Drobo Dashboard still working with MacOS Sonoma Beta (14.0 Beta 23A5312d)

** yes I know Drobo is dead, but always nice to have a secondary copy of data **

Just to confirm that Drobo Dashboard is working fine with a fresh install of MacOS Sonoma Beta (14.0 Beta 23A5312d), key thing no previous install of the Drobo software was required.

So things are looking good for a little bit more usability for these retiring DAS devices.

Note you do need to change your system security settings, simple to do and guided by the installer.

Important notes to anyone still using Drobo:
Drobo as a company no longer exists, as a result absolutely no support pathways exist beyond self support if you have any software or hardware issues. As a result please do not rely upon any Drobo hardware as a primary & mission critical storage device.

I’m using my Drobo as a tertiary back-up device and to host various media files for my Plex server that all don’t matter if anything happens to my Drobo that I can’t recover from.

Hello, I was happy to find this post and was wondering if you updated to the official version of Sonoma now and what your experience is with it. I skipped the last major MacOS update already in fear that the Drobo will have problems, but your post gave me new hope.

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@Andrea I completed Sonoma upgrade (from Ventura to Sonoma) a few days ago on my main machine, glad to report no issues at all.

That’s good to hear, though I’m 2 storage solutions away from when I used a Drobo. I used Synology for a while and then switched to TrueNAS running 20 drives in an Define XL PC case.

The Drobo was great when I had an always on Mac , which I don’t anymore.

If the dashboard doesn’t work with a future version of macOS , I wonder if you could run it in a VM running and older version of macOS, using UTM or similar.

Welcome. I was a big fan of Drobo. I purchased a 4 disk model in '08, a Drobo Pro around '09, and multiple 5 and 8 disk models over the years. But today a Drobo is a ticking time bomb. I hope you have everything backed up.


I’ve got a Drobo5D connected via a ”Drobo”-to-Thunderbolt genuine Apple connector, running latest MacOS Sonoma on a MacMini. The diagnostics (colored lights) on the drive say all is well, but Dashboard can’t find any Drobo Drives.

This is WAAAY beyond my technical/diagnostic abilities. Can anyone help? Alternatively, can I take the hard drives out of the Drobo and install them in another brand external unit?

The Drobo has 10 years and 10,000+ photos stored on it.

Thanks for any help,

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@craigsharrow Chances are you just need to approve the kernel extensions from system preferences. If the Drobo is booting with green lights on the right hand side and blue at the bottom showing capacity, this means it is working just fine.

Sadly you can’t put the drives in a non Drobo unit, as they run a proprietary operating system.

I’m still running my Drobo 5D3 on Sonoma, however the company has gone bankrupt, so given the proprietary nature of the Drobo, so I’d recommend NOT using this for anything beyond a temp working environment or for one extra layer of backup/redundancy.

My use cases for my Drobo:

  • media files that I don’t care about, movies and tv shows that I don’t really need and could download again as required.

  • additional backup, on top of Time Machine & Carbon Copy backup to other media and Backblaze for offsite.

Happy to help you move forward, DM me if you need some help.

I have the original Drobo with 4 bays. Just plugged it in the other day (after a two day hunt to find the power supply). I’m on a 15" Mid-2018 MacBook Pro running Sonoma 14.2. Drobo Dashboard works fine … BUT the Drobo hardware is not recognized in any way (the single orange “Standby” light remains lit.

I do have Parallels … so I may try installing an older macOS and seeing if that makes a difference. But if the Mac hardware doesn’t recognize the Drobo … not sure if Parallels will “capture” it when plugged in. As I type this … I did not yet check the System Details to see if it is showing up on the USB ports.

For now I have it plugged in to a Mid 2011 MacBook Pro running High Sierra and it seems fine.

I just want to get my data off of it and recycle the hardware. :slight_smile:

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Do you have the Drobo Dashboard software on the 2018 MacBook Pro?

