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Updating the Drobo 2009

January 30, 2009

When I last tried to update my Drobo’s firmware, I ended up having to (i) reestablish all of the network shares and associated security settings, and (ii) endure a long (30 minute) reboot of the Small Business Server 2003 machine to which it was attached during the early phase of the boot process in which the only progress indicator was only a black screen.

Because my Drobo was functioning well, I swore off firmware upgrades until yesterday. I was doing a reboot of the sever to try to fix a problem with the Windows Search Service and noticed that the new Drobo firmware promised to do something about video stuttering (a problem when I tried to play HD videos stored on the Drobo, on a Media Center Extender connected to a (different) Media Center PC.

First the good: my network shares and security stayed intact this time; and unlike last time I did not not need to reboot the server as part of the firmware upgrade.

The bad: the firmware would not update using the Drobo Dashboard alone because it insisted some files were still open despite my killing almost all the processing running on the PC to which it was connected. So, I resorted to unplugging the Drobo, figuring that it had be designed to withstand a power failure. That worked, but only after trying twice and enduring a tense 12 minutes of the Drobo flashing red lights on all of its drives as it installed the new firmware and reinitialized itself.

Also, I am still having stutter with my HD video files. These files are large MPEG2 files and I’m betting I won’t have this problem with files the smaller files I will keep in their native MPEG4 format—just as soon as Windows 7 comes out and I can upgrade my Media Center PC (Windows 7 should be able to stream MPEG4 files to extenders.)


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