Drobo

5N Drive Failures

I have a Drobo 5N since 2016. I installed a set of 5 Western Digital RED 6TB drives in it (WD60EFRX). In 2018 the Drobo complained that one of these drives was ‘bad’ (red light, drive failure). So I sent the drive back to the store, where they tested it and reported that it didn’t have any problems. So I put the drive into a PC with Windows 10, mounted it, and erased all its data (no problems accessing the drive). Yet when I inserted the drive in the Drobo again, within 30 seconds its LED turned red and Drobo reported a drive failure again. So I replaced the drive in Drobo with a new one.

Now, another 2 years later, I have another drive where Drobo reports a drive failure. It’s exactly the same… I removed the drive, put it into a PC running Windows, mounted the drive, erased all its data - formatted it. Windows sees no problems at all accessing the drive.
Yet, once again, when I try to put it back into the Drobo, Drobo reports a drive failure within 30 seconds. So if I were to send this drive back to the store, I am sure they would again find no problems with it.

Does anyone have any idea what can be wrong here? How is it possible that Drobo reports drive failures (on 2 different drives) while these drives appear to work without any issues in a PC running Windows 10? And how can I use these drives with my Drobo again? I am getting tired of buying new drives when there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with the drives.
Is it possible that the problem isn’t in the drives, but in the Drobo? Maybe a bad sector on a drive is enough for Drobo to reject the entire drive?

A bad sector is plenty enough for Drobo to flag a drive as bad, and it will appears fine when formatted under Windows since the bad sector is simply marked and bypassed. Under a RAID setup (which Drobo is) a bad sector spells doom. Drobo also remembers the failed drive which is why you can’t reuse it in Drobo again.

The drive should be fine as a single-use drive in a computer.

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