Anyone experience False Hard Drive Failure?

Last night I got a warning that a hard drive had failed so i replaced it with another, So i took the so called defective hard drive put it in another computer and ran check disk and the results say the drive is healthy and Ive had the drive plugged in all night and have had no issue. Anyone know why this would of happened?

Interesting! I have never tried that but technically speaking ur OS whether Windows or MacOS shouldn’t recognize the partition & even allowed you to run chkdsk cuz the partition may or may not be recognized by ur OS. Did U re-partition the drive?

I’ve seen the same. Not sure how drobo determines that a drive has failed.

I had a Drobo v1 with one slot that started failing SATA2 drives, a SATA1 drive ran fine in the slot for a week. The Drobo was replaced.

I guess this does indicate that it is possible for a Drobo to be “flagging” drives as bad even though it’s the Drobo itself that’s faulty.

To “unflag” the drives, I installed just the “flagged” drives in the replacement Drobo and did the paperclip reset which allowed the Drobo to use the drives.


yeah I wish i had done more research before i bought my drobo because it seems there are too many issues with this devices, there are so many things to take in factor that could cause some sort of failure, and from what i have read there isnt much you can do to recover your data. I will be returning mine to amazon since im still in the return period

Isn’t this why you should have more than one copy of your data anyway? A good rule of thumb should be that if you do not have at least two copies of your files, it doesn’t exist.

The drobo may have issues just like any other device out there. You should also keep in mind that people who have Drobos working flawlessly generally don’t come to the support forums. You might be hearing of only a small percent of total units sold having issues, which is what happens with virtually all products on the market. Eventually, some bad ones get out there, and you can replace it under warranty. Or in your case, return it.

Indeed, according to DRI Press Release, they have already shipped over 75K units of Drobo and since the Pro was released in around April if not earlier this yr, I guess there must be over 100 units of the Pro that have been shipped & deployed worldwide & the issues reported by the few users here doesn’t mean the drobo product line has too many issues. We have 2 x drobo on a droboShare & 1 x droboPro & getting 3 more Pro on order, we haven’t had any issues, especially speed & reliability. The only defect we had on one of our drobo units is a broken fact plate. I am the culprit cuz when I inserted a 3.5" drive, I disaligned the face plate & when I attempted to remove it cuz it was stuck there, I broke it. A valuable lesson learned & I highly recommend my fellow drobo users, when inserting drives, pls do that gentlly!

There are many issues with the device. Mine has done many unexpected things including random reboots and corruption of individual files. Granted that was when I was deliberately installing bad drives and pulling drives at random times to test the Drobo’s resilience but still it’s unsettling that it doesn’t always work 100%.

Part of the problem is the closed source, undocumented nature of the Drobo’s inner workings. If they had published specifications and made available code relating to their RAID subsystem then I have no doubt there would be software available to diagnose, fix and rescue damaged arrays or arrays from damaged Drobo’s using standard PC hardware. I also think it would have helped them sell more units.

If people want a powerful and resilient RAID system they will build a dedicated RAID box running RAID5/6 with a hardware controller or even in software and that would easily out perform the Drobo as well as being more open and easy to maintain. The Drobo as I see it is for people who have confined desk space available or are worried about power requirements and for those purposes it works well be it at the expense of “resilience” in my opinion. For me it is perfectly acceptable as a backup device for use with my laptop and its external hard drives. My desktop and other machines all have internal RAID arrays that back up to each other and that for me is a much more powerful and trust worthy solution. Just depends what you are after.

In any event, you should never rely on a single storage location for your data. Anything you want to keep should be stored in at least two locations locally and a third off-site. Granted, its very convenient if you happen to have a drobo so large that the only thing that could back it up easily would be a second drobo :wink: But still, always plan for the worse.

Exactly. Depends on what your individual use-case is.
I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I currently have a 12-drive RAID server that I built myself that has been running over about 5 years straight now through about 3 major capacity upgrades.

Now I’m going toward the other side of the fence with Drobo, because I no longer need the performance of my home-built array, I need the power-savings of Drobo, and I like the incremental capacity upgrade feature.

Does drobo look at the SMART data by chance? I know a defective disk could possibly check out fine but it doesn’t mean that SMART on the disk has taken measures to replace failed disk sectors with SPARE disk sectors and maybe that is why drobo is seeing issues.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but AFAIK drobo does not use S.M.A.R.T., but instead uses its own method of hdd health monitoring.

Drobo does not use SMART at all as far as I can tell. When I enabled SMART on my drives and stuck them in Drobo they came out with SMART disabled again - this is repeatable and so Drobo doesn’t use it as far as I can see.

More possibly relevant info in these threads:

Thank you very much for the tip! I only have my one drobo, and one of my drives was incorrectly flagged as “bad.” So I put it in standby, ejected all but the affected drive, and had drobo reboot. I performed a factory reset and sure enough it was green again. Then I put it standby again, ejected the affected drive and inserted the good ones. Once Drobo was back up, I inserted the drive once more and poof, data protection kicked back in and is rebuilding the index.

Ugh, 11 hours to go, however ~_~;. But at least I can sleep at night now. That was scary to see a drive less than a month old already failing. Hey Drobo - better work on that.

Drobo v2
Windows 7
Latest Firmware (1.3.5)
Latest Dashboard software

The drive “failed” immediately after updating my LogMeIn client this evening. The drive would not stop reporting as failed until I did the above steps.

In my experience, if Drobo is reporting drive issues, then it is most likely correct … you should remove the defective drive and perform a full surface scan to check for errors … HDD Regenerator is great for finding/repairing bad sectors.

I’ll run a full Spinrite scan on it this weekend. I curse myself for not doing that before putting it in the Drobo, but even still, I’ve never had a drive put in production that has failed like that so suddenly. I’ll usually have problems within the first week or so, or else they last for years.

I guess I’ll know the answer later this weekend. For now, however, it has about 8 minutes left to finish reindexing and everything looks in proper order.

I have had Drobo give me a false hard drive failure. I solved the issue by removing all 4 drives in the array, putting the drive that gave a false positive back in, resetting Drobo to wipe clean the drive, then put my original array back in and let Drobo back up the three drives back onto the erased one.

You don’t happen to be using Seagate 1.5TB drives do you?
Before the firmware was updated on a specific lot of Seagate 1.5TB drives they made the Drobo act just as you describe.

Hard drives have a “U” curve failure pattern. That is, (relatively) high infant mortality, a reliable period of use, then failures in old age. Just because you never had a hard drive fail early doesn’t mean it will not happen to you on your next drive purchase.