After I have been recommending Drobo to almost everyone I have talked to for roughly a month (bought it on recommendation from TWiT), it suddenly turned on me this weekend. It all started Saturday morning. I have been using the Drobo as a media backend for my Plex/Mac Mini HTPC setup. RipIthas helped me backup my DVD collection and I have carefully named each movie so that the IMDB scraper in Plex can find information about it. Before going to bed Friday night I started a copy job of the latest movies from my Ubuntu box to the Drobo (via DroboShare/Samba). Saturday morning I discovered that all the 7 copy jobs was stopped due to “Connection time out” with the Drobo. I tried copy files to it again, and once more I got a time out message. The Drobo Dashboard told me that everything was fine and that my data was secure, but I could not write anything to the disk. I connected the Drobo via USB directly to my MB Pro to analyze the problem thoroughly and it turned out OS X could only mount the Drobo in read-only mode. Disk Utility couldn’t verify or repair the disk so I researched the web and it seems like a common problem. None of the suggested solutions worked (not even DiskWarrior) to get the disk fixed, so I had to buy extra disk space for my Ubuntu box and copy everything back (roughly 1TB of music, movies and photos), reformat the Drobo and copy everything back again. So far I’m 12 hours into the first copy job so I guess I will be back on track sometime in the next two days.

While researching for the read-only problem I discovered that there is a lot of horror stories about Drobos eating data and users with poor help from Data Robotics customer support. One of the biggest selling points of the Drobo is that it protects against (multiple) drive failures and keeps data safe, but who is going to protect me from malfunctioning closed-source file systems?