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Big Sur w/ Drobo (Thunderbolt) - NOT Working

Torq

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
139
27
Just a warning to anyone running Drobo (DAS) units, via Thunderbolt connections, that's thinking of upgrading to Big Sur - hold off!

Drobo have a note about it here; unfortunately this was updated after the last time I checked, a couple of days ago, with the announcement that new firmware and dashboard for Big Sur compatibility was available and everything was good.

Even on the latest firmware and Drobo Dashboard software/drivers, Thunderbolt-attached Drobo units will not mount. They'll appear in Disk Utility as "Uninitialized", but that's it. If you connect them via USB instead, they'll mount - but operation is extremely slow and periodically times out and/or crashes Finder. Also, via USB, the Drobo Dashboard will not see them so you cannot manage them at all.

Rebooting the units, the computer, and re-installing the Drobo Software does not fix either the Thunderbolt or Dashboard/USB issues at this time.
 

Shadow9x99

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2018
18
14
Brockville, OH
Just want to chime in and say I'm having the exact same issue with my Drobo 5D. Running Drobo Dashboard 3.5.1 (which was supposed to be compatible with Big Sur) on my 2013 Mac Pro.
 
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sketchguy

macrumors member
Jan 31, 2008
93
96
Los Angeles, CA
Same issue with my 5D and 2013 Mac Pro. However, I was able to borrow my USB Printer Cable and get the Drobo to mount on my desktop. It's useable, but a bit slower than Thunderbolt. I'm liking how fresh Big Sur looks. And, it feels a bit snappier. Hopefully, the Thunderbolt situation will get fixed soon.
 
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Shadow9x99

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2018
18
14
Brockville, OH
Same issue with my 5D and 2013 Mac Pro. However, I was able to borrow my USB Printer Cable and get the Drobo to mount on my desktop. It's useable, but a bit slower than Thunderbolt. I'm liking how fresh Big Sur looks. And, it feels a bit snappier. Hopefully, the Thunderbolt situation will get fixed soon.
I found that even when I used USB it was not only slower but would also randomly disconnect and cause Finder to crash every hour or two. I only use my array with USB, so I know it didn't do this in Catalina.

I have now reverted back to Catalina... I guess this is what I get for upgrading to a new OS on day one :rolleyes:
 
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Torq

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
139
27
I'd revert back to Catalina for now, as well, which would be the first time I've had to do something like that since switching to Apple computers in 2008 ... but my Time Machine backup of the machine in question is on one of my Drobo units, and the drive-level copy is on the other ...

Never even occurred to me that there'd be a problem with locally attached storage.

And unfortunately using USB connections while Drobo figure this out is not working. They are too slow to get anything done, and that's when they don't timeout, crash Finder or disconnect randomly.

I think I'm going to move the Drobos to an old Mac Mini that can't run Big Sur anyway, relegate them to media/backup tasks and then make them available on the network, and then replace them for my primary workflow with a combination of TB/USB 3 SSD storage and a pair of Synology units on the network.
 
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copajaus

macrumors newbie
Nov 14, 2020
4
0
My install of BIG SUR went fine a couple of days ago until I started testing things:

1/ (MAC OS Big Sur on a 2013 MAC PRO 6.1 + Drobo 5D3 Thunderbolt) = DROBO does not mount.

Lucky I have a backup of the DROBO contents on different hard drives.
I suppose I have to wait for a DROBO fix and see. I am thinking more and more about Synology, my DROBO is quite loud as well.

2/ I am having a recurrent problem with a Kernel Panic after a few hours of playing some Music. It started after Catalina 10.6 and me changing my SAMSUNG monitor to a UHD BENQ PD3200U. I am not sure it is related but I have been playing around with the different hardware config and I cannot find the issue. TECHTOOL PRO 13 says my hardware is good to go o it's got to be a software issue. Not sure... still investigating.

That's all I could find so far...🙂🙂🙂
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,095
4,412
Seattle, WA
Yeah this is what I get for not looking before upgrading. :p

Fortunately I only keep my video and audio media on it and I do have two fresh backups to draw from, but my TV and Music app databases are hosted on it so until they fix it I have to access the files individually.
 
