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GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
11-28-2016, 05:31 PM (This post was last modified: 11-28-2016 05:33 PM by sworth@vintageip.com.)
Post: #1
GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
Sorry for the duplicate post, but I realized I posted in the wrong group before.

Today I started up my computer and only one volume out of 6 on my GEN2 Drobo mounted, but that one volume is now read only and not all the files on it are available in the finder (111GB out of 1.1GB). The other volumes I had on this Drobo show up as unformatted volumes in Drobo Dashboard. However if I check the overall used space in Drobo Dashboard, it shows almost 6.5TB, the amount of data that is supposed to be on all the volumes together.

I tried restarting everything, swapping to another power adapter and Firewire cable, plugging in after the comp is started, and I ran Disk Warrior. Disk Warrior sees several of the missing volumes (along with phantom unformatted ones) but there doesn't seem to be any way to mount the missing volumes to repair them. I haven't run Disk Warrior on the one volume that is mountable yet because I don't want to cause more trouble unintentionally until I know how to fix this.

I know the data is on there. I just don't know how to access it or restore the missing volumes. I just ran Disk Warrior on all of the volumes two weeks ago and everything came up clean. The drives are all showing happy green and they are quite new, so I'm sure they are fine. I don't want to do anything to lose the data on here. Is this a hardware problem?

Some explanatory screen caps...

System Info http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo00.jpg
System Info on Drobo http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo01.jpg
Drobo Dashboard Status http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo02.jpg
Drobo Dashboard Capacity http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo03.jpg
Drobo Dashboard Volumes http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo04.jpg
Disk Warrior Mounted Volume http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo05.jpg
Disk Warrior Unmountable Volume http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo06.jpg
Disk Warrior Invisible Unmountable Volume http://www.vintageip.com/pics/drobo07.jpg

Can anyone offer a suggestion for how I should proceed to repair this problem? Would popping out the drives and putting them in a new Drobo help? I'm pretty sure the drives and the data on them are OK. Is there a way to rebuild the overall volume directory rather than one at a time with Disk Warrior?

Thanks!
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11-28-2016, 09:36 PM
Post: #2
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
hi sworth, while i do not have a mac, usually diskwarrior has been known to fix a lot of problems on mac.

in this case, what might be a way forward, would be to start backing up any volume data that you have access to currently, (and in the meantime, that may allow for some other users to post back in case they had a similar experience at some point in a similar way as you with diskwarrior).

then, you could check dashboard, by clicking on each of the drive bay slots there (to see if your current dashboard version shows you any additional information about that particular drive)

- then, you could try using dashboard to shutdown the drobo,
- and then to shutdown the computer too.
- and to unplug all computer connection cables from drobo and computer (which seems like fireware currently)
- then if you wait about 10-15 minutes
- and then try to power up the unconnected drobo
- does it boot up with the blue led sequence, from 1 through to 10, usually filling up from right to left, and then does it go into standby mode?
(if it seems to progress slowly through the led lights, please do allow it plenty of time, even some hours here)

- then, if you power up the computer, and run dashboard
- and then to connect up your drobo to the computer (but this time using a direct usb connection if you can), or at least a direct firewire without any convertors of hubs if possible)
- does the drobo wake up shortly after, and then become recognised again in dashboard, and then the volumes too?
what happens now sworth?

(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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12-11-2016, 04:58 PM
Post: #3
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
I consolidated my storage and rebuilt most of the data from backups. I am in the process of doing another set of backups right now and I've unplugged the problem Drobo until I feel safe with my backups. That should take a couple of weeks.

I'm coming up with a plan to try to rescue the bad Drobo. I'll check the blue light cycling as you suggest. But it did the blue light cycle before and showed the data existing on the drive. It wasn't showing most of the volumes though. I couldn't see most of them in Disk Warrior either.

When I'm ready to address the bad Drobo again, I'm going to try using USB instead of Firewire. I have one Drobo that doesn't work at all with Firewire, but works fine with USB.

If that doesn't work, I have two options...

1) Run Disk Warrior on the one volume that mounts and see if I can get all the files that aren't on it to come back

or 2) Migrate the four drives in the bad Drobo into a brand new Drobo 5N and see if it mounts in a new Drobo enclosure.

