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Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
03-02-2016, 03:33 AM
Post: #1
Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
I need to add a drive to the fourth and final bay in my Gen 2 Drobo to increase storage capacity but have received conflicting advice as to what is the maximum drive size that the device will be able to use. According to a Drobo Tech Support advisor each bay can utilise drives up to 4TB yet the Drobo website Capacity Calculator indicates that a 4TB drive will create no more additional available data space than a 2TB drive. Can someone please provide clarification of this point so I am only buying what the device can actually use.
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03-02-2016, 04:01 PM
Post: #2
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
hi ray, when you get a moment, if you could post back with some more info about the drives that you have so far, we can try to work out some options for you?
for example something like this will be useful:

slot 1 = xTB (make/model)
slot 2...
etc

plus if you can include how many volumes you currently have, (and what the max TB per volume your computer is showing you, it will be cool - thanks

(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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03-02-2016, 04:55 PM
Post: #3
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
For the 4 Bay Generation 2 Drobo we can safely recommend up to 4TB.

DroboMod

(03-02-2016 03:33 AM)ray@rcoxgardenphotos.co.uk Wrote:  I need to add a drive to the fourth and final bay in my Gen 2 Drobo to increase storage capacity but have received conflicting advice as to what is the maximum drive size that the device will be able to use. According to a Drobo Tech Support advisor each bay can utilise drives up to 4TB yet the Drobo website Capacity Calculator indicates that a 4TB drive will create no more additional available data space than a 2TB drive. Can someone please provide clarification of this point so I am only buying what the device can actually use.
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03-04-2016, 02:52 AM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2016 03:01 AM by ray@rcoxgardenphotos.co.uk.)
Post: #4
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
(03-02-2016 04:01 PM)Paul Wrote:  hi ray, when you get a moment, if you could post back with some more info about the drives that you have so far, we can try to work out some options for you?
for example something like this will be useful:

slot 1 = xTB (make/model)
slot 2...
etc

plus if you can include how many volumes you currently have, (and what the max TB per volume your computer is showing you, it will be cool - thanks

Thanks for the reply Paul. The drives in the other bays are 1TB, 1TB and 2TB. I've since managed to speak to a person at Drobo who advised that adding a 4TB drive (ie the max the device will handle) would not immediately gain more usable capacity than say a 3TB drive as a large proportion will be used up for parity. But it is still a worthwhile purchase in the long run as when the time comes to replace one of the smaller drives with another 4TB drive the available data space will shoot up dramatically. So I have a 4TB drive winging its way to me. Cheers
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03-07-2016, 01:18 PM
Post: #5
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
thanks for the reply ray,

i believe everyone is correct Smile in that 4Tb is largest per drive from DroboMod and that in your particular case, you would only realise the main benefit of a 4TB drive, when a 2nd one was also inside the drobo (such as via the usual upgrade process of only upgrading a drive when drobo is in a stable sate, and only 1 drive per update)

am glad you got it sorted out and please feel free to let us all know how things go if you get another drive etc 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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03-09-2016, 08:47 AM
Post: #6
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
Further to below another issue has arisen: I have since purchased and installed a 4TB SATA (WD Blue) drive in the fourth bay. But while the installation seemed to be successful with Dashboard showing the expected increase in available capacity there appears to be a problem with formatting. The Status tab in Dashboard says the new drive needs formatting (as does a pop-up message when I put the device on Standby) but when I click Ok for formatting to proceed the following error message appears after a short while: "Drobo Dashboard was unable to format this volume. Please try formatting again. If the problem persists then try restarting Drobo Dashboard."
I have checked that I have the latest versions of Firmware and Dashboard and have re-booted the Drobo several times but the formatting message is still there.
So I'd be grateful for advice on:
a) If the drive definitely still needs formatting how do I complete this successfully?
b) Now that I have imported quite a bit of data onto the Drobo since installing the new drive will formatting not risk loosing data on that particular drive?
Any help appreciated.
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03-09-2016, 04:59 PM
Post: #7
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
hi ray, can you check if the message about formatting a new volume is actually from dashboard itself?

when i added or upgraded to more usable space in my drobos, i also got a similar popup from dashboard about setting up a new 2TB volume, and it was ok. (i set all my drobos with 2TB max per volume, as that was what i needed and prefered, so in my case whenever i crossed the threshold of having more than 2TB to use, it prompted me for the creation of a 2nd volume)

(if in doubt please feel free to post a screenshot for us to see, such as up onto imgur or similar - though please remember to rub out any sensitive infor like serial numbers etc before uploading)

if could be that another application or process was using files on the drobo, in which case it couldnt do that at the time, so maybe a full reboot including the computer, and then checking after a few mins to make sure that nothing (at least in task manager) is having open files on the drobo for example.

