6 disks damaged one after the other??

Hi All,

We have 3 Drobo v2 here. Two of them have been perfectly uneventful, but the third one has had 6 disks identified as damaged one after the other and that had to be replaced.
Now it could be bad luck but statistically it seems extremely unlikely.
I suspect that either:

  • the drives are damaged and I’m unlucky (hum…)
  • the Drobo misidentifies them as damaged and they’re fine
  • there’s a problem with the Drobo unit and it’s leading to all these drive corruptions.

I, of course, reported the issue, but so far the only answer I got was that “the drive is damaged and needs to be replaced”. No comment about the more than unusual recurrence of the issue.

Has anybody here seen anything like that?


From what Ive read over the web Ive come to think that Drobo and BeyondRAID identifies a drive as bad when it might have a small error. That same drive on another enclosure (Qnap, Synology, Thecus, etc) probably wouldnt be identified as a bad drive.

This is something that makes me doubt of the Drobo. Ive heard many many people talk about drive failures on their Drobos but almost NOTHING on drive failing on Synology. Qnap, etc.

So, like I said, I think Drobo has more tendency than other brands to show a drive as bad. So, in the end, in one year you may have two bad drives on Drobo and none on a Qnap, Synology, Thecus, etc.

This is just my opinion, of course.

Still, 6 drives in one only unit?? And none in our other Drobos?
The odds sound remote to me :-\

They were all Hitachi drives FWIW.


Cortig, I too look for common factors when so many parts fail like that.
Bad slot in the Drobo? Bad batch of drives? Environmental problem like noise, vibration, temp?

It would be interesting to see what happens if you swap the drive pack from one of the “untroubled” Drobos with that in the “troubled” Drobo. That would put known good drives in the suspect Drobo, and you could see whether the problems stayed with the unit, with the drives, or just went away.

Cortig, I agree there seems to be something fishy there.
The first thing I would do if I had the same problem would be to compare all 3 Drobos across as many criteria as possible, and to see what differs in the faulty Drobo from the 2 others :

  • date of purchase and S/N of Drobos
  • brand/type/date of purchase of disks
  • always on or stop/restart
  • I/O rate
  • % occupancy, number of files, average file size
  • USB/FW coonection
  • etc…

I would NOT migrate any disk from this Drobo to any other Drobo, in case a HW bug in the sick Drobo could kill the disks, and then the disks kill a sane Drobo.

Why not put complete drive pack from your problem Drobo in one of your good Drobos and see if the problem moves with the drive pack?

sounds like a suspect unit so far.

best test is to swap hard drives around to see if good become bad and bad becomes good

but, safest way is to be cautious like geej said, and maybe good to buy a coupole of brand new same models ones, and sector scan them first, then put one into your good drobo if ok, and then one good one that you swapped goes into the suspect drobo unit hardware, and see what happens.

this way, youre only putting in “good stuff” into the working drobos, and putting stuff into the suspect hardware, (instead of the other way around)

either way, if youve got time and patience, make sure you have backups of your good drobo data (before you start these tests etc, just in case something goes wrong if youre expecially unlucky) :slight_smile:

might be good to also take out each drive 1 by 1 frome the suspect unit, and do to a full smart scan/sector scan on it to see.[hr]
next questions…

please can you list out each Drobo v2 unit:
date you got it, place you got it from, delivery method

and also for all the drives:
which unit they are in, what makes, models, sizes etc, where you got them from, delivery company.

might sound silly but might help spot trends…
eg, maybe the suspect unit, is the oldest unit and simply on its last legs.
eg, maybe all drives are all from the same company, but they recently changed delivery companys and they drop the drives often,
etc etc :slight_smile: