Added a new 3TB drive and now I'm in data protection loop

Hi all,

I’ve recently bought a new 3TB drive to replace a 250GB drive in my drobo fs (with firmware 1.2.7). After adding it, it went into the data protection process for a few hours but after is begins the the following loop:

  • In the new drive slot, there is a red light and drobo dashboard states that is “a new hard drive must be added for single disk redundancy”
  • The “data process” process begins and after a while, drobo restarts

Since it is a new drive, I’m not removing the possibility of hardware problems, but would like to know the best way to troubleshoot this.


hi do you have any more info you could post back when you have a moment please, about all of the other drives you have in the drobo, as well as some dashboard screens on imgur? (or similar)

(please can you rub out your serial number before uploading screens to play safe)

Hi Paul,

All the other 4 drives are 2TB western digital green that were bought at the same time when I bought the drobo fs unit.

Yesterday, I did another test and put back the original 250GB disk and the loop still persists, so I’m thinking the problem might not be with the new hard drive but with the drobo unit itself.

What type of information from the dashboard do you want to see ?


thanks for the drive info,
oh its usually main screens which show drives, slots, leds, error messages and redundancy info (which i think you are on sdr mode).
capacity and volume info is sometimes useful too.

at the moment it seems that you had this:
2tb + 2tb + 2tb + 2tb + 0.25tb
which would give you 2+2+2+0.25tb raw capacity at sdr = 6.25tb *0.9 = ~5.6tb usable for data

am not sure how much data you actually have, though are you able to still access your data inbetween those reboots?
if so, i think its a good idea to try to copy & paste/verify that data somewhere else as a backup if you can.

can i also please check, when you went to replace the smaller 250gb drive with the larger 3tb drive, was it because you wanted to upgrade the drive (eg ultimately to lead to more capacity space etc)
was it actually because the 250GB drive had failed and was flashing red?

There is also a chance that one or more drives encountered an error during the rebuild, (for which there might be a way forward), but what would be a good test would be to ascertain if it is a problem with the main drobo fs or with the disks.

a way to try this when you have a moment would be as follows (but if you can access data as above, the pleae try backups first) :

  • to power off the computer and to unplug the network/connection cable from the drobo…
    does it still do the reboot looping as before?

  • if so, to power drobo all Off and to remove all drives (remembering their positions)

  • and powering the drobo up while Empty and disconnected
    what does it do? (does it power up and boot up normally, but then goes into standby)?

  • and then connecting it to a booted up computer
    does dashboard recognise it?

(please stop here and post back before doing anything with the drives - or at least only put them back in while drobo is OFF, and in the same order)

Thanks Paul, for your suggestions

  1. Before I replaced the 250GB for the 3TB, no red lights were displayed on the Drobo unit
  2. Yes, I think I’m able to access the data (I can see the share but did not try to access it
  3. Do you think I can safely try both tests you suggest without requiring me to backup data ?


thanks for the info about the 250gb,
it seems that you only swapped it to upgrade, which is good as it likely means that the 250gb is still ok as a drive. (at least initially from a drobo perspective) :slight_smile:

to be honest, if it does let you access your data, then i would still recommend making a backup (especially of any important data) because there is usually always an element of risk, often associated with any action, and you would be much happier (as im sure i would be) if you still had backups of your data in case anything happened.

either way i think it would be good to try to access data, because if you can not, then there wouldnt be a way to make backups in that way :slight_smile:

Hi Paul,

So during the christmas holidays, I was able to follow the steps you suggested, with the following results:

  1. Powering off the computer and disconnecting the drobo from the network -> Data protection loop still happening

  2. Power off drobo and remove drive (I’ve just ejected them, they still are in the drobo but not connected). -> After a short boot process, a red light appears on the drive #1 position

  3. When powering the computer and reconnecting the drobo to the network -> it cannot be found by the drobo dashboard.

Any suggestion on how to proceed ?

hi, sorry to hear that it still had problems, (hopefully a good helping of mince pies or pudding helped to balance out the problems with more joy meanwhile) :slight_smile:

as far as i know, am empty drobo should boot up and then go into standby mode if not connected and no drives,
(usually the 1st slot is where it guides a user to install their first drive during setup)

and from your step 3, i think the dashboard should find the empty drobo (but it could be something to do with networking that is stopping it from connecting), maybe going directly to the computer, and with another cable is worth trying.

(if your drives are still removed, you might as well keep them removed, but if you wanted to put them back in for any reason or tests, then please Only do that while all power is still OFF)

but, due to the fact that your step 1 didnt keep rebooting when the disk pack was removed (which sounds a bit more promising), then it could be that the disk pack drives have unfortunately encountered some errors on them… if that is the case, you may need to go through a disk pack drive cloning process, as mentioned on yerry’s thread here:

Hi Paul,

I made a mistake on my last experience, where I forgot to replug the network when booting the drobo with no drives connection :slight_smile:

After connecting the appropriate network cable, I did manage to see the drobo unit on the dashboard, and it was requesting adding a new disk pack.

For experience, I connected a different single disk (pulled from a old computer) and got it to boot without any problems.

So, is the reboot problem due to some issues on my original disk pack ? If so, how can I find more information (logs) on what is happening ?

Happy new year,


thanks bruno for more info, and a happy new year too :slight_smile:

ah i think if it worked ok when empty, and with that new blank drive (solo diskpack) then it probably (and unfortunately) could be due to multiple errors on the main disk pack that was rebooting.

if it is the pack, then what you could try is to put the drobo into read-only mode, control +shift + alt +r (or command key on mac) and a reboot of the drobo like mentioned here:

and to see if it stops rebooting…if it stabalises, and shows your data, then i think it would be good to try to copy that to another drive or to your computer etc to make a backup while in that state, before trying further fixes.

(alternatively, you could get the drives cloned as in yerrys thread first, before trying things further, though there would be a cost involved).