This dashboard installs the driver that allows MacOS to detect and work with the Drobo unit.

Steve, Thanks for the assist. This is my wife’s computer that she just got to replace her 10+year old “all-in-one Mac monitor/computer”. I’ve been using Windows (rarely) and an iPad for the past 6+ years and have no idea how to go about approving “Kernel extensions from syspref” Could you give me a step-by-step “How To”. Would really appreciate it.
Thanks again,

The instructions will vary depending on the version of MacOS (I only have Sonoma running).

At a high level:

Open the app "System Preferences
Fastest way, press “Command+Space Bar”, type system preferences and press enter
Look for “Security & Privacy”
Then look for a message “System Software from a developer Drobo was blocked” and allow it

You might need to confirm further dialogue boxes.

Some screen shots to help guide from a few different MacOS versions, ignore the other “vendor” names:

This might also help - How to Enable System (Kernel) Extensions on M1/M2/M3 Mac

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Also to confirm you need to have installed the Drobo Dashboard, still available here:

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I have a couple questions on this topic. I’m still getting by with my old Drobos (yes, plural, so not in a hurry to get rid of 'em yet), but on Monterey, not Sonoma. For those that have it running on Sonoma, is it connected via USB or Thunderbolt (sorry if I missed it in the thread). I’ve read with some of the OS updates it will only work with USB. Other tangental question is, is it worth it to upgrade to Sonoma? Personally, haven’t seen any real compelling reasons to upgrade.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Can confirm that Thunderbolt works just fine with Sonoma with my Drobo 5D3, and has done from early beta releases.

The drobo dashboard app is a bit flakey, but works reasonably well.

I’m trying to hold out for the next generation of DAS with Thunderbolt 4, so have extra mitigations in place should my Drobo stop working.

But if I had to replace today, I’d probably look towards OWC Thunder Bay 4 or 8 (that are das, software raid and thunderbolt 3). Or make the jump to a solid state solution……

Let’s all remember that any operational Drobo’s are living on borrowed time, any hardware failures are unrecoverable without a spare unit and should the software driver stop working you’d need another Mac with older os to do recovery.


Update: Still working just fine with Sonoma 17.3

Hello SteveMac, thanks for your input on Drobo.
I’m running Sonoma. I loaded the dashboard and it works. However, in locations , it’s not loading the files. It is trying to load, but not. Any suggestions>?

So does the drobo dashboard see your drobo, can you see the drives and setup including event log?

Also can you take a photo of your drobo lights at the front and post?

The two things that spring to mind:

A) check the kernel extensions have permissions. This article should point you in the right direction. Before upgrading my MacStudio I upgrade one of my laptops and test the Drobo. The laptop needed kernel extensions to be recalibrated or something like that, my MacStudio didn’t.

B) check your cable, or try another

Hi SteveMac, thanks for all the info on this thread. I’m a new user, my Drobo was working relatively well but as of a month ago, my Drobo dashboard no longer recognises that my Drobo is connected to my network. I’ve also tried connecting it to my Mac via a USB-C to Ethernet adaptor.

I have the latest version of Sonoma, and also modified the kernel extensions as per the iBoysoft instructions above, but I still can’t access my Drobo.

Any advice? I am a photographer and was using it to store almost 10 years worth of files. I’d like to access it mostly to just take my files off the Drobo and finally be done with it (still looking for an alternative and similar solution, as I don’t want to put everything on the cloud).

Turns out I’m now having issues with my Drobo, can get it to be recognized on my Mac studio.

I installed drobo desktop and drivers on another m2 MacBook that I had (also running latest Sonoma), it worked, managed to get files pff and have powered down the drobo and unplugged it for the first time in 6 or 7 years.

It’s the end of the line for me.

(Have replaced it with 4x satechi NVMe enclosures with 4TB NVMe SSDs.

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Good. Drobos are long past their “sell by” date. They are only good for losing data now.

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