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Drobo 5D reporting bay(s) empty (they are not)
10-02-2016, 10:53 PM (This post was last modified: 10-02-2016 11:07 PM by aj@emutt.com.)
Post: #1
Drobo 5D reporting bay(s) empty (they are not)
Hi All,

Drobo 5D
Firmware 3.5.0 [7.171.80644]
Dashboard 2.8.1 [80644]
OSX 10.11.1
Thunderbolt Connection

All 5 drives are Seagate 8TB Desktop class.

The Drobo is a couple years old, but this disk pack is about 5 months old.

2 weeks ago, I had the bottom drive bay reporting as empty. I assumed that it might be a bad drive, so I popped in a blank spare, and after an hour or so of trying to get the Drobo to reboot and recognize it, it started to rebuild itself and I stopped worrying.

About 1 week later, the same bay was reporting empty, which I found strange, so I ejected the drive and reseated it. After a reboot, it recognized the drive and started to rebuild OK.

About 1 hour ago, the middle bay flashed red and is reporting empty. The unit is now rebuilding itself.

This leads me to think that it's not bad drives, that there are issues with the bays themselves.

Has anyone seen problems with bays going bad? I'm worried that if the bottom drive bay glitches again, I'll loose the entire data set (about a 25TB backup)

thanks!
UPDATE: I reseated the middle drive and after it was not recognized, rebooted the unit, and now the 2nd up from bottom drive bay is reporting as empty while all 4 other lights are solid red.

Gonna shut the whole thing down and hope someone has some advice on what's going on.

thx!



(10-02-2016 10:53 PM)aj@emutt.com Wrote:  Hi All,

Drobo 5D
Firmware 3.5.0 [7.171.80644]
Dashboard 2.8.1 [80644]
OSX 10.11.1
Thunderbolt Connection

All 5 drives are Seagate 8TB Desktop class.

The Drobo is a couple years old, but this disk pack is about 5 months old.

2 weeks ago, I had the bottom drive bay reporting as empty. I assumed that it might be a bad drive, so I popped in a blank spare, and after an hour or so of trying to get the Drobo to reboot and recognize it, it started to rebuild itself and I stopped worrying.

About 1 week later, the same bay was reporting empty, which I found strange, so I ejected the drive and reseated it. After a reboot, it recognized the drive and started to rebuild OK.

About 1 hour ago, the middle bay flashed red and is reporting empty. The unit is now rebuilding itself.

This leads me to think that it's not bad drives, that there are issues with the bays themselves.

Has anyone seen problems with bays going bad? I'm worried that if the bottom drive bay glitches again, I'll loose the entire data set (about a 25TB backup)

thanks!
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10-03-2016, 12:37 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2016 12:38 PM by Paul.)
Post: #2
RE: Drobo 5D reporting bay(s) empty (they are not)
hi aj, sorry to hear about the missing drives...
can i check if the drobo has been moved around at all, and if it has been moved with drives inside it?
(picking it up gently as it is, and putting somewhere else on the desk isnt that bad, though there have been cases where the backplane has been damaged by more vigorous movement, such as traveling around, but i think sudden shocks or sudden tilting or lifting it sideways /upsidedown to put an msata inside or to dust it etc probably does not help)

if you have not really moved it though, then can i check in case those seagate 8TB drives are actually the archive, smr (shignled) drives? if so, then those have actually not been recommended for raid arrays, due to the way that those drives work.

in case they are not archive drives, then it might be worth powering all off, and unplugging the power cable, and to gently but firmly enough reseat the drives, just in case they have been wiggling free or not making a good connection somehow, (even just ejecting the halfway should be ok and pushing them back in with a verification of the spring clip being in place).

it could be that the drives are having some hardware problems themselves, (or possibly the main unit), but if you are still in support, it is probably worth raising a ticket, as the support team may be able to better ascertain the status of the bays, internally, and the status of the drives to see what could be causing the problems....if you do though, please wait for them to confirm when to actually generate the log files though)

from a backup perspective, when you start getting a drive appear as missing (or bay showing empty), has dashboard also been showing that bay as empty? and have you also been still able to access the data in the meantime when that happened (or when a drive was flashing red?)

