I have a Drobo FS. It’s been working well enough for the last few years. I accidentally filled a disk set (5 x 6TB drives) and now it’s bricked. It was working fine, I shut it down via Dashboard, put a new set of identical blank drives in, turned it on, and it’s totally undiscovered by Dashboard.
Took the drives out, restarted it. No luck.
Any help would be appreciated here. I know it’s EOL and that means I’m SOL but maybe there is some hope.
I’m using Dashboard 2.6.2 but I’ve also tried 2.5.3, no luck.
I’ve reset the thing with the back reset button.
I’ve directly connected it to my Ethernet, disabled all firewalls and other nonsense…
It WILL give my computer an IP address like it’s supposed to.
But telnet to 169.254.213.234 5000 and 3260 doesn’t connect. (this is the address given to me by support) Dashboard will not find it.
Support said that if the green light is solid and the yellow light is flashing on the ethernet port then it’s something computer-side blocking it. I’ve tried a few computers and I’m fairly certain it’s not being blocked in any way. It seems like it just isn’t sending meaningful data or isn’t resetting properly.
I have the thing totally apart. Checked the internal battery and so on. Any suggestions? It’s a totally stock drobo FS, no apps or anything. Is there anything to be done here? Perhaps a jumper or something to totally clear the memory?
J4 J5 J9 J18 and Con1 All show promise but there is nothing obviously labeled as a serial console. I’m a bit weary of just randomly plugging things to a serial port… but I suppose it can’t break more than it is now.
Well, technically speaking you can’t break it by just plugging the ground and RX/TX cables. I’d just test the different pins with a multimeter to find out which is the ground and which is VCC. I’m pretty sure that the board runs at 3.3V, so that’s the VCC you should be looking for.
I’d focus on the 4 pin ports, i.e., J4 J5 and J9. If J9 is any indication, the pin closer to the LEDs in the front should be the ground.
From dmesg, we know that the FS has two serial consoles: one for the vxWorks core, and one for the Linux core. If I were a betting man, I’d say that J4 and J5 are the best candidates.
The first thing you have to do is find ground. I assume it is the rightmost one, but make sure that is the case. Once you have that one, it’ll be easy to find VCC. Tape over that one to make sure you won’t cause a short. Then plug the TX and RX pins in any way you want (if it does not work, switch them around). On the computer I’d try 9600 bauds first, since that is the traditional serial port speed, and then increase up to 115200.
Please let us know if this works, or if you need any further help.
I quoted you so it alerts you of the reply… does this forum do that? I have no idea
Anyway… I unbricked it. Here’s what I found:
J4 and J5 in that picture are the serial consoles. They are VRTG with Ground closest to the LEDs (good call on that one). They run at 115200 baud. J4 is the vxWorks and J5 is the Linux.
They run at 3.3v so I used a ttl-serial converter.
When I ran it I saw a few error messages saying there was no space left on the device so various logs couldn’t be created and some scripts couldn’t run.
Specifically I saw a few errors of not finding the size of /var/log/nasd.log especially when trying to restart it.
Deleted the file with rm /var/log/nasd.log, restarted the device, and suddenly everything works. Shows up in dashboard and everything. I haven’t put a new set of drives in yet, but I’ll overnight some and try it tomorrow.
Since we know for a fact that it works without a VCC, my recommendation is absolutely not to plug a VCC. At best it won’t help, at worst you could burn the serial port.
For simple recovery, I’d say try first the Linux side, since that is relatively well documented (well, by us users), and the Vx side is pretty much self-healing. Most of the trouble I’ve seen so far comes from the Linux side.[hr]
As for commands, I can recommend having a look at the content and free space on /var. This means:
… and look for this line:
/dev/mtdblock/2 2.0M 624.0K 1.4M 30% /var
If there is almost no free space left, then remove the contents of /var/log, like this:
This looks like a proper adapter. The question is whether it is supported by your Windows version. Does a new COM port appear when you plug it it? If so, what is its number? Does putty allow you to connect to that port?
After that, make sure you have it connected properly? Are the RX and TX wires in the right place? Try to switch them, does it work then? As long as you are not plugging VCC anywhere the chances of breaking something are pretty low.
Just wanted to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I’ve followed the advice on this thread and managed to unbrick my DroboFS !!!
some points that might help other people (they are already in the thred but maybe need some emphasis):
The rx on the drobo linux serial are the tx of the cable (at least for me).
Before you tear your hair out when you can’t see anything on the terminal (I used gtkterm on Linux) take a look at “dmesg” and verify that the recognized /dev/ttyXXXXX is the one you’re trying to read…
Could use some help
I’m connected, and can see the text, but can’t type.[hr]
Nevermind got it.
So the combo was Black, White, Green, starting with black at the back of the machine towards the fans.
Leaving the red off the front pin, don’t connect that at all.
In the Device manager you have to change the “Bits per seconds” on the Ports settings to 115200
for your USB to Serial. Change “Flow Control” to None on that same tab.
Can check the COM to see which one it’s on while there.
Open up putty and select Serial.
Enter your which COM it is on, from what you found in the device manager.
Change the speed to 115200
Turn on the drobo and you should see text as it’s starting up.