In parallel to imaging my disk pack for offline analysis, I decided to recreate the scenario I’ve been affected by, under “supported” conditions, to validate that what I was seeing, was actually a Drobo problem, and not a filesystem or LUN size problem.
The problem I’ve been hit with, is an upgrade of my Drobo from firmware 1.3.1 to 1.3.5 has rendered the Drobo’s ability to successfully boot the disk pack, impossible.
Here’s what I did:
Under Windows, with the latest supported Drobo Dashboard, I flashed the Drobo unit itself to the version 1.3.1 firmware that it was previously running. This was recommended by DRI support (case #00029596)
I inserted 4x1TB SATA disks, all absolutely identical in model, revision and speed, and created a single 2TB LUN out of them
I shut it down and powered it on several times to verify that the 1.3.1 x 2TB LUN disk pack functions as expected under Windows and my preferred host; Linux. This worked perfectly.
Plug Drobo into Linux and format 2TB LUN to ext3.
I backed up about 1TB of data and put it on the Drobo under Linux (my laptop backup), and verified that I could indeed read the data from the disk, by restoring some large VMware images back to the laptop’s disk and running them there. This worked perfectly.
I shut the Drobo down cleanly, powered it up and ran a full disk check on the filesystem on the Drobo (using e2fsck from the Linux host). No issues or errors were detected on the volume.
I plugged the Drobo into Windows, and through Drobo Dashboard, upgraded the firwmare to the latest available version (1.3.5). Since Windows could not read the filesystem itself, I cleanly shut down the Drobo after the firmware upgrade.
I unplugged the Drobo from all host computers, and plugged it back in. It’s dead.
What I see now are 3 blue LEDs from the right side, 1 blue LED from the left side, and a blinking green light on the bottom. No drive lights at all (no red, no yellow, no green).
A pretty serious bug exists in the Drobo here, because without a complete boot, the fan doesn’t actuate, to cool the drives which are spinning and doing something, but what they’re doing, I can’t tell. I had to angle my “Vornado” fan right into the front of the disk pack to cool it down; the Vornado moves a lot of air.
The lights look like this:
…(-) ( )…
(o) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) (o) (o) (o)
- = blinking green
o = solid blue
So what exactly is it doing, and what do the lights mean? It’s been sitting there for about 20 hours in exactly that state.