Searched around this forum and didn’t see this issue…

So I plug in my 2 year old 5D with the thunderbolt cable, doesn’t mount. Strange as that never happens, open up dashboard. Sees the Drobo 5D yet has red around it and critical status. Drobo has green power light in the lower left corner and the top drive bay light is Red. I have 4 drives plugged in, never had an issue with my Drobo before this.

-Restart 5D and Macbook, same status green power light and red drive bay light.
-Update Dashboard, same status
-Update firmware on 5D, same status.
-Power down and remove drives, same status.
-Put drives in and boot back up, same status.
-Plug in with USB cable, same status.

Seams like something went bad with the just the portion that deals the hard drives.

Opened up a ticket with Drobo Tech Support, and sent in Diagnostics Log File.

They emailed me some general questions that could have been answered by looking at the log file, sent them back anyway but called to talk to a real person to resolve this issue faster as I need to get back to work with the files on the Drobo ASAP. Tech on the phone looks at the Log says the unit needs to be replaced and since its out of warranty and I don’t have DroboCare theres nothing they can do… No discount code to say hey sorry our product stopped working heres some help with the next one? Make sense as they don’t need to because you are going to go buy a new one since all your data is in their proprietary format!

Anybody here have this problem or have any solutions? Can you send it back and have them fix it? Doesn’t seam like it would cost much for just a new circuit board. Are there ways to get spare parts to replace the main board in the Drobo? I would rather not spend the money on a new one when its not completely dead.

Kind of ironic when the product you buy to protect yourself from failure fails…

Any info would be greatly appreciated!


hi jake, sorry to hear about your issue,

one of the steps i often mention on the forums myself, is the same test i think you carried out already (which is to also try essentially booting up empty to see if dashboard can recognise the drobo as empty)

while an empty drobo, should indicate is it empty (but usually shows a red light asking to insert drives), a working drobo should recognise drives inside it (itself, as well as dashboard), unless all drives suddenly happened to fail for example)

but, that leads me to another thought… what if the backplane somehow got damaged? (that might appear as though no drives are connected, even when they are, and in case it got damaged, can i check if the drobo had been sitting somewhere for a couple of years (collecting dust, so to speak) or if there was a chance that it had been moved around a few times, or possibly moved around or tilted while having the actual drives inside it? that could damage the backplane, like if the weight of the drives was in a tilted position for a prolonged time or just bounced around in a removals van for example)

there are some more things you could try though, if you can, which might help to pinpoint things a bit more, which could be these:

if you happen to have a couple more (new / or different un-needed /spare drives)

  • what if you powered all down, and removed all cables from the drobo, and removed your diskpack drives (as before), remembering the order for later.
  • and then if you connected it via usb and powered it up empty, but this time when dashboard shows it as empty, if you actually insert 1 of those different blank drives, what happens now?

if the drobo recognises it shortly after, and you do the same with the 2nd one, does it let you format it via dashboard and to essentially create another separate diskpack?

if it does not, then you could try resetting the whole drobo with this 2nd diskpack to see if it now accepts the 2nd diskpack…
what happens if you try that?

(you may already be aware though please remember that diskpack drives should only be removed in their entirety and only when power is all off and unplugged)

if your drobo is 100% broken though, another option you could try if you wish would be to try getting another 2nd hand 5d, (ideally from a trustworthy seller), and then to try the diskpack migration process, for example as mentioned below:
(when my drobo-s-gen2 had a power switch problem, i was able to successfully swap my diskpack to another model and access my data again, so while your current issue is not good to have, it usually is better to have a unit fail rather than the diskpack - if you see what i mean)