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Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
05-06-2017, 08:59 PM
Post: #1
Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
I'm trying to troubleshoot my Drobo Gen 2. Yesterday one of the pays turned Red, indicative of a failed drive, which Dashboard also told me had happened. I went and bought a new HDD and performed a hot swap. Out came a "failed" WD 2TB from the 4th bay (at the bottom) and in went a Seagate 3TB. I have the latest firmware (1.4.2). After the new HDD was firmly in, Drobo didn't recognize it. Dashboard said it was empty.
I then swapped the old ("failed") drive back in to the same (4th) bay to see what would happen and it also wasn't recognized "Drive Empty".
I subsequently disconnected and an unplugged Drobo, took out all the drives and put them firmly back in (inlc. new HDD into 4th bay)...still same outcome of the Drive bay being empty.
Finally I then put the new 3TB HDD in a known working (3rd) bay to see if the new drive was a bust or not and moved the other working HDD (1TB) into the 4th bay (where the failed drive was originally). The drive bay is still deemed empty, but now data the data protection process is underway.

Is there a way to tell if my original drive never actually failed an that it was the Drobo? I'm assuming that since the 3rd bay with the new drive is working and a known working HDD in the 4th drive isn't then it's the DROBO that's failing?

Also, I assume once the data protection process is done I can cont to operate with one bay empty?

I don't really have and data loss concerns as I had been planning to reformat all the drives and start fresh, so already transferred most of the data I needed.

Any help would be great. Don't really want to buy another Drobo at this time...
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05-08-2017, 03:39 PM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2017 03:42 PM by Paul.)
Post: #2
RE: Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
hi mclynick,
there have been some cases where the drobo needed some extra time to recognise a disk change, though can i check if the WD 2TB drive that was in the 4th bay turned into a solid red light, (that was always on) or was it actually flashing/blinking a red light on and off?

for the part about continuity, if you had 4 drives (with single SDR drive redundancy), and then 1 drive failed, you should still be able to access the data. If there was not that much data, and enough room, i think if less than 85% used, the drobo will try to do another rebuild for data protection, to get you back into an SDR state, so that it can continue to protect your data again for any 1 drive failing.... however, if there was not enough space to do that, then you would not be able to tolerate another (2nd) drive failing, so it is usually best to add another blank/un-needed drive to essentially replace the one that failed...especially on older models or when using SDR.

if you are currently in data protection mode (rebuilding), then it will probably take about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have (probably a bit more if you are actively using the drobo at the same time).

if you are still in the process of having some more files to backup or transfer, then i would recommend doing that first, before trying some more tests, though once you get back into a stable state, with dashboard and drobo confirming this (ideally with all lights solid in colour, hopefully green, depending on free space), then if you wanted to test out some bays and drives, you could try by shutting down the drobo via dashboard, and removing all cables from the drobo, and then with power off and cables still unplugged, to swap 1 drive which is known to be working fine and recognised in dashboard, and to put it into a bay that was not seeming to be working. (if you were swapping a drive from 1 bay, with another bay that currently had a drive inside it, then you would swap both drives into eachother's bays) - and then you could try connecting the cables and powering up, but allowing it plenty of time to bootup and see what happens?

(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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05-08-2017, 06:05 PM
Post: #3
RE: Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
(05-08-2017 03:39 PM)Paul Wrote:  hi mclynick,
there have been some cases where the drobo needed some extra time to recognise a disk change, though can i check if the WD 2TB drive that was in the 4th bay turned into a solid red light, (that was always on) or was it actually flashing/blinking a red light on and off?

for the part about continuity, if you had 4 drives (with single SDR drive redundancy), and then 1 drive failed, you should still be able to access the data. If there was not that much data, and enough room, i think if less than 85% used, the drobo will try to do another rebuild for data protection, to get you back into an SDR state, so that it can continue to protect your data again for any 1 drive failing.... however, if there was not enough space to do that, then you would not be able to tolerate another (2nd) drive failing, so it is usually best to add another blank/un-needed drive to essentially replace the one that failed...especially on older models or when using SDR.

if you are currently in data protection mode (rebuilding), then it will probably take about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have (probably a bit more if you are actively using the drobo at the same time).

if you are still in the process of having some more files to backup or transfer, then i would recommend doing that first, before trying some more tests, though once you get back into a stable state, with dashboard and drobo confirming this (ideally with all lights solid in colour, hopefully green, depending on free space), then if you wanted to test out some bays and drives, you could try by shutting down the drobo via dashboard, and removing all cables from the drobo, and then with power off and cables still unplugged, to swap 1 drive which is known to be working fine and recognised in dashboard, and to put it into a bay that was not seeming to be working. (if you were swapping a drive from 1 bay, with another bay that currently had a drive inside it, then you would swap both drives into eachother's bays) - and then you could try connecting the cables and powering up, but allowing it plenty of time to bootup and see what happens?

