Drobo has been working around the clock to fix a Thunderbolt connection problem that occurred with the release version of macOS 11 Big Sur. What does this mean?

What did Apple do?

Drobo had finished updating connectivity with its Beyond RAID Thunderbolt 5 and 8-bay desktop connected devices using the Big Sur primary release candidate. Two days before the release of the final or gold master version of Big Sur, Apple pushed out release candidate 2, which broke Thunderbolt connectivity even though the connected Drobos show up in Drobo Dashboard. The Thunderbolt connected Drobos will not mount on the desktop.

Drobo Thunderbolt users: Don’t upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur!

While this is clearly an Apple caused issue, my sources at Drobo tell me they are working on a fix. Until a fix is finished and tested and released by Drobo, do not upgrade from Catalina to Big Sur.

Affected Drobos

All Thunderbolt Drobos — 5D, 5D3 and 8D will not connect to Macs running macOS 11 Big Sur. The 5D and 5D3, however, will work using their USB connectors. The 8D will not work as it is Thunderbolt only.

Photofocus will keep you up-to-date on the progress of getting this issue fixed.

For more information on photography software compatibility with macOS 11 Big Sur, click here.

Update: Drobo has released a fix

Drobo has fixed the mounting problem with desktop attached storage (DAS) Drobos using Thunderbolt 3 connections. Launch Drobo Dashboard and update it to 3.5.2. This update restores Thunderbolt 3 Drobos’ ability to mount on macOS Big Sur.

M1 Apple silicon computers and Drobos

Brand new Drobos will not work on M1 Apple silicon Macs at this time. Existing Drobos that appear on the desktop of Intel processor Macs will work on M1 Macs. Drobo Dashboard will not run on M1s. This means that the warnings of drive failure that Drobo Dashboard provides won’t be on M1 Macs. Drobo recommends using a network connection from an Intel Mac to the new M1s until an M1 only version of Drobo Dashboard is available.