I'm guessing that both of those options involve a certain amount of risk. Do you have a suggestion for which one to try first?

thanks for the help!
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12-12-2016, 04:40 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2016 04:40 PM by Paul.)
Post: #4
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
thanks for the update sworth, am glad that you had most of things backed up.

thats a good idea about usb with diskwarrior, (as usb has also been recommended for firmware updates rather than firewire) - so i think trying usb with diskwarrior first, before any migrating could be the way to go)

please let us know how things go

(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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12-19-2016, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 12-19-2016 08:38 PM by sworth@vintageip.com.)
Post: #5
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
This weekend I finished reconstructing everything from backups. There was only one volume that has had new files added since the last backup, and thankfully that is the one that was at least mounting (even though it was missing almost all of its files). I booted it from being unplugged using a USB cable instead of FireWire. It did its normal blue light cycle, but when it finished, it still only mounted the one volume out of six. I ran DiskWarrior on it and it identified over 100 overlapping files. I went ahead and repaired the volume and when it came up, there were two folders from a completely different volume restored as part of the one I repaired. Happily, I think all of the files that have been added since the last backup are there. As soon as I copy everything to another Drobo, I'm going to see if DiskWarrior can recover the other volumes. But I'm not terribly hopeful about that because some are showing up as unformatted. I think two of them show up in DiskWarrior as there, but un-mountable.

The hard drives are all green and happy. It appears that the Drobo itself messed up and scrambled the volumes. I am hesitant to trust this Drobo any more, because it seems like a hardware failure in the Drobo itself. Is that the case? I have another Drobo to substitute for it, but is it worth getting drives for the one that failed and using it for non-critical backups to see if it can be rehabilitated, or is it toast?
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12-20-2016, 06:24 PM
Post: #6
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
hi sworth, its good that you were able to reconstruct from the backups.
from what ive seen, it does not seem apparent that the hardware drobo is having the main problem (even though it evidently clear that you had severl issues recently as you described them)...i only say this because usually the hard errors tend to manifest themselves mainly when a drobo is boot looping, or never booting up, or even not being found via dashboard on any computer, while empty. (which should only be tried when remove all diskpack drives when power is all off and unplugged, and then the drives should only be put back after the empty test, when power is all off and unplugged)

with this in mind, and with diskwarrior finding lots of filesystem errors, i think that (after finishing any exising processes and having backups of all your data etc) you might be able to start from scratch by pinhole resetting the drobo and formatting it frm scratch, plus updating to the latest firmware etc, and then trying to use it again.

on the other hand, if the drives are fairly old, it might be worth doing this with fresh drives, though as the gen2 is getting on a bit as well, (mine is like 5-6 years old i think), and while your current issue was more software related, while still going strong, the gen2 can only cater for single SDR drive redundancy, so having a newer model like a 5D could be better in the long run for you - also, if when you finish your current processes and do not need anything on the current drives in your gen 2, then you could try removing them and checking each one in a separate stand alone caddy or connection, and to fully surface test them, and if they all check out, maybe getting a 5D and putting them in their could be a way forward if you wish. if the drives are old though, then there is an increasing risk that over time they could have usual wear and tear, depending on usage, so definitely worth enabling DDR from the start if you can too)

(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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12-21-2016, 06:35 PM
Post: #7
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
A little more update... I finished backing up the recovered volume that I was worried about, so I figured I would try running Disk Warrior on the rest of the volumes. There were six volumes on this Drobo altogether. One drive would mount and I repaired that the other day and backed it up. Of the remaining five volumes, Disk Warrior saw the name of the volume on two of them and three showed up as untitled. I started repairing one with a name. It showed a lot of directory errors, so I replaced the directory. When it came up as fixed, it had a different volume name than Disk Warrior had shown and a few files were missing and ended up being the files that overlapped onto the first volume I repaired. I repaired the rest and they showed lots of directory errors too, but they seem to have come back complete. The ones labelled untitled were still labelled untitled though.

After I finished repairing all the volumes, the first volume showed up as having overlapped files again. It seems that Disk Warrior couldn't figure out which volume those overlapped files went with, so it's trying to keep them in both.

In any case, the drives in this Drobo are less than a year old. The problem seems to have been something to do with the directory structure and the separation between volumes. I'm going to back everything up just to be safe, then move the drives to a new 5N and format them brand new. Then I'm going to put some older drives in the questionable 2nd gen Drobo and fill it up with a duplicate set of backups of something and let it be for a couple of months until I know if I can trust it.

The good news is that I didn't lose any data (just around 100 hours of backup time!). I feel a little more confident about running Disk Warrior on a really messed up Drobo now. I'm glad I took the conservative route and did it step by step, backing up as I went. It took longer, but I never got to the point of complete panic.

Thanks for your help, Paul!
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12-21-2016, 07:39 PM (This post was last modified: 12-21-2016 07:40 PM by Paul.)
Post: #8
RE: GEN2 Data Inact, Volumes Not
ah ok thanks for the latest info sworth
(actually doing things the slower but surer way is always best whenever possible)

(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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