It was a solid red light, and dashboard said the drive in the 4th bay had failed and should be replaced.
When I got the new drive I hot swapped it in. Took a 2TB drive out and put the new 3TB drive in (e.g. Bay 1= 3TB, Bay 2=3TB, Bay 3= 1TB, Bay 4 = 3TB -New drive). From that point on this 4th bay has not seemed to work.
I have tried everything you suggested. Of the 3 bays/drives that were working (solid green lights), I took a 1 TB drive out of Bay 3 and put it in Bay 4 and put the 3TB(new) drive into bay 3. Still no recognition from the 4th bay. Dashboard says this bay is empty.
The data protection process is over now. The 1 TB drive remained in the 4th bay while it was reconfiguring, but is still not recognized. The other 3 bays seem fine. It's been just about 48hrs now and Bay 4 remains "empty" despite having a working 1TB drive in it.
I don't have much data left on the Drobo in general as I had been moving onto other external drives as I wanted to reformat the Drobo.
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05-08-2017, 07:23 PM
Post: #4
RE: Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
(05-08-2017 06:05 PM)mclynick Wrote:  
(05-08-2017 03:39 PM)Paul Wrote:  hi mclynick,
there have been some cases where the drobo needed some extra time to recognise a disk change, though can i check if the WD 2TB drive that was in the 4th bay turned into a solid red light, (that was always on) or was it actually flashing/blinking a red light on and off?

for the part about continuity, if you had 4 drives (with single SDR drive redundancy), and then 1 drive failed, you should still be able to access the data. If there was not that much data, and enough room, i think if less than 85% used, the drobo will try to do another rebuild for data protection, to get you back into an SDR state, so that it can continue to protect your data again for any 1 drive failing.... however, if there was not enough space to do that, then you would not be able to tolerate another (2nd) drive failing, so it is usually best to add another blank/un-needed drive to essentially replace the one that failed...especially on older models or when using SDR.

if you are currently in data protection mode (rebuilding), then it will probably take about 1 day per 1TB of data that you have (probably a bit more if you are actively using the drobo at the same time).

if you are still in the process of having some more files to backup or transfer, then i would recommend doing that first, before trying some more tests, though once you get back into a stable state, with dashboard and drobo confirming this (ideally with all lights solid in colour, hopefully green, depending on free space), then if you wanted to test out some bays and drives, you could try by shutting down the drobo via dashboard, and removing all cables from the drobo, and then with power off and cables still unplugged, to swap 1 drive which is known to be working fine and recognised in dashboard, and to put it into a bay that was not seeming to be working. (if you were swapping a drive from 1 bay, with another bay that currently had a drive inside it, then you would swap both drives into eachother's bays) - and then you could try connecting the cables and powering up, but allowing it plenty of time to bootup and see what happens?

It was a solid red light, and dashboard said the drive in the 4th bay had failed and should be replaced.
When I got the new drive I hot swapped it in. Took a 2TB drive out and put the new 3TB drive in (e.g. Bay 1= 3TB, Bay 2=3TB, Bay 3= 1TB, Bay 4 = 3TB -New drive). From that point on this 4th bay has not seemed to work.
I have tried everything you suggested. Of the 3 bays/drives that were working (solid green lights), I took a 1 TB drive out of Bay 3 and put it in Bay 4 and put the 3TB(new) drive into bay 3. Still no recognition from the 4th bay. Dashboard says this bay is empty.
The data protection process is over now. The 1 TB drive remained in the 4th bay while it was reconfiguring, but is still not recognized. The other 3 bays seem fine. It's been just about 48hrs now and Bay 4 remains "empty" despite having a working 1TB drive in it.
I don't have much data left on the Drobo in general as I had been moving onto other external drives as I wanted to reformat the Drobo.


Also, one thing I should add, but but not sure if relevant. Before all the I had the following drives in the bays: 3TB, 3TB, 1TB, 2TB. I had been upgrading the lower TB drives and adding the 3TB. When I added the first new 3TB drive DROBO created a separate volume, so I had two volumes. When I added the second 3TB it asked to created another volume but I didn't do that initially. I can't remember if before hot swapping the drives whether I finally created that next volume or not, but I have 3 volumes now.
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05-10-2017, 07:39 PM
Post: #5
RE: Drobo Gen 2: Has the drive failed or the Drobo?
thanks for more info,
i dont think the part about extra volumes was the cause, one time i didnt create a 2nd volume until a future time, and all ended ok (and i have like 8 x 2TB volumes) Smile

but the part about having a solid red light, usually would indicate that the drobo is running low on free space (with maybe only 5% free space), so am not sure what happened though if dashboard said that it failed, it probably did not like the drive.
(when you do come to formating things and once you do not need anything else, i think it will probably be a good idea to try doing a full reset while empty and also a full reset with the drives inside, including the new one that initially failed, in the last bay to see if things are recognised again)

btw can i check which firmware you have? if you are going to be doing a reset or reformat anyway, it probably will be good to upgrade to the latest firmware for this model, (and to also do a shutdown and restart, just to verify that the new firmware is present) - if applicable... for example if you do not have v1.4.2 this seems to be the latest firmware for the gen2, as mentioned here:
http://www.drobo.com/drobo-downloads-2/

(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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