5D Will Not Format

Just unboxed my new 5D. I inserted 5 drives, 3TB, 3TB, 3TB, 2TB and a 1TB. Connected as instructed, launched Dashboard and all lights turned Red and gave me that Too Many Hard Drives removed warning, which of course made no sense as far as I can tell. Anyway, I reset the Drobo and all lights turned Green. I then set about formatting but that’s where it is at. It will not format. It fails, asks to restart the Dashboard, I do, try it again, and it fails to format. I’ve restarted my PC, reinstalled the Dashboard, latest 2.8.3 of course and it did go through the new firmware as well, 3.5.0 when I first fired it up. Anyway, all the drives are Green, it says it has 8TB, but under File System it says unknown and not NTFS as it should had it successfully formatted. Any ideas, help would be appreciated. I have a 5D and a 5S running successfully in other parts of our house so I sorta know what I am doing, I guess.[hr]
I tried formatting again just now and I got this message:
There are applications on your computer that are using files on this Drobo.
Please close all open files and applications then try again. If the problem
persists, you will need to restart your computer to complete the requested
volume changes.

Not sure what would be using this unformatted, new Drobo 5D, but anyway, I restarted my computer, tried
the format process again, and the message above came up again. Scratches head, ponders.

hi harold if its still an empty new drobo with no data on it (and you dont need anything on the drives inside it), then it might be worth trying to restart the drobo unit as well as a fresh boot up of the computer.

you could also try a reset process on the drobo if you still have problems,

and if still having problems, i would power all off
and remove all drives
and reboot the computer (no internet)
and launch dashboard
and do a reset process on the empty drobo
and then power up the drobo empty
(and once found and recognised in dashboard, to just add in 1 large drive in the 1st visible slot, let the drobo find it, and if no prompts for volume setup, to add another drive) basically to add the drives 1 at a time upto how many you want inside it, and seeing if it lets you get any further that way.

(aside from when i migrated a whole diskpack from a faulty drobo-S-gen2, into a replacememnt, on all of my other drobos, i had them running first, and then added in drives at a time.)

Thanks for the reply, Paul. I just did exactly what you wrote and after the reset of the empty Drobo 5D, it has a single right light for the top bay. I put one 3TB drive into that bay and the Too many hard drives have been removed. Please re-insert the removed hard drives message came up. Nothing is happening, the light is red and the message is still there. What now? Keep adding the other drives? I’ve been through that before but I can try again, I guess.[hr]
I unplugged the Drobo 5D from my USB 3.0 PCIe card and put it directly into my computers original USB 2.0 slot and it formatted it. Seems to be working now but oddly under This PC is says 63.9 TB free of 63.9 TB. Anyway, I run it for awhile and then maybe try to reconnect it to my USB 3.0 card and see if it behaves itself. My two Drobos in the basement work just fine with an add-on 3.0 card in a an old computer. Weird.

ah at this point with an empty drobo (and the red bay light), has the drobo been reset (with the pinhole reset process in the manual?) if not can you remove the 3TB drive so its empty again, and then try the pinhope reset process…

and then to reboot (power cycle) the drobo again,
and then to try again, with putting in 1 drive.
then if you get the same message, please put in a 2nd drive
and then see if it settles after some time to accept them?

(btw it shouldnt matter too much, though i was wondering where did these drives come from… are they brand new, un-used drives, that are empty, or are they drives that already had some data potentially on but that you dont need anything on them… if one of them is a known, fresh new empty drive, maybe you can start with that drive as the first drive going in just to see)

It seems to be working now that I am using the computer’s usb 2.0 porst, see my note above, but I will follow your instructions if it all goes to crap again. Any idea why it says 63.9 TB free under This PC? As for the drives themselves, yes, all of them had data on them, two were from another Drobo 5D and three were from external hard drives I had. So, we’'ll see if it now stays healthy and functioning, esp when I try to plug it back into the faster usb 3.0 PCIe card I had been using with no issues before. Wish me luck, and thank again, Paul.

an thanks i must have have been posting while you added the edit note,

there have been some cases where users had to switch from firewire back to usb to carry out certain procedures, such as manual firmware upgrading, so maybe there was something about your usb3 that it didnt like, but its cool that things are working again after formatting at least with usb2 :slight_smile:

as far as i can tell, if you are using the SDR single drive redundancy mode, and if these are the drives, the breakdown is likely to be something like this:
3TB + 3TB + 3TB + 2TB + 1TB = 12TB raw capacity
12TB (-3TB for sdr) = 9TB actual
9TB (*0.9 for filesystem overheads) = ~8.1TB available space

the 64TB may just be the virtual max volume size that is presented to the computer, to allow for the future expansion of capacity via drive upgrades in future, though if you have a look in dashboard, that should show you the volume size, as well as the actual real free space values (including a percentage). following dashboard real space info will help ensure that you do not overfill your drobo.
edit: you should be ok but sure good luck :slight_smile:

Thanks for all of the help, Paul. Yes to all what you typed there. It did say 8.1TB with that setup and those drives. Anyway, I shutdown, plugged it into the USB 3.0 PCIe card and restarted PC and everything and it all works as it should. Having that 3.0 Card even in a Alienware Aurora from 2009, does really make a difference with transfer speeds.

The only thing I’ve never been able to get to work either with my Drobo 5D or 5S in the basement on a Windows 8.0 machine or on my Aurora with Windows 10 with my new 5D, is a successful Windows Image backup. They always fail. File History to my 3 Drobos works just fine, but Create an Image never works. Oh well, what with Sync Toy and OneDrive and my Amazon Drive, I’ve got all my backup bases covered.

ok cool :slight_smile:
if you ever get acronis into the mix, that seems to work great with my drobo models tested so far, for making a full system image backup, as it seems to find the drobo locally as an attached drive (for my das models tested).
ive made i think 3 full images so far, and tried recreating 1 as a test since then, which worked.[hr]
btw have you ever seen Steptoe and Son?
“harrooooold” :smiley:

…never seen Steptoe and Son but I did see the U.S. remake from the 70s called Sanford and Son.

(thanks ill have to see that sometime too)

I’ve noticed that this new 5D seems to be doing something almost all of the time. It’s crunching away at something but I don’t see any other activity. My OneDrive is doing stuff but it shouldn’t involve my Drobo, should it, as I don’t have any active OneDrive stuff on the 5D. Curious.

hi harold, do you know approximately how much data is on your drobo 5d curretly?
it could just be some usual maintentance that takes place automatically internally.

for example, there is a data integrity check known as scrubbing, which checks data, i believe it takes place about 1 time per month.
there is also internal optimisation that can take place, as well as a space reclamation process after lots of files are modifies, or deleted.

when i added in a blank drive into an empty slot to expand my storage, my 5d tended to churn away (internally) for about 2 evenings, plus for some duration overnight, and that seemed to match how much data i had on the drobo, approx 2TB, so i would probably assume that the internal activity (even without a visibly-lit green activity light) might take about 1day’s worth, per 1TB of data that you have on it.

if you can safely leave it on overnight, does it seem to stop again after the estimated time?

Thanks for those details, Paul. I had moved and deleted a lot of things lately using Sync Toy. I’ve noticed now that it has stopped crunching away at things so it must be as you said, ordering and reordering things and now it has decided it is finished and the all things are as they should be.

ah thanks for the info, ok thats cool harold