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Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
08-13-2015, 07:07 PM (This post was last modified: 08-13-2015 07:11 PM by danmirage.)
Post: #1
Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
Hi and thank you for any responses...

(Applies to Drobo 4-Bay (3-Gen) 3.5" SATA/SSD Enclosure, USB 3.0,RAID #DDR3A21)

First, adding drives not volumes to use Drobo duplication:
I have a Drobo that must have originally been formatted by one of us for 2-4TB (it has 2 2TB drives) and I added a 4TB drive, however instead of making the total volume 8 TB with 4 TB useble, it wanted to create a new volume.

From reading the forums it looks like I need to transfer my files off of the DROBO, reset the DROBO, and put all of my data back on it.

In the process I have to reformat the Drobo for a larger volume.

Since we will eventually use up to 16 TB, can I do that max size format now without the 16TB drives (I have 8TB now)?

Second, moving drobo?
The computer the drobo is on is going to be receiving a clean Win7 install. Once I install the Drobo software, can I just plug in the Drobo and have it recognized?

I may also have to plug the Drobo into another computer to move all files off, before reformat...any problems with using a computer without Drobo dashboard, do I have to put Drobo dashboard on?

I am reading these now...

What is thin provisioning?
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01293

What is the maximum volume size?
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01760

What volume size should I choose when setting up my Drobo storage device?
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01270

What volume sizes may I use and what happens if my disk space exceeds my volume size?
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01405

Why doesn't my operating system report the correct volume size of my Drobo storage device?
https://myproducts.drobo.com/article/AA-01158
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08-14-2015, 10:52 AM (This post was last modified: 08-14-2015 10:54 AM by Paul.)
Post: #2
RE: Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
hi, its good to read up on those to fully understand things,

at first glance, i think the answers are these for you:
1) if youre going to re-format anyway, then you could choose a large size now, to avoid needing to have several smaller volumes. (you would just need to check if there are any limits to volume size on any devices that you might also wish (or in future would wish) to connect the drobo up to.

eg if you also had a windows xp machine, then you might get problems with volumes greater than 2tb.


also, if you choose 16tb, the computer will show that as max free space, but you would need to keep an eye on dashboard and drobo blue led capacity lights, to make sure that you didnt try to overfill the drobo by mistake - which can also happen if timemachine is not setup correctly)


2) you should be able to plug in the drobo to windows 7 even if dashboard is not running.
(i do that on a windows 7 machine that has a drobo-s attached to it, but when i finish, i tend to launch dashboard again and safely shutdown from there to play safe)

3) i dont think there is a problem if you hook up the drobo to copy and paste files, but i also dont think there will be much harm in installing dashboard first. you could always remove dashboard later.
i would suggest the CPV method though, to play safe. eg instead of just moving your data files and folders from drobo, you can Copy, Paste, and Verify the pasted copy before deleting anything.

hope this helps a bit

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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08-14-2015, 11:25 AM
Post: #3
RE: Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
Thank you.

All my machines are Win7 64-bit, so no size restrictions. But a good point, to be sure the space on the Drobo is not overfilled.

Yes, yes! CPV. Our files are important archived work that we will have to interrogate again later.
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08-18-2015, 02:00 PM
Post: #4
RE: Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
ok hope all goes well, and if you get stuck feel free to post back Smile

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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08-20-2015, 10:35 AM (This post was last modified: 08-20-2015 10:43 AM by trimbleepic.)
Post: #5
RE: Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
Interesting... Here's how I would have done it Wink

So, I have a Drobo-S that I've been experimenting with. (ProTip: I went to eBay and for $40 bucks I bought someone's 8pack of 80gig sata drives for use in testing. Those drives have been a godsend for testing all kinds of scenarios with my drobos!)

If i'm reading correctly, you have three drives - 2tb, 2tb and a 4tb. As far as the drobo is concerned, that 4tb is actually just a 3rd 2tb - you won't get to use the additional 2tb unless you add another 4tb. (well, sort of.. heh heh see below)

Also, i'm deducing that your current data load is less than 2tb, since if you started with only 2 2tb drives, you can't store more than 2tb on a drobo.

Therefore... here's what I would have done.

1) stick the 4tb drive into the drobo. and let it rebuild. don't create a new volume yet.

2) pull out one of the 2tb drives. let it rebuild again.

3) stick the removed 2tb drive into a drive toaster (I happen to have one of these, very handy... (http://plugable.com/products/usb3-sata-u3 )it holds my server's swappable backup drives) and format as a windows drive.

2) copy (I use teracopy with verify writes always on) all the data from the drobo onto the 2tb drive. this is now backup 1 of all your data.

3) pull the other 2tb drive out of the drobo, and let the drobo rebuild. Since it now has just a 4tb drive, it will go into a kind of half-n-half mode where it writes two copies of all data onto the one drive, but because it's a 4tb, it can still hold all of the data by itself (the drobo will report 2tb usable. This is the only way to coerce a drobo to use that extra 2tb of a 4tb drive without adding anther 4tb drive). The drobo will complain this is unsafe, but you already have a full backup of all of your data if something goes wrong.

4) stick the second 2tb drive into the drive toaster and copy all of your data again. this is now backup 2 of your data. You now have two offline copies of all of your data in case something goes wrong during the reformat.

Up to this point, all of your data has been available to the host computer for use, if needed.

5) now, using dashboard, and with the 4tb drive in, reset the drobo. this will lose data. but hey, you now have two offline full backups of your data. During the reset, the Dashboard should allow you to select a 16tb volume, even with just one drive in it. Format the volume and start it up. You should have 2tb usable.

6) Copy all the data back to the drobo from one of the 2tb drives, and test to make sure it's complete.

At this point, you data should be available for use again.

7) once you're sure your data is all there, just stick in one of the 2tb drives... you don't have to format it or anything because when you stick a drive into a running drobo, it will automatically wipe it and reformat it and add it to the pool. it will then rebuild all of your data to span the two drives (raid 1 mirror mode, leaving the top half of the 4tb drive empty now). You still still have 2tb usable.

8) once that rebuild is done, go ahead and stick in your other 2tb drive and it will do the same, this time finally expanding your usable storage to 4tb. At this point, you're blowing away your second backup copy of your data, so you're now fully trusting the drobo again. Personally, I keep more drives offline as backups of my drobo. Keep in mind - Raid is about availability, not backup. always backup your data. 2tb drives are as cheap as $50 each these days.


The above assumes you don't have extra space laying around to copy 2tb worth of data, or else you probably would have give that to the drobo already Wink Honestly, it would take several days to complete the cycle, but your data would be available for most of that time.

Ideally, you've already got all your data backed up. I posted this just as FYI, since I keep reading posts from people who don't have backups of what their drobo contains, so this is a way to do it using only what you've already listed as available (plus a toaster, or some other tool to use the drives as externals... I have several in my "bag of tricks" box in my garage Wink
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08-20-2015, 04:04 PM
Post: #6
RE: Added drive added a volume and moving the drobo
having a bag of tricks is always cool
(even cooler if you have a bag of crisps during the process) Big Grin

(btw i have XP home SP2, a Drobo v1 with 2x 1TB/2x 1.5TB WD greens, & a bkp Drobo v2 with the same + a DroboShare: unused)
& a DroboS v2 with 3xWD15EADS &2x1TB in DDR mode on win7, & a drobo5D (all usb)
  • btw i did a sustained (write) operation for about 6 hours, and got 13.2MB / sec ...objection? "sustained" :)
    (16.7MB/s on a v2 & 47-96MB/s drobo-s)
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