if the drive was flashing red though, i think it was because it actually failed, but if you still have access to the data in that state, i think it will be good to start making backups while you can, at least for the most important data, just in case several drives happened to be from a bad batch for example, such as a batch that were exposed to some hard knocks during delivery etc)

(if you have raised a ticket for the support team though, then please do follow their steps or advice first to avoid any conflicts or mixed steps)
btw when the 1st problem started happening with the bay showing empty, can you remember if it was just looking like an empty bay, or was the drobo and dashboard actually flashing the bay light as red?

(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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10-03-2016, 12:53 PM
Post: #3
RE: Drobo 5D reporting bay(s) empty (they are not)
Hi Paul, thanks for your reply! To answer your questions,

- The unit has not been moved at all
- The drives are not the archive version.
- Drobo Dashboard has been reporting the bay(s) as empty.
- Unfortunately, my warranty has expired, so I'm stuck having to figure this out without the help of tech support Sad

I was able to bring in another 5d from a different office and swap the drives from the glitchy unit into the 2nd 5d, and (after a firmware update) it recognized all 5 drives and is currently happily rebuilding... so I'm thinking it is something glitchy with the Drobo itself, and not the drives.

Do you have any idea if, when the backplanes go bad, can you purchase the parts to fix them, or since it's out of warranty - is the unit now junk?

thanks!

(10-03-2016 12:37 PM)Paul Wrote:  hi aj, sorry to hear about the missing drives...
can i check if the drobo has been moved around at all, and if it has been moved with drives inside it?
(picking it up gently as it is, and putting somewhere else on the desk isnt that bad, though there have been cases where the backplane has been damaged by more vigorous movement, such as traveling around, but i think sudden shocks or sudden tilting or lifting it sideways /upsidedown to put an msata inside or to dust it etc probably does not help)

if you have not really moved it though, then can i check in case those seagate 8TB drives are actually the archive, smr (shignled) drives? if so, then those have actually not been recommended for raid arrays, due to the way that those drives work.

in case they are not archive drives, then it might be worth powering all off, and unplugging the power cable, and to gently but firmly enough reseat the drives, just in case they have been wiggling free or not making a good connection somehow, (even just ejecting the halfway should be ok and pushing them back in with a verification of the spring clip being in place).

it could be that the drives are having some hardware problems themselves, (or possibly the main unit), but if you are still in support, it is probably worth raising a ticket, as the support team may be able to better ascertain the status of the bays, internally, and the status of the drives to see what could be causing the problems....if you do though, please wait for them to confirm when to actually generate the log files though)

from a backup perspective, when you start getting a drive appear as missing (or bay showing empty), has dashboard also been showing that bay as empty? and have you also been still able to access the data in the meantime when that happened (or when a drive was flashing red?)

if the drive was flashing red though, i think it was because it actually failed, but if you still have access to the data in that state, i think it will be good to start making backups while you can, at least for the most important data, just in case several drives happened to be from a bad batch for example, such as a batch that were exposed to some hard knocks during delivery etc)

(if you have raised a ticket for the support team though, then please do follow their steps or advice first to avoid any conflicts or mixed steps)
btw when the 1st problem started happening with the bay showing empty, can you remember if it was just looking like an empty bay, or was the drobo and dashboard actually flashing the bay light as red?
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10-03-2016, 02:39 PM
Post: #4
RE: Drobo 5D reporting bay(s) empty (they are not)
ah thanks for the confirmations aj,

to be honest, while it might be possible to fix the backplane yourself, am not quite sure how to do that, and it might simply be easier (for most people) or better to get another working unit. (either new or 2nd hand if working fine)

some other users have been able to delve deeper into their drobos (such as with command line access/direct interfaces and swapping fans) but not for the FAiNt-hearted Smile

im gad that you have been able to migrate your diskpack into another compatible model, and hopefully things will be ok again after the rebuild (which may take about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have), though please do let us know how things turn out.

(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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