5N reboot loop, will reboot with no drives, how do I recover the data?

Hello and hope someone can help me.

I have had a 5N for 5 years and it has been good to me. A few days ago it got stuck in a loop rebooting. It never completed the boot so is not seen on the Drobo Dashboard. Followed some steps to get he diagnostics but out of support so the file went no where but it did prove that if I power down, remove all drives (I have four) and power up, I could get to the dashboard and get the diagnostic file. It stayed booted while doing this.
Shit down again and put the drives back in order. Now power up and it is back in the old loop.
I am tempted to power up with not all drives but fear this may damage the data.
Any advice would be great. I love my Drobo but am upset that I can’t find clear instructions on how to fault find.
Thanks in advance.

If you have access to a spare power supply unit, or a bench PSU you can dial in the correct voltage rated for the current on the existing PSU brick, try substituting that & see if it boots, boot loops are often down to a PSU that can’t deliver the rated current anymore.

The fact you can boot without the load of the drives suggests this might be your trouble.

Thanks. Is it ok to put the drive back in and power up?

If you don’t want to be losing data only insert or remove the entire pack with the Drobo powered OFF. I generally actually detatch the PSU cord (after shutting down) when inserting or removing drive packs rather than simply replacing a failed drive or upgrading capacity.

Hi - I’m having a similar issue - have logged a call with Drobo but not holding my breath - can I use the drives in an alternative system or is there anyone that can help recover the data from my two drives?

Feeling pretty sick at the moment as concerned I’ve lost everything and not sure how to get all of my data back - I’m not massively technical :frowning:

Hi @KayeBee ,

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

To answer your questions:

  • If you have a Drobo 5N, you can use the drives in another 5N or 5N2
  • Data recovery can be done using software like UFSExplorer. There are companies that will also recover your data for you.

That said, you may want to try to repair your current Drobo so you can access your data, back it up, and move on.

If you’re in a boot loop, you can try a few things:

  1. Restore firmware:
  • Shut down Drobo
  • With the power off, remove all drives. Keep track of the order the drives were in the Drobo as they work as a “disk pack” and must be reinserted in the same order
  • Turn on Drobo with no drives
  • Is Drobo accessible via the dashboard?
  • If Drobo is accessible, check the firmware version:
  • Download the same firmware version as you have installed. If you have a 5N, it should be here: Start Drobo 5N - Drobo
  • Manually install the firmware via Dashboard:
  • Allow Drobo to reboot after firmware update, then shut it down
  • Reinsert your drives and see if they are now recognized
  1. If your Drobo is not accessible via Dashboard without drives
  • Check to see if Drobo is available via the network. Ping the hostname or address of your Drobo
  • If you can find it on the network, try to log in via SSH
    • You will need a program like Putty to connect to the Drobo as well as the Admin user and password
  • Once connected to Drobo, navigate to the ‘DroboApps’ folder.
  • Deactivate as many of the Apps as possible (I’ve had some DroboApps cause a bootloop in the past)
  • Reboot Drobo and see if the bootup completes.
  • If it does, shut down Drobo, reinsert the drives (in order!), then start up again
  1. Try changing the Power Supply unit
  • There are several strange behaviours that can occur due to a failing power supply.
  • Buy a new power supply rated for Drobo (there are some on Amazon) or borrow one from someone.
  • With a known good power supply, try to boot Drobo.
  • If it works, shut down, reinsert drives (in order!) and start up again
  1. Find a used 5N/5N2
  • Find a working Drobo 5N or 5N2
  • Ensure the latest firmware is installed. Disk packs from Drobos with newer firmware may not work on Drobos with older firmware
  • Shut down Drobo, insert the drives in order, start up
  • Back up data
  1. Recovery solutions
  • If all else fails, use recovery solutions:
    • Use UFSExplorer if you want to attempt data recovery yourself
    • Send you drives to a data recovery expert

I hope that helps!



Hi Dom

Thanks for the response

Option 1 isn’t an option and option 2 is unlikely as well as I’m not techie enough to putty directly onto the box

Option 3&4 are also limited given you no longer seem to sell these anywhere so it looks like I’m heading to option 5

Not the best end of the Drobo relationship that I had but I guess it’s my only option

Thanks - k

Hi again,

Just a clarification: I don’t work for Drobo, so I personnally have never sold any Drobos. :slight_smile: I’ve had a Drobo since 2010 and work in IT, so I have a few years of experience with this hardware. I try to help others when I can.

That said, I think many people are abandoning Drobo hardware since they are in Chapter 11. I see many Drobo units on eBay, though mostly the enterprise models (these customers would be the first to jump ship, since they wouldn’t want to be stuck with unsupported hardware).

You can also find some used 5N units online for relatively cheap. For example:

I really hope you can find a way to restore your data.



Thank you

Have got home after a week away with work to find when I try again it completely dies after about 1 minute.

I’ve let the support team know and am waiting to hear back but I cannot find any Drobo 5ns available to buy that are less than 250 quid :frowning:

Think I’ll have to send the disks off to a recovery company and keep everything crossed that they can be recovered

Thanks again - k

If it’s shutting down after a minute, I would really try to replace the power supply before going the more expensive routes (replacement unit, recovery companies, etc). You can buy a new one from Amazon or something and refund it if it doesn’t work out.

Good luck!