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Torq

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 8, 2009
139
27
It's a Drobo. The fact that it works at all is a miracle. The idea that you're actually depending on a Drobo for storage of backups is amazing.

After 8+ years with several of them, and the only prior problem being units not showing in the Dashboard from time to time (usually after major updates), it wasn't a major concern.

I have a multi-tiered, multi-locale, backup configuration for all of my data, media included, the Drobos are just the local/on-site backup. They could have burst into flames and I wouldn't have lost any data - which is always a presumptive risk for any local backup. The Drobos were just cheap, flexible and, at least until now, convenient.

Hell, I was using the last Apple Time Capsule for the Time Machine stuff until that died. But, again, that's just a first-tier local backup, and everything exists on other media and in other locations, ranging from BackBlaze on up.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,095
4,412
Seattle, WA
Damn. Wish I'd googled this... I have a ton of work to do and can't access it :/

You should still be able to connect to it via USB (I was able to do so on my 5D and used Dashboard to shut it down). Note people are reporting some instability doing it this way (Finder crashes).
 
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tripodbristol

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2018
3
0
You should still be able to connect to it via USB (I was able to do so on my 5D and used Dashboard to shut it down). Note people are reporting some instability doing it this way (Finder crashes).
Thanks! Yup - seems to be working just fine with USB :)
 
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aperture01

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2007
70
11
Washington, DC
Damn. Wish I had seen this before I upgraded. I just figured this would be an easy one. I hope they fix this soon. I've had my iMac pro in a box for months and finally just got moved into my new house ready to get to work. Guess I should of held off on Big Sur for a bit.

I'm sure they're getting pressure to finish this ASAP.
 
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Earl Urley

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2014
512
215
IMHO, it's likely going to involve both a mixture of Apple fixing its own Thunderbolt kext and Drobo updating its firmware to fully support HFS+ and APFS.. Their Time Machine partition is like a fudged HFS+ hack..

Perhaps Big Sur 11.0.2...
 
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Lee_Mac

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2020
15
10
Having suffered my Drobos not mounting there maybe some good news on the horizon. Beta 11.01 just released apparently fixes the issue. I’m going to try it out today on my test machine see if they work. Sounds like maybe Apple gat fingered something because they were working fine up to RC1
 
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Lee_Mac

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2020
15
10
And that would be a no. beta 11.01 still not mounting properly :(

Ah it's 11.1 dev beta that fixes the issue now the public 11.01. Anyone confirm this please?
 
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jw77777

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2009
92
91
Just adding to this thread. Also having this issue. The dashboard shows my hard drives are okay in my 5D, but does not mount on desktop. I do hope they fix this since that was my Time Machine back up disk. 🤷‍♂️ Hopefully that 11.1 release is coming soon!
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,095
4,412
Seattle, WA
I believe 11.01 is the released version and is what actually broke Thunderbolt (and other items, like SMB).

So 11.1 (which is the current Developer Beta) would be the first available option to fix this.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,095
4,412
Seattle, WA
Catalina is an option if you have a good backup (or a clone of your drive) since it will require a full wipe and re-install of the Macintosh HD.

I'll just wait for Apple / Drobo to fix it since I have two other copies of my Drobo data I can access.

I have tried the USB connection, but found it flaky in Windows and macOS compared to using TB so I just powered the unit down.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,095
4,412
Seattle, WA
Ah it's 11.1 dev beta that fixes the issue now the public 11.01. Anyone confirm this please?

On the Drobo Community Forum multiple people have confirmed the 11.1 Dev Beta fixed this issue. The Public Beta just dropped today so hopefully within a couple of days it will be released generally.
 
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Lee_Mac

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2020
15
10
On the Drobo Community Forum multiple people have confirmed the 11.1 Dev Beta fixed this issue. The Public Beta just dropped today so hopefully within a couple of days it will be released generally.
I’d only just seen this on the front page so not tried it yet. Will give it a try tomorrow.
 
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Lee_Mac

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2020
15
10
Public beta v11.1 does indeed fix the problem with the TB drives. Tested on a 2018 Mac mini and a 16" MB
 

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