Alright so I want to upgrade the HDDs in my Drobo FS, what should I be worried about?

Right now I have 3 1.5TB HDD’s inside and I want to change them all into 2.0 TB drives. How would this process work? Do I switch one out and replace it with another? How does it rebuild everything? The contents in my Drobo FS are very important to me and I must be sure this can be done without any issues or loss of data.

Hey Mobious,

Start by inserting a 2TB drive into an empty bay; do them one at a time, waiting for the drive status lights to stop flashing (if they do) before inserting the second drive. After you have both drives inserted and only solid green status lights exist, remove one of the 1.5TB drives. Again, wait for the drive status lights to show solid green. Then insert your third and final 2TB drive into that slot. Again, wait for the drive status lights to show all green before continuing. Once drive status lights are solid green, remove the second 1.5TB. Wait for green status lights to return one final time, and then remove the third and final 1.5TB drive.

I would suggest doing this on a down day(s), because moving/rebuilding this much information could take a bit of time. It also might beehove you to remove only one 1.5TB each day (or two), just to ensure the unit isn’t being rushed.

Here’s a short version:

  1. Insert 2TB drive into empty bay, then wait for solid green lights.
  2. Insert 2TB drive into empty bay, then wait for solid green lights.
  3. Remove 1.5TB drive, then wait for solid green lights.
  4. Insert 2TB drive into empty bay, then wait for solid green lights.
  5. Remove 1.5TB drive, then wait for solid green lights.
  6. Remove 1.5TB drive, ensure solid green lights eventually return.

If the data is as critical as you make it sound, I would leave the other two 1.5TB drive in the unit and enable dual disk redundancy until you have sources 2TB drive replacements for them. This is in case you came into a bad batch of 2TB drives, which IS possible, especially when procured simultaneously from a single source that ships via “DropKickYourStuffUPS.”

Hope this helps. Report back with your experience when you’re done please; I am interested in how long the entire rebuild takes. Good luck!

Thank you so much FlyBoyOz. Wish me luck! Question though, I plan on using the drives currently in my Drobo FS in another device, a backup unit for the Drobo if you will. Just a plain e-sata hard drive enclosure that supports 4 drives. Question is after removing the 1.5TB drives, what would be inside them? would they be as if they were freshly formatted or would I have to reformat them?

I would put 2 of the new drives in the empty slots, let it rebuild.
then once it’s rebuilt, replace one of the 1.5s with the last 2TB. You can also pull the other 2 1.5s here, or just leave them in for extra storage (even turn on dual disk redundancy if you want)

you’ll know it’s rebuilt when the lights turn green again (from green/yellow flashing). It will take some time, probably 12 hours (might be more or less depending on how much data you have)

you will have full read/write access to the data while it’s rebuilding, although you might see a speed slowdown.

i would shut it down when doing the drive swaps.

and even though you are protected from a single drive failure, your data is still at risk, if it’s that important to you, make sure you have backups. on regular externals or something.

No worries, Mobious.

As for reusing the drives in externals, you’ll need to format them for whatever file-system they will be using (FAT32, NTFS, etc). I imagine the existing data on the 1.5TB will be like any other RAID data–the new system will see the drive as unformatted (aka unreadable).

Alright thanks for the info guys, I thought it would be a better idea to have the drives in a separate device and use that as a backup rather than turning on dual disk redundancy as I am also worried about the drobo FS itself failing, so by doing this I would ensure my data is safe. Will be placing the order within a week or two for the new drives. I will also post the results once I am done, IE how long it took and so forth.

As of this moment I have around 1.43 TB of data so it might not take as long as twelve hours, only time will tell I guess.

I recently went through a similar process and it took just under a day, but I also have dual redundancy enabled.

your strategy of having an external backup is good, but if you can afford another drive for your Drobo FS then you should really get one and also enable dual disk redundancy as well. It will give you extra protection for the drives and data in your drobo especially if you ever did have an actual drive failure. If your data is that important, it would be worth it.

If you do go this direction, you should enable dual disk redundancy immediately when you insert two new drives into the empty bays.

Alright my drives are here folks, going to start the process now, will post back how long it takes once their all done.

…One 2TB drive turned out to be faulty and during the night while it was rebuilding I recieved a red blinking light, I forgot to enable dual disk redundancy so does this mean all my data is lost? All I have now is red lights, not blinking just normal ones.

Now when I remove it all I have are red lights, turning on the PC it tells me too hardrives were removed…This is exactly what i feared would happen. Guess its my fault for not enabling dual disk redundancy. So what do I do? Is there any possible way to get my data back? Do I start over? Right now I have all 1.5TB drives and the non faulty 2.0 drives in there, is there any possible way to get it to rebuilt the data from my old 1.5tb drives? no matter what I do all I get is red lights.

All of your data should still be safe. Understand that if right now your Drobo was successfully setup as a 3x1.5TB with 1x2TB HD’s, and then your 2TB HD failed or you pulled it out of the unit, the Drobo could successfully rebuild everything.
Have you tried putting the 2nd 2TB into the unit?

I think your rebuild process now takes the 2TB drive into account for its capacity caluclations + redundancy.
Your Drobo wants another HD. It has a problem with the 1st HD.

I tried that, it would not rebuild and it would just keep on telling me that I have removed too many drives.

Please open a support case.

Already did, waiting for a response. Thanks Jennifer.