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Broken FS - Is there any hope?
12-11-2014, 03:17 PM
Post: #1
Broken FS - Is there any hope?
I have a Drobo FS. It's been working well enough for the last few years. I accidentally filled a disk set (5 x 6TB drives) and now it's bricked. It was working fine, I shut it down via Dashboard, put a new set of identical blank drives in, turned it on, and it's totally undiscovered by Dashboard.

Took the drives out, restarted it. No luck.

Any help would be appreciated here. I know it's EOL and that means I'm SOL but maybe there is some hope.

I'm using Dashboard 2.6.2 but I've also tried 2.5.3, no luck.
I've reset the thing with the back reset button.
I've directly connected it to my Ethernet, disabled all firewalls and other nonsense...
It WILL give my computer an IP address like it's supposed to.
But telnet to 169.254.213.234 5000 and 3260 doesn't connect. (this is the address given to me by support) Dashboard will not find it.

Support said that if the green light is solid and the yellow light is flashing on the ethernet port then it's something computer-side blocking it. I've tried a few computers and I'm fairly certain it's not being blocked in any way. It seems like it just isn't sending meaningful data or isn't resetting properly.

I have the thing totally apart. Checked the internal battery and so on. Any suggestions? It's a totally stock drobo FS, no apps or anything. Is there anything to be done here? Perhaps a jumper or something to totally clear the memory?
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12-12-2014, 06:49 AM
Post: #2
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
Can you post some pictures of the motherboard? There might be a serial port somewhere.

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12-15-2014, 10:23 AM
Post: #3
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
(12-12-2014 06:49 AM)ricardo Wrote:  Can you post some pictures of the motherboard? There might be a serial port somewhere.

J4 J5 J9 J18 and Con1 All show promise but there is nothing obviously labeled as a serial console. I'm a bit weary of just randomly plugging things to a serial port... but I suppose it can't break more than it is now.

Any thoughts?

Images:
http://imgur.com/a/Mxck0
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12-16-2014, 03:46 AM
Post: #4
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
Well, technically speaking you can't break it by just plugging the ground and RX/TX cables. I'd just test the different pins with a multimeter to find out which is the ground and which is VCC. I'm pretty sure that the board runs at 3.3V, so that's the VCC you should be looking for.

I'd focus on the 4 pin ports, i.e., J4 J5 and J9. If J9 is any indication, the pin closer to the LEDs in the front should be the ground.

From dmesg, we know that the FS has two serial consoles: one for the vxWorks core, and one for the Linux core. If I were a betting man, I'd say that J4 and J5 are the best candidates.

For the next steps you are going to need a TTL->USB adapter. If you are an arduino tinkerer, you probably already have one. If not ebay will be happy to provide you with one. You probably want something like this (first result on search "TTL USB"): http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-To-RS232-TTL...http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-To-RS232-TTL-UART-PL2303HX-Auto-Converter-USB-to-COM-Cable-Adapter-Module-/31

Anything with CP1202 and FT232 will also work. Notice how this model already comes with the connectors for the J4 and J5 connectors.

Findinf out the exact pinout will require a multimeter. Using http://i.imgur.com/UDkyIVU.jpg as reference, these 4 pin connectors are either:
- [RTVG], i.e., RX, TX, VCC, ground
- [TRVG], i.e., TX, RX, VCC, ground
- [VRTG], i.e., VCC, RX, TX, ground
- [VTRG], i.e., VCC, TX, RX, ground

The first thing you have to do is find ground. I assume it is the rightmost one, but make sure that is the case. Once you have that one, it'll be easy to find VCC. Tape over that one to make sure you won't cause a short. Then plug the TX and RX pins in any way you want (if it does not work, switch them around). On the computer I'd try 9600 bauds first, since that is the traditional serial port speed, and then increase up to 115200.

Please let us know if this works, or if you need any further help.

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12-16-2014, 10:41 AM
Post: #5
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
Fortunately I have more Arduinos than I can count and a literal handful of TTL-Serial adapters Smile

I'll play with it today and get back to you with anything I find. Thanks for the help so far!
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12-16-2014, 03:36 PM
Post: #6
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
(12-16-2014 03:46 AM)ricardo Wrote:  Please let us know if this works, or if you need any further help.

I quoted you so it alerts you of the reply... does this forum do that? I have no idea Smile

Anyway... I unbricked it. Here's what I found:

J4 and J5 in that picture are the serial consoles. They are VRTG with Ground closest to the LEDs (good call on that one). They run at 115200 baud. J4 is the vxWorks and J5 is the Linux.

They run at 3.3v so I used a ttl-serial converter.

When I ran it I saw a few error messages saying there was no space left on the device so various logs couldn't be created and some scripts couldn't run.

Specifically I saw a few errors of not finding the size of /var/log/nasd.log especially when trying to restart it.

Deleted the file with rm /var/log/nasd.log, restarted the device, and suddenly everything works. Shows up in dashboard and everything. I haven't put a new set of drives in yet, but I'll overnight some and try it tomorrow.
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12-18-2014, 07:24 AM
Post: #7
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
Woot! That is amazing. I have added this to the DroboFS non-official knowledge base. To summarize:

- Both are confirmed 3.3V, TTL, pinout is VRTG -> LEDs, running at 115200 baud;
- J4: serial console for vxWorks;
- J5: serial console for Linux;

The wiki page is here (bottom of the page): https://github.com/droboports/droboports...https://github.com/droboports/droboports.github.io/wiki/DroboF
I hope you don't mind if I borrow your picture of the motherboard.

This will help so many people. If you look around in the forums you'll see that there a lot of old FS's that are slowly presenting the same symptoms.

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07-24-2015, 10:42 AM
Post: #8
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
I am going to attempt the same thing, since i have one doing the same thing, but have some questions

Do i need to plug in the VCC cable or not,

which port, the linux or the vxWorks

Any help with the commands would be awesome also
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07-24-2015, 01:40 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2015 01:45 PM by ricardo.)
Post: #9
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
Since we know for a fact that it works without a VCC, my recommendation is absolutely *not* to plug a VCC. At best it won't help, at worst you could burn the serial port.

For simple recovery, I'd say try first the Linux side, since that is relatively well documented (well, by us users), and the Vx side is pretty much self-healing. Most of the trouble I've seen so far comes from the Linux side.
As for commands, I can recommend having a look at the content and free space on /var. This means:

# df -h

... and look for this line:

/dev/mtdblock/2 2.0M 624.0K 1.4M 30% /var

If there is almost no free space left, then remove the contents of /var/log, like this:

# rm -fr /var/log/*

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07-30-2015, 07:24 PM (This post was last modified: 07-30-2015 07:47 PM by johndotcom83.)
Post: #10
RE: Broken FS - Is there any hope?
trying to connect with putty and I'm not getting anything, I do not have the VCC plugged in
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F167...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F167PWE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpa

this is the cable I bought to connect to it, not getting anything on either port
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