(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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03-10-2016, 04:13 AM
Post: #8
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
Hi Paul, yes these messages are from Drobo Dashboard. Whenever I click on Status the message reads: "There is a new volume on your Drobo device that needs to be formatted. Would you like to format it now? "Options are "Yes" & "Remind Me". If I don't go into Status then the same pop-up will appear when I've gone into Tools and clicked on "Standby". As explained when I've clicked on "Yes" to proceed with formatting another pop-up appears shortly after "Drobo Dashboard was unable to format this volume. Please try formatting again. If the problem persists then try restarting Drobo Dashboard." I've since re-started both Dashboard and the computer numerous times (OS Windows 10 by the way). I have the Drobo running now and no other program is trying to access it.
One more point - given that capacity was nearly used up on the previous 3 drives and I've been writing data onto the Drobo since, I'm concerned that formatting the new drive now would result in data loss. And in any case info on the Drobo website says formatting is only required to initial drives when the Drobo is first installed.
I am considering taking the new drive out of the Drobo (after powering down obviously) and getting it health tested by my local IT shop so I can at least rule out a faulty drive.
You mention you "set your own Drobos with 2TB max per volume". If you recommend I do the same and set a max to my array please advise how to do this (reminder: my drives are from top to bottom: 1TB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB). Thanks

(no need to upload any screenshots as wouldn't add anything to above)
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03-10-2016, 12:57 PM (This post was last modified: 03-10-2016 12:59 PM by Paul.)
Post: #9
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
hi ray, thanks for lots more info above
here are some thoughts on topics you mentioned.. (numbered for ease of reference)

1a) as far as i know, additional storage being added to the pool, should work ok even if the drobo is low on space.
(if dashboard shows less than 95% used, then i 'think' it should still accept the additional storage for use via the next step, but if you are already above 90% then maybe you could try to copy some files somewhere else, and then once successfully copied and verified etc, to then remove them from the drobo, to essentially get the used space down to below 89% used. Dashboard might show some updates to the used/free tab, while the drobo spends a little bit of time reclaiming free blocks.)

1b) i first raised the question about dashboard being ok to format my new volume, and i think it was docchris who first put my mind at ease, and the process worked fine for me on 3 different drobos so far...soon to be a 4th Smile

from a safety point of view, i think the process of formatting the new volume via dashboard will work, but if you do not have any backups and are worried, then the most prudent thing would be to copy the existing data somewhere as a backup first).


2) i have started testing any new drives before using them pretty much anywhere (including before using them in my drobos), mainly using the manufacturer tools, in case a drive shows a fault is it much easier to return it sooner than later for a replacenet etc. (also if you have any plain text data such as account statements or similar, then there is always a small risk of some accounts being recoverable when the drive is sent back to the manufacturer so it makes sense to scan before using it)

3) the issue you mentioned, about still being unable to actually complete the dashboard format, may be related to the amount of free space you have currently (which im not sure what those values are) but maybe step 1a) can help with that?

4) the part about the max volume size is always going to be different for different people, and i know some others will respectfully have other opinions Smile
for me it is just down to 2 things: Necessity, as well as Preference.
Necessity is that i also have winXP machines (either just me or relatives who i help do some backups onto the drobo) and xp only supports 2TB max. (some other o/s or devices or vms etc may have a limit too), so i cant do the things i need to do unless i stick to 2TB.

Preference has been mentioned several times on the forums, but some aspects are that the data is not on 1 big volume to avoid accidents, boot up times can take longer with larger volume sizes, its easier for me to manage things & with my backup methods, and other tasks such as virus scanning, external indexing tools, and maintenance chkdsks etc are quicker and more manageable for me. Smile

at the moment, trying to change any volume sizes for your drobo would add more complexities to the issue you have currently, so i would suggest that if drobo has been working fine for you so far, that sticking with the volume size that it will (hopefully ultimately) create for you, will be best 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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03-10-2016, 03:30 PM
Post: #10
RE: Drobo Gen 2 drive capacity
Just to add to the above, I've just had the drive tested and it's 100% fine. So now what? Format the drive in a standard PC? This would delete any data written since installing in the Drobo. Whether the Drobo manages to re-build everything across the original 3 drives will depend on them still having enough capacity for data plus expansion/protection. So sounds risky especially as they weren't far off full. Or ignore the formatting prompt for the new volume every time I switch on the Drobo in the hope everything will be fine...Hmm
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