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Would appreciate some quick help
01-20-2015, 06:15 PM
Post: #1
Exclamation Would appreciate some quick help
My trusty Gen 2 Drobo died after 5 years of service. Bought a new Gen 3 which I'm really looking forward to the speed upgrade since all my photos are on the pack. Which brings up questions. - I apologize ahead for the need to tell a lengthy prelude.
The original problem was a dead Drobo. Came home and it was black. Cycled power and the capacity lights all came on, power turned green all cap lights off wait 15 sec and ... then back to red with all capacity lights lit again. RIP
So I buy a new Gen 3 after having read that all I have to do to migrate the pack over is plug it into the new Drobo which will supposedly eat it up. I do wish the docs had a blurb about that as it's rather disconcerting to see all the warnings about it will format the drives and no mention of upgrade/migrate.
So while I'm waiting for delivery today I decide to dust off my Etech skills (I was damn good at it) and completely took the old unit apart, cleaned the connectors and circuit boards with alcohol. Most important was I deloused the fan. Applied power and shazam! She booted! Put the drives in and bay 4 showed red. I could hear the dreaded k-k-k-k-kk-k-k-k-kklickity-klack of a drive trying to spin up and failing. It continues to boot and now I have the bottom drive light (4) solid orange and the first 3 flashing green and orange. I assume it started trying to shuffle data around. I decided I didn't want it to do that since I have a LOT of data and powered it down.
The new Drobo won't even power up with the drive - it just quits. I pull the bad drive and it will start to boot.
So I need to get a replacement drive - no doubt about that. But do I pop it into the new Gen 3 which rebuilds faster or let the Gen 2 try? I'd really really hate to bork my pack.
Thanks!
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01-20-2015, 07:47 PM
Post: #2
RE: Would appreciate some quick help
You terminated the rebuild in progress?

I have never heard of anyone trying to migrate a diskpack while a rebuild was in progress.

And, yes, you can just move a Gen2 diskpack to Gen3 (or 5D) and it works.

Your diskpack is most likely toast. I would suggest you put it back into the original chassis and let the rebuild complete.

You could also contact support and see if they have any suggestions since you have a new Gen3 that is covered.

Good luck.

i7 Mac Mini Server, 10.10
Drobo (Gen2), USB, 4x WD 4TB RED

Drobo (Gen3), USB3, 4X WD 4TB RED

Drobo 5D, TB, 5x WD 4TB RED, 120GB Intel 525 mSATA SSD
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01-20-2015, 08:45 PM
Post: #3
RE: Would appreciate some quick help
Support was very unhelpful earlier since the unit was out of warranty. Likely the #1 cause of people writing nasty things about Drobos.
But anyway - I did put the disks back in - not sure what the blinky orange lights are for since it is the original disks back in the original order. Supposedly that shouldn't matter but for some reason it's putting on the light show. meanwhile it has in fact mounted so I'm trying to get the critical data off. I'm not sure why you think terminating a rebuild in process is a big deal - that also is supposed to be covered by the software - power outages anyone?
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01-21-2015, 08:46 AM
Post: #4
RE: Would appreciate some quick help
A power outage on a fully functional drobo is not the same as pulling the diskpack in the middle of a rebuild.

A power outage would damage the mounted filesystem (data on the diskpack), a rebuild is Drobo attempting to restore the diskpack.

That's what a UPS is for.

i7 Mac Mini Server, 10.10
Drobo (Gen2), USB, 4x WD 4TB RED

Drobo (Gen3), USB3, 4X WD 4TB RED

Drobo 5D, TB, 5x WD 4TB RED, 120GB Intel 525 mSATA SSD
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01-21-2015, 10:19 AM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2015 10:22 AM by rezolutionphoto.)
Post: #5
RE: Would appreciate some quick help
(01-21-2015 08:46 AM)mgriffin34 Wrote:  A power outage on a fully functional drobo is not the same as pulling the diskpack in the middle of a rebuild.

A power outage would damage the mounted filesystem (data on the diskpack), a rebuild is Drobo attempting to restore the diskpack.

That's what a UPS is for.
Not to be contentious but I never said I pulled the pack while it was rebuilding. I said I powered it down. When I plugged the pack into the new Drobo it refused to boot with the bad drive - I pulled that drive and ONLY that drive and it started to boot. At that point I powered it down (nice addition that power switch!) as I did NOT want it to start the rebuild process as if something had gone wrong I could never get it back on the old Gen 2.
The rebuild was triggered because the 4th drive suffered a catastrophic failure. Right now it is grinding away on the original Drobo Gen 2 - likely for days since it is at 85% capacity now - and I'm slowly dragging files off to minimize any potential loss.
Interesting observation in my notes was that the capacity lights had been inching up faster than I guesstimated I was adding content. With the drive failure I can see the actual capacity did not match the capacity lights - indicating to me that likely the drive was losing capacity due to errors.
I'm curious if the new Gen 3 utilizes SMART drive technology to keep a finger on the drive pulse. This situation concerns me because in my 30+ years of experience aside from physical mistreatment, I've not seen a drive fail without indications or warning - so was the Drobo asleep at the wheel or was this that rare total without warning failure?

Also - Drobo explicitly states that a power outage will not damage the filesystem. That's why it has that battery inside so it can finish writing what's in cache. FWIW I DO in fact have a UPS - this power down was deliberate and had nothing to do with the drive failing nor the rebuild.
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01-21-2015, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2015 12:20 PM by mgriffin34.)
Post: #6
RE: Would appreciate some quick help
(01-20-2015 06:15 PM)rezolutionphoto Wrote:  It continues to boot and now I have the bottom drive light (4) solid orange and the first 3 flashing green and orange. I assume it started trying to shuffle data around. I decided I didn't want it to do that since I have a LOT of data and powered it down.

Sorry if I misunderstood. Your description sounds like the Drobo was in rebuild mode.

A power outage on a filesystem (any filesystem) is Russian Roulette. If there are no files open, you most likely will be fine. Drobo's have a battery backup for the data in cache to be written. That's certainly a benefit, but not a guarantee.

Drobo's do use logic to test for impending drive failures, but sometimes, there is no warning. It's the nature of the mechanical beast, I guess. I have had drives pass SMART, but be trashed. It's another useful tool to be sure, but not perfect.

Glad your diskpack is accessible in your Gen2.

i7 Mac Mini Server, 10.10
Drobo (Gen2), USB, 4x WD 4TB RED

Drobo (Gen3), USB3, 4X WD 4TB RED

Drobo 5D, TB, 5x WD 4TB RED, 120GB Intel 525 mSATA SSD
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