5N: "Drobo did not detect any drives" – single red bay light

I couldn’t connect to my 5N, and found it had a green power light and a single red light on the top drive bay.

I’ve read everything I have been able to find, and have now taken all four disks out, put two spare disks in and reset multiple times, both using the pinhole and the Drobo Dashboard “Erase & Factory Reset” option.

I’ve tried booting with the spare drives in, resetting and then putting the drives in, and I have tried them in different bays. It starts up with a green power light and five yellow bay lights, and eventually reverts back to the single red top bay light. Drobo Dashboard continues to report that all drive bays are empty.

I have seen one recommendation to take it all apart and clean with with contact cleaner. Besides that, is there ANYTHING else I could try?

This is the second 5N I have had fail, I really do not want to buy another one.

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I have the exact same issue, and have opened a support-case. Only addition in my case is that for some (most) reboots it will enter a “not booting” state, and just show all five bay with solid yellow.

I expect my only option is to get a new one, but this seems to be impossible in 2020.

It might be your power source.
Can you get your hands on a new replacement power supply transformer?
If not already, also make sure your 5N is connected directly to a wall outlet - not a powerboard.

Even though Drobo Dashboard can connect just fine, and the LED lights on the drive backplane are lighting up?

I guess it is feasible that the drives cannot power up. Is there examples of this happening?

I’ve looked around, and 12V/100W power adapters aren’t easy to come by, best option I’ve found is a very expensive lab power supply.

After booting all five drive LEDs are yellow for a while, and then the top one goes red, and the rest go dark.

Please do post the results of your support care!

Unfortunately this is last message I got, after sending the support-team the diagnostics that can be had from the Drobo Dashboard.

“the backplane is not connecting with the drives.”

So mine at least, seems to be all dead, with a repair costing as much as a new one…had they existed.

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I took the 5N apart, removed all the dust and cleaned the motherboard and backplane connectors. I cannot see any component damage, although there are some scratches in the clear coat on the boards.

I also bought a 12V/100W PSU and chopped the end of my Drobo power adapter to harvest the connector.

It boots fine, but returns to the state described in my initial post. I tried another factory reset, and moving the spare drives around, no change.

It seems there is a business opportunity for someone to buy used Drobos and rent them out to everyone wanting to salvage data off their drives.