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Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
06-30-2016, 03:54 PM
Post: #1
Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
Hi all - first of all I'd like to say that these forums are fantastic and I have really appreciated them over the years. I've never needed to even post a question before because nearly everything I have ever needed to know was already answered comprehensively here.

I've been using Drobo products for at least 4 years now, with both a Gen 2 4-bay (USB) and a B800i (Gigabit ethernet). I use them with Windows 7 / 10 netbooks, Linux and Windows 7 / 10 laptops and desktops, and now (attempting) a Raspberry Pi 3.



Issue Summary

My question concerns the 4-bay Gen 2 Drobo, connected via USB with a Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian "Jessie" Linux (4.4.13-v7+). The Drobo is working fine on another Linux system or on a Windows system, so this is not a question of the Drobo malfunctioning - it is purely one of use / compatibility with the Pi. I realise that Drobo does not provide support for Linux, and I can confirm that on Ubuntu Linux (on a desktop PC) the Drobo nonetheless functions flawlessly. However I cannot get it to mount on the Raspberry Pi, even though the Pi is clearly able to communicate with the Drobo - waking the device up and grabbing status data through 3rd party tools. I am sincerely hopeful that there is an advanced Linux user on here who can see where my problem lies, or someone has already dealt with this exact situation and can give me some insight.



Specifics

When I connect the Drobo to the Raspberry Pi, the Pi can see the Drobo - however it is only recognised as an "18TB Block Device". It shows with 2 partitions, respectively 134MB and 18TB in size, both are of an "Unknown" filesystem (To confirm, the device is in fact formatted as NTFS and functioning properly with other systems).

This Raspberry Pi is fully updated, with current versions of ntfs-3g for NTFS support. other NTFS devices work without a hitch.

I've got drobo-utils installed as well (which I recognise is neither provided nor supported by Drobo) and this is able to interact with the Drobo to grab status data, for instance confirming that the disk pack is ~40% full. However, for some reason although the Command Line status commands work, the GUI never launches. Further I am totally unable to get the Drobo to mount on this device, even though by all accounts it should work.

I have ordered the Raspberry Pi to mount the partition manually, forcing it to mount as NTFS using the command:
sudo mount -t ntfs-3g -o rw,force /dev/sda2 /mnt/Drobo_4Bay

This has simply sat at the command line with no further response for two hours thus far, indicating that it is trying to do something (presumably mount the partition?) but with no indication that it will ever complete.

I want to get this device working with the Raspberry Pi in order to function as an always-on media and fileserver, as well as resurrecting my original and much beloved Drobo device for continued use.

My hope is that someone else out there has already cracked this one and can help me.

Many thanks in advance for your help!
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07-01-2016, 08:04 AM
Post: #2
RE: Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
It looks like your NTFS partition might be going through some check and repair. If that is the case, given the RPi CPU capabilities it will take weeks.

My suggestion to you is to plug the Drobo back on a Windows machine, and run chkdsk. Make sure it is nice and proper, without any filesystem corruption. Once you do that then plug it back on the RPi.

Keep in mind that the RPi is a very poor candidate for a network server, since its ethernet port is limited to 100 MBps, which means 12 MB/s maximum. Since the ethernet card and USB ports share the same bus, the performance will likely be even worse.

See this thread for more information: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt...https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.p

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07-03-2016, 05:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
(07-01-2016 08:04 AM)ricardo Wrote:  It looks like your NTFS partition might be going through some check and repair. If that is the case, given the RPi CPU capabilities it will take weeks.

My suggestion to you is to plug the Drobo back on a Windows machine, and run chkdsk. Make sure it is nice and proper, without any filesystem corruption. Once you do that then plug it back on the RPi.

Keep in mind that the RPi is a very poor candidate for a network server, since its ethernet port is limited to 100 MBps, which means 12 MB/s maximum. Since the ethernet card and USB ports share the same bus, the performance will likely be even worse.

See this thread for more information: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt...https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.p


Hi Ricardo - thank you very much for your reply. To be honest, I never even considered this and I probably should have. I tested on my Peppermint OS 6 (Ubuntu variant) desktop, where the Drobo mounts and operates flawlessly, and decided that this was a specifically Raspberry Pi issue.

I take this to be confirmation that you (or someone out there) has used a Direct Attached Drobo via USB on a Raspberry Pi? That was my big question; I wanted to confirm that someone has used these machines together successfully before so that I could decide whether I was dealing with a bug, compatibility error, or something like the possible filesystem corruption which you've put me onto.

I'm running a chkdsk now using "chkdsk p: /x" where p is my actual drive letter for the Drobo. I'll run it a couple of times to ensure any and all errors are sorted and then try re-connecting to the Raspberry Pi 3 and see if it all works as it should.

Regarding the low network speeds, I recognise these and I definitely appreciate the tip. For most purposes this setup would provide wholly unacceptable performance. For my particular use case however, it should do fine. The major purpose of the RPi + Drobo is to be an always-on media unit, not so much for storage. If I critically need to move large volumes of data to or from the Drobo I will be manually connecting and using it as Direct Attached Storage on another device. I've had this same setup running in past with a single external hard drive connected via USB, and you're absolutely right that it is devilishly slow, but workable for what I'm currently using it for. If my usage tilts more toward the file-server side I will have no choice but to find a device other than a Pi to drive it.

Thanks again for the reply - I will follow up to this when I have more information.
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07-04-2016, 11:59 AM
Post: #4
RE: Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
As an interim follow up, I've run the chkdsk on a Windows 10 gaming system and it's now been running for going on 18 hours. There were a number of issues with the partition - I never even suspected it, as it is a brand new disk pack. I manually reset the Drobo around two weeks ago, copied just over 2TB to it without any issues or unexpected shutdowns, and here we are. No signs of corruption until this.

It seems I may need to keep a much closer eye out going forward. Hopefully once the chkdsk completes successfully the device will work properly with the Raspberry Pi 3, but I'll update either way. Cheers!
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07-04-2016, 01:38 PM
Post: #5
RE: Drobo Gen 2, Raspberry Pi 3 - Cannot Mount
Hello BejamminR,

I'm having the same problem with my RP3. If you find a solution I'd really like to hear about it.
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