hdriveawake/HDriveAwake.html
Didn’t like that you could not minimize the program so found another freeware ap that will hide any open application while keeping the process running. Program is called Verschwindibus. Just Google it. I have been running this setup for almost a week now without any drive access issues or file system problems.
I realize this is not an ideal or green solution but I wanted to post just to give people who may be having similar issues a place to start. Hopefully Drobo will come out with an ‘officially’ supported Win 7 firmware update, but for now at least all my data is accessible and transfer speeds are good.